Update on the latest sports


NHL ref’s career is over after hot-mic comment about penalty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tim Peel’s career as an NHL referee is over after his voice was picked up by a TV microphone saying he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators.

The league announced Wednesday that Peel “no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future.” The 54-year-old Peel had already made plans to retire next month.

NHL vice president Colin Campbell says there was no justification for Peel’s comments. The NHL determined it was Peel’s voice heard on the TV broadcast of the Predators 2-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night. Peel could be heard saying the penalty wasn’t much, but he wanted to call one against Nashville. The microphone was then cut off as as Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty early in the second period.


Snyder buying out other owners

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Dan Snyder is buying out the Washington Football Team’s minority owners and will become the sole owner of the club.

An NFL spokesman confirms that Snyder’s application for a debt waiver of $450 million was approved by the finance committee and that the deal is pending approval from team owners. Three-quarters, or 24 of 32 teams, need to sign off to make it happen.

Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman currently own 40.5% of Washington Football Inc. They have been mired in a court dispute with Snyder over their shares of the team. This effectively settles that matter and puts Snyder completely in charge of the team.


Sharpe enters NBA draft

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina freshman big man Day’Ron Sharpe is entering the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Sharpe announced his decision in a social media post. He averaged 9.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game off the bench. Sharpe has shown the ability to be a dominant rebounder with a good passing touch and a strong frame. That combination has him widely viewed as a first-round draft prospect.

Sharpe is the second freshman big man to announce plans to leave the Tar Heels. Walker Kessler said earlier this week he plans to transfer.


Florida’s Mann turns pro

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida point guard Tre Mann is leaving school early and turning pro.

Mann is the program’s best one-on-one playmaker since Jason Williams more than two decades ago. Mann is expected to hire an agent and does not intend to return to college.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Gainesville led the Gators with 16 points a game and 83 assists this season and was the team’s second-leader rebounder. He also shot 40.2% from 3-point range. He elevated his play down the stretch by averaging 20.9 points over Florida’s final seven games.


Georgia WR Pickens needs knee surgery after practice injury

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia receiver George Pickens will undergo knee surgery after being injured during spring practice.

The school says Pickens injured his right knee during a non-contact drill on Tuesday. An MRI confirmed damage to the anterior cruciate ligament. A full recovery is expected but the school did not say how long the junior will be out.

Pickens is projected as one of the nation’s top receivers going into the 2021 season, He had 36 catches for 513 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns last season. Georgia is set to open the season Sept. 4 against Clemson in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Jaguars sign C.J. Beathard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard. He gives them an experienced backup if they trade Gardner Minshew.

Beathard started 12 games over four years in San Francisco.

Responding to a question about Minshew potentially being on the block last week, coach Urban Meyer said “at this point, no.” Signing Beathard could change that.

In other NFL moves:

— Linebacker Elandon Roberts has re-signed with the Miami Dolphins after testing the free agent market. Roberts started 11 games in his first season with Miami last year before he was sidelined by a serious knee injury. He totaled 61 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. The 26-year-old spent his first four NFL seasons with New England, where he played on two Super Bowl championship teams.

— The San Francisco 49ers have brought back another key piece for their roster, agreeing to a one-year deal to retain slot cornerback K’Waun Williams. A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed to the deal after Williams considered offers from several other teams. The Niners have been aggressive this offseason about retaining many of their key free agents after slumping to an injury-riddled 6-10 season in 2020.

— The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah. The move maintains their depth behind two-time Pro Bowl pick Dalvin Cook. Abdullah will return for a fourth season with the Vikings.

— The Indianapolis Colts have re-signed cornerback Xavier Rhodes to another one-year contract. Rhodes initially joined the Colts last spring when he believed he could jump-start his career by agreeing to a one-year deal. He responded by starting all 16 games, making 42 tackles, breaking up 12 passes, intercepting two and returning one for a touchdown.

— The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a one-year deal with safety Ricardo Allen. He was released in February by the Atlanta Falcons. Allen was a fixture in the Falcons’ secondary since he was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.

— The Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign Nigerian-born defensive end Efe Obada to a one-year contract. The 28-year-old joins the Bills after spending his first three NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, and coming off a year in which he had a career-best 5 1/2 sacks in 16 games, including one start.


Baseball to closely monitor for foreign substances

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is increasing its monitoring of baseballs in an attempt to suppress any use of foreign substances by pitchers.

Mike Hill, newly hired as executive vice president of baseball operations and disciplinarian, wrote that team leaders may be held responsible for violations by staff.

In a two-page memo to owners, Hill outlined three new enforcement components that include gameday compliance monitors and electronics compliance officers, submission of random baseballs by umpires and equipment authenticators and a review of MLB Statcast data comparing games to pitchers’ career norms.


Braves option Wright

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have optioned right-hander Kyle Wright to their alternate training site. The move clears the way for Bryse Wilson to open the season as the No. 5 starter.

Wright made two postseason starts in 2020 following a strong finish to the regular season but was unable to pitch with consistency this spring.

Wright and Wilson led the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation as the Braves await the return of Mike Soroka from a torn Achilles tendon. Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson and Drew Smyly are expected to open the season as the team’s first four starters.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— The Detroit Tigers selected the contract of right-hander Julio Teheran to the major league roster, solidifying his spot on the team after the former All-Star signed a minor league deal last month. Manager AJ Hinch also said left-hander Tarik Skubal has made the team. Hinch said left-hander Ian Krol and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez have been told they have not made the opening day roster.

— New York Yankees left-hander Justin Wilson won’t throw for several days and will receive oral anti-inflammatory medication in an effort to alleviate tightness in his pitching shoulder. Wilson left Monday night’s exhibition against Philadelphia while facing his fourth batter. New York said Wilson had an MRI Tuesday that was compared to an MRI from a physical as part of the pitcher’s signing last month and “there was nothing actionable from those images.”

— The Pittsburgh Pirates are shutting down starting pitcher Steven Brault for at least a month to address discomfort in his throwing shoulder. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said it’s likely Brault will be out for a minimum of 10 weeks. The team had expected the left-hander to be a part of a totally revamped starting rotation in 2021.


Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski dies in avalanche at 40

PARIS (AP) — Former Olympic snowboarder Julie Pomagalski of France has died in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. She was 40.

The French Ski Federation says Pomagalski died Tuesday. It did not specify the location of the avalanche but French and Swiss media reported that it took place on Gemsstock mountain in the Swiss canton of Uri.

Pomagalski competed in the parallel giant slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2006 Turin Games. She won gold in the snowboard cross at the world championships in 1999.