Update on the latest sports



UNDATED (AP) — Phillip Evans kept Akil Baddoo’s drive to left field in the park in the seventh inning to help Pittsburgh escape a jam, and the Pirates scored twice in the eighth to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2. Colin Moran and Erik González hit RBI singles with two outs in the eighth. With the score tied at 2, Baddoo nearly put the Tigers ahead, but Evans reached above the fence in left, and the ball bounced off his glove and back into the field of play.


NCAA tweaks college football OT format to shorten games

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College football teams will have to go for 2 after touchdowns starting with the second overtime possession, and beginning in the third round each team will get one play to score from the 3-yard line.

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel approved a proposal made last month by the playing rules committee to tweak the overtime format. The new rule will have teams run alternating 2-point plays in the third overtime instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. The 2-point shootout currently starts in the fifth overtime.


Loyola Chicago star Krutwig is turning pro

UNDATED (AP) — Loyola Chicago star Cameron Krutwig says he has decided to turn pro and forgo his final year of eligibility. Krutwig helped the Ramblers reach the Final Four as a freshman and return to the Sweet 16 as a senior this year.

He announced his decision today in a YouTube video, saying it was time to move on. He had one more year of eligibility due to NCAA rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Krutwig is the second major departure for Loyola since a loss to Oregon State in the Midwest Region semifinals. Coach Porter Moser left for Oklahoma and assistant Drew Valentine was promoted to replace him.

In other college basketball news:

— Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter has hired Terry Johnson as the Boilermakers new assistant coach. Johnson joins Painter’s revamped staff after spending the past four seasons at Ohio State. Painter lost his top two assistants, Micah Shrewsberry and Steve Lutz, who each accepted head coaching jobs.

— Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton has added former Creighton assistant Terrence Rencher to his staff. Rencher helped Creighton win the Big East regular season title in 2020 and advance to the Sweet 16 this past season. The Bluejays went 46-16 in his two seasons in Omaha. Rencher is the University of Texas’ all-time leader in scoring and steals and played basketball professionally from 1995 to 2006 in the NBA, CBA and in Europe.


West Virginia coach Neal Brown gets 2-year extension

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (AP) — West Virginia coach Neal Brown has received a two-year contract extension through the 2026 season. Brown has coached the Mountaineers to an 11-11 record in his first two seasons, including a 6-4 mark in 2020. He had four years remaining on his original contract signed in January 2019. Brown’s annual compensation, including base salary and supplemental compensation, will average $3.98 million over the length of the new six-year deal. His previous contract averaged about $3.2 million. Athletic director Shane Lyons says he’s pleased with the upward trajectory of the program and its culture under Brown.


Kansas governor vetoes ban; North Dakota House overrides veto

UNDATED (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a measure that would have banned transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s school sports.

The Democratic governor’s action Thursday thwarted an effort by conservative Republican lawmakers to make Kansas the latest state with a GOP-controlled legislature to enact such a ban, with more than 20 considering it.

Meanwhile, North Dakota’s House has voted to override Gov. Doug Burgum’s veto of a bill restricting transgender girls from participating in public elementary and secondary school sports. The Republican governor argued that the legislation endorsed by the GOP-led Legislature attempts to address a problem that does not exist.


Olympic athletes promised legal support if they protest

UNDATED (AP) — Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges by the World Players Association and Athleten Deutschland came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

Raising a fist or kneeling for a national anthem could lead to punishment from the IOC. The Olympic body’s legal commission is expected to clarify what kind of punishment before this year’s games, which open on July 23.

While the IOC said cases would each be judged on merits, athletes who follow the iconic salutes by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics still could be sent home.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee inducted Smith and Carlos into its Hall of Fame in 2019. It pledged in December not to take action against athletes protesting at their Olympic trials for Tokyo.

In other news related to the Olympics:

— Russian gold medalists at the Tokyo Olympics are set to hear music by Tchaikovsky as the replacement for their national anthem to comply with a punishment for state-backed doping. The International Olympic Committee says it approved Piano Concerto No. 1 by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. It should be used at the Tokyo Games this year and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

— Tokyo Olympics organizers say a policeman tested positive for COVID-19 a day after his assignment last week at the Olympic torch relay. It is the first positive test connected to the relay since it began March 25 from northeastern Fukushima prefecture.

— A competitive virtual sports event has been launched by the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic Virtual Series will include five sports: baseball, cycling, auto racing, rowing and sailing. It will start May 13 and finish on June 23. The Tokyo Olympics open on July 23.