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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 09, 2018 4:25 am

Thursday's Sports in Brief

By The Associated Press

OLYMPICS

DENVER (AP) A growing sex-abuse problem in Olympic sports has led to a steady stream of Congressional hearings and a three-year grant worth $2.2 million.

Yet not a penny of those federal funds can be used to fight the actual problem: investigating or resolving more than 800 open cases, many brought by victims themselves.

That leaves an ever-growing backlog for the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the organization that opened 20 months ago to investigate sex-abuse complaints in Olympic sports.

Shellie Pfohl, the head of the center, says nobody made her aware of the flaw in the funding program until after directions had been delivered about how to apply for the money.

BASEBALL

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) Major League Baseball and its players' union likely will not decide until the eve of spring training whether to change rules in an effort to increase action on the field next year.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said Thursday as the annual general managers' meetings ended that there was no consensus for change yet. More discussions will take place when owners gather next week in Atlanta, the union's executive board convenes in late November and major league executives go to Las Vegas for the winter meetings in mid-December.

Topics being discussed include the increased use of defensive shifts, the decrease in innings thrown by starting pitchers and technology that aids sign stealing. A possible 20-second pitch clock and alterations to rules for waivers, trade deadlines and disabled lists also are being talked about by a tradition-bound sport resistant to change.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Aside from that fearsome left-handed swing everybody knew, Willie McCovey provided an example of humility in how he lived for many of his San Francisco Giants teammates year after year.

"McCovey was our leader," Gaylord Perry said as his fellow Hall of Famer was remembered in a celebration of his life Thursday at AT&T Park.

McCovey died Oct. 31 at age 80 after suffering from ongoing health issues.

Hall of Famers, former teammates and winners of the Willie Mac Award named for him attended on a picture-perfect day. McCovey's 44 was written into the infield dirt next to his position at first base.

The San Francisco Fire Department paid tribute with a spraying show from a boat in his namesake McCovey Cove in the bay beyond the right-field arcade. Bouquets of flowers were left on McCovey's statue across the water.

PRO FOOTBALL

PITTSBURGH (AP) Police say Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was stopped for speeding over 100 mph in his Porsche, just hours before the team's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Ross Township police tell WPXI-TV that an officer was searching for a bank robbery suspect Thursday when a black Porsche sped by.

The officer pulled the car over and the driver was identified as Brown.

He was cited for reckless driving.

The Steelers say they're aware of the situation and won't have further comment.

DETROIT (AP) Wally Triplett, the trailblazing running back who was one of the first African-Americans drafted by an NFL team, has died. He was 92.

The Detroit Lions and Penn State announced Triplett's death Thursday. Triplett was the third African-American selected in the 1949 draft, but he was the first of those draftees to play in a regular-season game. He played in 24 games for the Lions and Chicago Cardinals.

Triplett was also the first African-American to start for Penn State, and in 1948, he and teammate Dennie Hoggard became the first African-Americans to play in the Cotton Bowl.

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) The XFL says former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley has been hired as the league's senior vice president for football operations.

Whaley will report to commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck.

Whaley spent the majority of his career with the Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. He was with the Bills from 2010-17 in a variety of roles before his promotion to GM from 2013-17.

Before joining the Bills, Whaley spent 11 years with the Steelers as the team's pro scouting coordinator, where he won two Super Bowls.

Whaley is currently serving as the director of college recruiting for the NFL Players Association's Collegiate Bowl through the end of the year.

The XFL kicks off in early 2020.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

No. 3 Notre Dame will start quarterback Brandon Wimbush against Florida State on Saturday for Ian Book, who is nursing an undisclosed injury, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

Book is not expected to play after taking a hit to the back and ribs last week against Northwestern, according to the people who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement was made.

Book replaced Wimbush as the starter in the fourth game of the season for the Fighting Irish (9-0, No. 3 CFP). He is completing 74.5 percent of his passes, tops in the FBS, for 1,824 yards, with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. With Book starting, the Fighting Irish have averaged 38 points per game. They averaged 23.3 in Wimbush's three starts.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Walt Kowalczyk, a star halfback at Michigan State who finished third in the 1957 Heisman Trophy race, has died. He was 83.

Michigan State says Kowalczyk died Wednesday.

Nicknamed "The Sprinting Blacksmith," Kowalczyk helped the Spartans to top-three finishes in the AP poll for the 1955 and 1957 seasons. He was named MVP of the 1956 Rose Bowl.

Kowalczyk led the Spartans in rushing during the 1957 season and scored nine rushing touchdowns. He also ranked second in all-purpose yards. John David Crow of Texas A&M topped the Heisman vote that season, followed by Alex Karras and Kowalczyk.

Kowalczyk was drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958. He spent three seasons in the NFL, two with Philadelphia and one with Dallas, and finished his career in the AFL with Oakland in 1961.

NBA

MIAMI (AP) Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and his actress wife Gabrielle Union-Wade have a baby.

The couple on Thursday announced they've welcomed a baby girl into the world. The baby was born via a surrogate on Wednesday. It's the first child the couple has had together; the NBA guard has three sons and the couple is also raising one of his nephews.

Wade announced the birth on his social media channels, calling her "our miracle baby." The Wades did not immediately reveal the baby's name.

NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Bob Naegele Jr., the founding owner of the Minnesota Wild, has died of complications from cancer. He was 78.

The Wild said Naegele died Wednesday night with his family by his side. Players will wear a jersey patch with his initials for the remainder of the season.

Naegele was the lead investor in the expansion franchise that began play in 2000, eight seasons after the North Stars left Minnesota for Dallas. A star goalie at Minnetonka High School in the Twin Cities area, Naegele built his wealth through a billboard company started by his father and eventually moved to Florida.

In 2008, Naegele sold the club to Craig Leipold. Later that year, he was a winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy for service to the sport.

SOCCER

Jessica McDonald, making just her second appearance for the national team, scored in the 43rd minute and the U.S. women's national team reached its 500th victory with a 1-0 win over Portugal in Lisbon.

The U.S. national team is now 500-65-74 overall since its inception in 1985.

With the victory, the Americans remain undefeated this year at 17 wins and two ties. The team has an unbeaten streak of 27 games (24 wins, three ties) dating to a 1-0 loss to Australia in the Tournament of Nations.

The streak comes as the U.S. team prepares for the World Cup next year in France. The defending World Cup champions qualified for the tournament last month at the CONCACAF women's championship.

SWIMMING

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Prominent Australian swimming coach Scott Volkers has been committed to stand trial over historical child sex offenses.

Volkers appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday where it was deemed there was enough evidence for his matter to be heard by a jury in a higher court, the Australian Associated Press reported. He did not enter a plea.

He is accused of indecently dealing with two girls under the age of 16 in the 1980s. The five offenses were alleged to have occurred in Brisbane between 1984 and 1988.

Volkers was originally charged in 2002 but the charges were dropped. Authorities in Queensland state decided to re-prosecute the case following a royal commission into institutional reaction to child sex abuse cases.