Monday Sports in Brief

August 16, 2022 GMT

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama is No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 for the second straight season. That is also the ninth time overall, second most in poll history.

The Crimson Tide received 54 of 63 first-place votes for the poll released Monday.

Ohio State is No. 2 with six first-place votes. Defending national champion Georgia is third with three first-place votes. Clemson is No. 4 and Notre Dame rounds out the top five.

The Tide’s preseason No. 1 ranking is the seventh in 15 years. Since the preseason rankings started in 1950, only Oklahoma has been No. 1 in the initial poll more than Alabama.

MLB

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers fired fourth-year manager Chris Woodward on Monday, a move made in hopes of building momentum toward next year, when the team has long expected to win again after a seasons-long rebuilding effort.

The Rangers are on pace for their sixth consecutive losing season since their last AL West title in 2016. While better than last year’s 102-loss team, they haven’t made the desired progress this year, or even had a winning record at any point since spending a half-billion dollars last winter to sign shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien.

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Texas was 51-63 after finishing a series win at home over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, and won back-to-back games for only the third time since the start of July. After peaking at 24-24 at the end of May, Texas lost its next three games and five of six. The Rangers are 6-24 in one-run games.

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers settled the grievance he filed to recoup a portion of last season’s salary, a person with knowledge of the details said Monday.

Simmons was seeking a portion of the nearly $20 million that was withheld after he refused to suit up for the 76ers last season. He was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets in February for a package headlined by James Harden.

The person confirmed the settlement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms were to remain confidential. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

— By AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston.

GOLF

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — British Open champion Cameron Smith pulled out of the BMW Championship on Monday with what his manager described as a “hip discomfort” that Smith had been feeling the last few months.

Smith is No. 3 in the FedEx Cup, assured of a spot in the Tour Championship next week in Atlanta, though the withdrawal will mean he starts at least three shots behind when the FedEx Cup finale begin.

“He has been dealing with some on and off hip discomfort for several months and thought it best he rest this week in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup,” Bud Martin, his agent at Wasserman, said in a statement.

WNBA

MOSCOW (AP) — Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner have filed an appeal of her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, Russian news agencies reported Monday, amid talks between the U.S. and Russia that could lead to a high-profile prisoner swap.

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Griner, an eight-time all-star center with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Griner admitted that she had the canisters in her luggage, but said she had inadvertently packed them in haste and that she had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented written statements that she had been prescribed cannabis to treat pain.

Lawyer Maria Blagovolina was quoted by Russian news agencies on Monday as saying the appeal was filed, as was expected, but the grounds for it weren’t immediately clear.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Liz Cambage announced on social media Monday that she decided to step away from the WNBA “for the time being,” addressing for the first time her contract divorce from the Los Angeles Sparks last month.

The Sparks were in the hunt for a playoff spot when Cambage left the team on July 26. The team lost eight of their final nine games and finished out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Los Angeles had traded away its first-round pick for the 2023 draft, meaning it won’t benefit from missing the playoffs.

Internationally, Cambage had competed for Australia, helping the team win a bronze medal in 2012. But she withdrew from playing with the Opals shortly before the Tokyo Games last summer, citing her mental health. A few days before that, Cambage had been accused of using a racial slur towards a Nigerian national team player in a closed scrimmage. Cambage denied those allegations.

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Cambage averaged 13 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Sparks in 25 games this season after signing as a free agent in the offseason.

SOCCER

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA suspended India’s national soccer federation late Monday “due to undue influence from third parties,” the sport’s governing body said.

The suspension of the All India Football Federation threatens the country’s hosting of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup scheduled for Oct. 11-30.

FIFA said the suspension was effective immediately and that the transgression “constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.”

The Under-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot currently be held in India as planned,” FIFA said.

BOXING

Four-time world champion Adrien Broner withdrew Monday from his nationally televised fight against Omar Figueroa on Saturday night, citing mental health.

Broner announced his decision on Instagram, apologizing to his fans and asking for prayers. He said mental health is real and that “I’ve watched a lot of people die playing with they boxing career and that is something I won’t do ...”

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Showtime was scheduled to air the fight from Hollywood, Florida.

OBITUARY

Pete Carril, the rumpled, cigar-smoking basketball coach who led Princeton to 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, where his teams unnerved formidable opponents and rattled March Madness with old-school fundamentals, died Monday. He was 92.

Princeton released a statement from Carril’s family, which said he died “peacefully this morning.” It did not give a cause of death.

Carril, a Hall of Famer, schooled his teams in a distinct and throwback brand of ball — the Princeton offense, a game marked by patience, intelligence, constant motion, quick passing and backdoor cuts that often ended in layups.

During Carril’s 29 seasons as the Tigers’ coach, the system worked splendidly. His teams won 13 Ivy League titles and posted a 514-261 record without the benefit of scholarship players.

He guided Princeton to the National Invitation Tournament championship in 1975 and was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Steve Worster, the powerful fullback in a bruising wishbone offense that led Texas to the undisputed national championship in 1969 and the brink of another a year later, died Saturday. He was 73.

The Texas athletic department announced the death, for which no cause was given.

Known to Longhorns fans as “Woo-Woo” Worster, he rushed for 2,353 yards and 36 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry from 1968-1970. Texas won three Southwest Conference titles with a 30-2-1 record over that span.

Worster was a consensus All-American in 1970 and finished fourth on the Heisman Trophy ballot that season. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1971 but never played in the NFL.

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