Friday's Sports In Brief
LAS CRUCES, N.N. — New Mexico State has suspended operations of its men’s basketball program and placed its coaching staff on paid administrative leave due to allegations unrelated to a fatal shooting last year.
The school said in a statement the new allegations involved potential violations of university policy and were separate from the Nov. 19 shooting of a student from a rival school. Aggies power forward Mike Peake was suspended in early December while a third-party investigator looks into his possible involvement in the shooting.
New Mexico State’s game against California Baptist on Saturday was canceled.
The New Mexico State University Board of Regent issued a statement in support of the decision for the program to suspend operations.
Peake, 21, has not been charged in the pre-dawn shooting on the University of New Mexico’s campus in Albuquerque hours before the host Lobos were to play the Aggies. That game was canceled, along with the Dec. 3 rematch in Las Cruces.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Southeastern Conference is fining Vanderbilt $250,000 for fans rushing the court after the Commodores upset No. 6 Tennessee on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The league announced the fine for violating the SEC policy limiting access to the competition area. This is Vanderbilt’s fourth offense and second in three months. Vanderbilt also was docked $250,000 in November for fans coming onto the field following a 31-24 win over Florida on Nov. 19.
Teammates mobbed Tyrin Lawrence after his 3-pointer from the right corner in front of the Vanderbilt bench snapped an 11-game skid to in-state rival Tennessee with a 66-65 victory Wednesday night, the biggest win yet of coach Jerry Stackhouse’s four-year tenure. Students and other fans quickly ran onto the court to celebrate.
NEW YORK — The on-again, off-again Super Bowl interview between President Joe Biden and a Fox Corp. streaming service appears to be off again.
A White House official said that it was “inaccurate” to say the interview had been rescheduled, contradicting a Fox Corp. spokesperson who said earlier in the day that it was happening.
The statement appeared to signal the definitive end of a pingpong saga over whether Biden would sit down with Fox interviewers ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Presidents traditionally grant an interview to the network that’s broadcasting the football game — in this case, Fox.
However, this year negotiations broke down.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers are bringing back more familiar faces.
The Panthers announced that Dom Capers, who served as the team’s first head coach from 1995-98, has been added to new coach Frank Reich’s staff as a senior defensive assistant. Capers coached Reich in 1995 when the Panthers broke into the league as an expansion team.
The team has also hired Josh McCown, who spent two seasons as a Panthers quarterback, as their new quarterbacks coach, and Peter Hansen as the their linebackers coach. Hansen worked last season with the Denver Broncos under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
The 72-year-old Capers brings a wealth of experience to Reich’s staff.
He earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1996, leading the Panthers to a 12-4 record and a trip to the NFC championship. He was fired after four seasons, and went on to coach another expansion team, the Houston Texans.
NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas was fined $40,000 by the NBA for using derogatory and disparaging language during a live television interview.
Thomas was being interviewed along with Spencer Dinwiddie on TNT after the Nets’ 116-105 victory over Chicago on Thursday night. He was asked about Dinwiddie’s joke that he and Dorian Finney-Smith, who came together from Dallas in the trade for Kyrie Irving, helped make the Nets a better-looking team.
Thomas laughingly responded with a gay slur.
The 21-year-old guard, who before Thursday had become the youngest player in league history with three straight 40-point games, apologized after the game on social media.
NEW YORK — Toronto forward Pascal Siakam, Minnesota guard Anthony Edwards and Sacramento guard De’Aaron Fox have been added to the player pool for the All-Star Game as injury replacements.
Commissioner Adam Silver’s office announced the picks after they were first reported by ESPN.
Siakam, Edwards and Fox replace Golden State’s Stephen Curry, New Orleans’ Zion Williamson and Phoenix’s Kevin Durant — all of whom are injured and will be unable to play in the Feb. 19 game at Salt Lake City.
It’s the second All-Star selection for Siakam, and the first for Edwards and Fox.
Curry, Williamson and Durant were all selected as starters for the game. Those starting spots will now go to Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Utah’s Lauri Markkanen and Memphis’ Ja Morant, the NBA said.
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam are in talks to buy a minority stake in the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The Haslams, who have explored buying other pro teams in the past, are seeking the 25% share currently held by Marc Lasry, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
There is no timeline for an agreement or sale, the person said. Sportico was first to report the Haslam Sports Group’s interest in the Bucks.
Lasry and Wesley Edens, both New York investment firm executives, bought the Bucks from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl for about $550 million in 2014 with pledges to keep the team in Milwaukee.
The Haslams bought the Browns in 2012, also own the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and have been interested in expanding their pro sports portfolio outside Ohio.
The Haslams previously approached the Minnesota Timberwolves about buying them.
ZURICH — It’s Lionel Messi vs. Kylian Mbappé again, this time for the FIFA Best Men’s Player award for 2022.
Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain and France’s superstar forward head the three-player shortlist announced by FIFA, eight weeks after leading their teams in an epic final in Qatar.
Karim Benzema completed the top three in the voting by a global panel of national team captains and coaches plus selected journalist in each of FIFA’s 211 member countries, as well as fans voting online.
In the Best Women’s Player award, Beth Mead of England, Alex Morgan of the United States and Spain’s Alexia Putellas were on the shortlist voted for by a separate global voting panel.
The winners will be announced at a Feb. 27 ceremony in Paris.
DALLAS — J.J. Wolf rallied for a three-set victory over No. 2 seed Frances Tiafoe, and John Isner won his 500th career tiebreaker in another straight-sets win in the quarterfinals of the Dallas Open.
Top-seeded Taylor Fritz held on to beat No. 7 seed Marcos Giron 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3 in a rematch from the quarterfinals of the inaugural Dallas event last year, when Giron won in three sets to set up the first all-American semifinals on the ATP Tour since 2004.
There wasn’t a chance for a replay of four U.S. semifinalists in Dallas, with China’s Yibing Wu facing eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of Italy in the last quarterfinal. Wu rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 victory and will face Fritz.
Wolf, the No. 6 seed, reached his second career semifinal by erasing two break points in the deciding game of another all-American match, closing out the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win with his 11th ace on his second match point.