Friday sports in brief | AP News

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GENERAL

The push for booster shots isn’t an immediate priority in most of the top sports leagues in North America, even with the delta and omicron variants spreading.

The NFL and NHL currently have no plans to follow the NBA’s lead and require players, coaches and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster to be considered fully vaccinated according to protocols. the league – although cases continue to arise.

Five NHL games have been postponed so far this season, with two teams briefly shut down to quell outbreaks, and high profile vaccinated stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Roethlisberger have missed the action after testing positive. We are a long way from 2020 when the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball have rescheduled dozens of games, but the pandemic is still proving disruptive.

Rather, NFL and NHL officials are touting current vaccination rates above 90% as the reason the virus cases so far have been largely mild or asymptomatic. MLB is in a lockdown that has cut off contact with players, but even before that there was no vaccine mandate or roadmap for adding boosters.

PRO HOCKEY

Speaking after the Florida Board of Governors meeting, Commissioner Gary Bettman, the league will continue to honor its commitment to give players the opportunity to participate in the February Olympics.

But there is still no clarity on what happens if an NHL player tests positive for COVID-19 in China, including the length of a potential quarantine and whether the individual will be allowed to leave the hospital. country during this period. Any significant disruption to the NHL schedule could also change the league’s thinking about the Olympics.

“We made a promise,” Bettman said at a press conference at the Palm Beach Water Resort & Spa following the first face-to-face board meeting since 2019. “It doesn’t. is not as if we haven’t voiced our concerns. But in the final analysis, subject to some caveats, with all the issues that come up … gamers, for the most part, seem to keep saying they want there. go.

The league made this promise to the NHL Players Association when the extension of the current collective agreement was signed ahead of the 2019-20 season delayed by the pandemic. The two sides then signed an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation on the Games in September.

COLLECTIVE FOOTBALL

Jim Harbaugh of Michigan is the Associated Press college football coach after leading the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title in 17 years and a place in the college football playoffs.

Harbaugh is the first Michigan coach to win the Regions Bank AP Coach of the Year award, and the first of the Big Ten since Joe Paterno of Penn State in 2005.

He received 22 of 53 first-place votes and 103 points from a panel of AP Top 25 voters to finish ahead of Luke Fickell of Cincinnati, who had 16 first-place votes and 88 points.

Dave Aranda of Baylor was third and Mel Tucker of Michigan State was fourth. Kirby Smart of Georgia was fifth with a first place vote and Blake Anderson of Utah State was sixth, receiving three first place votes.

NO DATE (AP) – Duke looks to Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko to straighten his football schedule after a two-year slump and a winless record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The school announced Elko’s hiring on Friday night, ending a nearly two-week process to hire David Cutcliffe’s replacement. The school announced on November 28 that Cutcliffe would not return after the league’s first winless mark in his 14 seasons. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Duke had made a deal with Elko.

Elko, 44, has spent the past four seasons as a defensive coordinator and safety coach at Texas A&M, he has also worked as a coordinator at Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Bowling Green for the past decade. This will be his first job as a head coach at the university.

In a statement, athletic director Nina King said Elko had “an innovative football spirit and a natural ability to connect with the players and coaches around him.”

GRAMBLING, Louisiana (AP) – Former Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson takes over as coach of Grambling’s legendary football program.

Jackson, who spent this season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Tennessee State, is filling the vacancy created when Grambling sacked eighth-year coach Broderick Fobbs last month.

“Hue is a professional and winner in all walks of life and a mentor to some of the best professional football players in the NFL,” said athletic director Traveon Scott.

Jackson spent 18 years in the NFL as a head coach or assistant with Washington, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Baltimore, the Raiders (who later moved to Las Vegas) and Cleveland. Prior to that, he spent approximately a decade on staff at three Pac-12 programs (Arizona State, California, and Southern California).

Grambling, a historically black college where football rose to fame under the direction of College Football Hall of Fame Eddie Robinson Jr., won 25 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.

WACO, TX (AP) – Dave Campbell, founder of the Texas Football preview magazine that has become a staple in this football-mad state, has passed away. He was 96 years old.

Campbell died at his home in Waco, said Greg Tepper, editor of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

Known as “the bible of Texan football,” the magazine was started by Campbell in 1960, seven years after he became sports editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Campbell held both roles for 25 years before selling the magazine and became synonymous with Baylor coverage in her role with the Waco newspaper. Baylor’s McLane Stadium press box bears his name and he maintained a presence at sporting events until his death. Campbell retired from the newspaper in 1993.

While the magazine began as a comprehensive guide to former Southwestern Conference and high school teams, it has grown to become the primary source for coverage of preparations in the state.

NON DATE (AP) – The racial gap in graduation rates for this year’s bowl teams in college football has narrowed, with a study highlighting the gains of black athletes for pushing that improvement.

The study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida found that the overall graduate success rate (GSR) for bowl-related teams had increased to 81 , 3%, compared to 78% for 2020. Yet the racial gap has narrowed as the average GSR for black athletes fell from 73.4% in 2020 to 78% this year, while white athletes remained stable at 89.7%.

The 11.7 percentage point gap was down from a 16.3 point gap in 2020.


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