UNDATED (AP) — Brian Flores says his lawsuit against the NFL alleging racist hiring practices will continue even if he becomes a head coach again this offseason because the league needs change.
Flores has interviewed with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints for their coaching vacancies. If they call, Flores says he will listen, but the suit will go on.
According to the lawsuit, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told Flores he would pay him $100,000 for every loss during the coach’s first season because he wanted the club to “tank” so it could get the draft’s top pick. The lawsuit alleges that Ross also pressured Flores to recruit a prominent quarterback in violation of the league’s tampering rules. It says that when Flores refused, he was portrayed as an “angry Black man” who is difficult to work with and was derided until he was fired.
Flores was fired last month after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years.
In other NFL news:
— Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Teryl Austin says the NFL needs to keep finding opportunities for coaches of color. Austin, who is Black, says he has been interviewed for an NFL head coaching vacancy 11 times and has yet to be hired. Austin is one of several Black coaches named in a lawsuit filed by former Miami head coach Brian Flores alleging racist hiring practices in the league.
— Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said the club remains “in the middle” of its coaching search after interviewing three candidates whom Loomis described as “all very impressive.” Loomis says former Dolphins coach Brian Flores “had a great interview” this week. The Saints also have interviewed former Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson and Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Loomis says the Saints plan to interview more candidates including New Orleans defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Saints special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi. The job came open when Sean Payton stepped down last week.
— The Cleveland Browns says suggestions by former coach Hue Jackson that he was paid by the team to lose games are “completely fabricated.” Jackson, who is now coaching at Grambling, made several posts on Twitter inferring that he received bonus payments from Browns owner Jimmy Haslam during his two-plus seasons with the team. Jackson was fired eight games into the 2018 season. He went 3-36-1 with Cleveland, losing all 16 games in 2017.
— The Chicago Bears have hired Alan Williams as defensive coordinator under new coach Matt Eberflus. Williams spent the past four seasons as the Colts safeties coach while Eberflus was their defensive coordinator. Williams has 30 years of coaching experience, including 21 in the NFL. The Bears also added Dave Borgonzi and Chris Morgan to their staff today.
— Mike Macdonald was hired as Baltimore’s new defensive coordinator after a year at Michigan. Macdonald replaces Don Martindale, who was fired after four seasons. Macdonald started his career as an intern with the Ravens and spent seven years in Baltimore, serving most recently as the linebackers coach from 2018-20.
— Washington’s NFL team is now called the Commanders. Washington joins Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians among North American major professional sports teams abandoning names linked to Native Americans. The Commanders are keeping the same burgundy and gold colors that were around for the three Super Bowl championships in the 1980s and early ’90s glory days.
— A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty after posing as a former New England Patriots player in order to buy and sell Super Bowl rings that he claimed were gifts to Tom Brady’s family. Prosecutors say in 2017, Scott Spina Jr. bought a Patriots’ 2016 Super Bowl championship ring from a player who then left the team. Spina sold it and used the player’s information to contact the ring company and buy three more with “Brady” engraved on them, saying they were gifts for Brady’s baby. Prosecutors say Spina then sold the rings to an auction house for $100,000.
— The biggest challenge at the Super Bowl might not be on the field. Los Angeles-area officials are urging fans to follow strict mask rules throughout the outdoor game on Feb. 13, and to keep them in place except for eating or drinking. They acknowledged it will come down to personal responsibility, since there is no way to police 70,000 cheering fans at football’s crowning game.
COLLEGE SPORTS NEWS
Recruiting wars: A&M’s Fisher says rumors are ‘garbage’
UNDATED (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher is angry about rumors that booster-funded NIL deals are fueling the Aggies’ recruiting success. He called the speculation “garbage.” Texas A&M came into the day with the top-rated class in the country, ahead of Southeastern Conference rivals Alabama and Georgia. Fisher says rumors of huge cash payouts were insulting to the players and his staff and he called rival coaches who perpetuated them “clown acts.”
In other college sports news:
— Tennessee State’s president says Jackson State’s decision to withdraw from the Southern Heritage Classic “insensitive and irresponsible.” President Glenda Glover said that Tennessee State learned of Jackson State’s decision through a national scheduler. Glover says it’s even more disappointing that there was no discussion or courtesy call with three years left on the current contract. The Southern Heritage Classic has been played in Memphis at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium since 1990.
— Jim Harbaugh will stay at Michigan after all. He has ended his dalliance with a return to the NFL after interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings for their head coach vacancy. Harbaugh withdrew from consideration and will be back at his alma mater for an eighth season.
Ovechkin to miss All-Star Game after entering protocols
UNDATED (AP) — Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin oh-VECH’-kin will miss the NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas on Saturday after entering the league’s COVID-19 protocols Wednesday. Ovechkin was going to play in his eighth All-Star Game. He’s tied for third in the NHL with 29 goals and is fourth on the career list with 759. Ovechkin will be replaced on the Metropolitan Division roster by his teammate, forward Tom Wilson, who’ll be in his first All-Star Game. Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov (ehv-GEH’-nee (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) ) is in his second All-Star Game.
In other NHL news:
— NHL players and coaches are welcoming the more lenient COVID-19 protocols announced earlier this week. The league and players’ union agreed to drop daily testing requirements for fully vaccinated players, citing a “declining positivity rate” in virus cases.
NCAA earns $1.15B in 2021 as revenue returns to normal
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA generated more than $1.15 billion in revenue in 2021, returning to normal after the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament because of the pandemic in 2020 cost the association and its member schools $800 million.
Most NCAA revenue comes from its contract with CBS and Turner for the rights to televise the men’s Division I basketball tournament.
The majority of the revenue is distributed back to its more than 1,200 member schools. The 350 Division I schools that can participate in the basketball tournament earn the bulk of it, mostly through shared payouts to conferences.
COVID knocks Meyers Taylor out of Olympic flagbearer duty
BEIJING (AP) — Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, who was chosen to be a flagbearer for the U.S. Olympic team, won’t be able to attend the opening ceremony for the Winter Games because she’s in isolation after a positive COVID-19 test. She tested positive two days after arriving in Beijing and asymptomatic and in isolation.
Speed skater Brittany Bowe will take Meyers Taylor’s place in Friday’s ceremony. She will be joined by John Shuster, who will become the first curler to carry the American flag in an opening ceremony.
In other Olympics news:
— The three-day torch relay for the Beijing Olympics has started with an 80-year-old former speedskater carrying the flame. Luo Zhihuan ran the first leg. He is the country’s first internationally competitive speedskater. The torch will be carried through the three Olympics zones, starting with downtown Beijing.
— Competition at the Beijing Olympics began Wednesday with four curling stones sliding down sheets of ice in the venue where Michael Phelps won a record eight swimming gold medals at the Summer Olympics 14 years ago. Curling is being held on four sheets of ice at the Ice Cube, which was converted from the Water Cube, the swimming and diving venue for the 2008 Summer Games.
— Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans is now in isolation at the Olympic villages. Belgian Olympic officials and the International Olympic Committee intervened and she was brought to the Village after she posted a tearful social media post saying she had been in isolation elsewhere and wasn’t transferred to the Olympic village. She was taken elsewhere for further isolation instead. She still needs seven days of testing before she can be released from an isolation wing in the Olympic village.
— The athletes at the Beijing Olympics will have to contend with the daily collection of coronavirus samples as well as the usual doping tests. The 2,900 or so competitors at the Winter Games have to make themselves available for unannounced doping control visits and that puts them at greater risk of catching COVID-19 and possibly ruling them out of their event. The agency that oversees sample collection at the Olympics says the daily virus tests add extra psychological weight and uncertainty.
— Most of NBC’s announcers for the Winter Olympics in Beijing are going to be stationed stateside. NBC isn’t alone in keeping its announcers home. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has almost all its analysts and announcers working out of studios in Toronto and Montreal. The British Broadcasting Corporation is keeping announcers at studios outside London. The only major network sending a large contingent to Beijing is Australia’s Seven Network.
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