Wizards

Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o are in position to make Heisman Trophy history.

Manziel, the redshirt freshman quarterback from Texas A&M, and Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker, along with Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, were invited Monday to attend the Heisman presentation ceremony.

Manziel is the favorite to win college football's most famous player of the year award on Saturday night in Manhattan. He would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school's only Heisman in 1957.

Te'o is trying to become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman. The Fighting Irish have seven Heisman winners, tied for the most with Ohio State and Southern California, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.

Klein would be the first player from Kansas State to win the Heisman.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Notre Dame star Manti Te'o just keeps winning.

The leader of the undefeated Fighting Irish found out Monday morning he had won the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker. Then he accepted the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player later in the day.

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - Kansas State's Collin Klein has won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation's top upperclassman quarterback.

Klein passed for 2,490 yards, ran for 890 and accounted for 37 touchdowns (22 rushing and 15 passing) for the No. 7 Wildcats (11-1).

The other finalists were Southern California's Matt Barkley, West Virginia's Geno Smith, Florida State's EJ Manuel and Alabama's AJ McCarron.

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - Arkansas assistant Paul Petrino was hired as the new head football coach at Idaho.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A study of the 70 schools selected for college football bowl games this season showed football teams maintained high recent academic progress, but the gap between African-American and white players persists.

The annual report released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport showed overall Graduation Success Rate improvement from 68 to 69 percent for football players at the bowl-bound schools.

Also, 97 percent of schools received a score higher than the target 925 (equal to an expected graduation rate of 50 percent) on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate. Teams with a four-year APR of 925 or below face penalties including loss of scholarships. A new APR standard of 930 started to take effect for the 2012-13 academic year, though it won't be fully in place until 2014-15.

PRO FOOTBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Friends and family of Jovan Belcher and his slain girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, tried to come to grips with the murder and suicide that took their lives this weekend. As they did, a portrait of the 25-year-old player began to emerge, that of a man devoted to his family, who cherished his daughter and loved football after making it to the NFL against long odds. Still, the question remained: What would drive him to gun down the mother of his baby girl and then take his own life?

Investigators were still searching for a motive behind Saturday's shootings.

Belcher shot the 22-year-old Perkins multiple times in a home not far from where he played, and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he was confronted by coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli. The two of them said they never felt in danger, and that Belcher thanked them for all they'd done for him. As police arrived, Belcher slipped behind a car and put the gun to his head.

Nobody from the Chiefs said that Belcher showed any signs of depression or other personal problems. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke to team doctors and coaches and, according to him, they said Belcher had no history of concussions.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jim Harbaugh watched how Colin Kaepernick handled himself when things didn't go right for the San Francisco 49ers, and that told the coach plenty more about his second-year quarterback with all of three NFL starts to his name.

Enough that Harbaugh is sticking with Kaepernick under center - for now, anyway - as his team gears up for Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Mark Sanchez was once the face of the franchise, the quarterback expected to lead the New York Jets to a long-awaited Super Bowl appearance.

There were lofty comparisons to Joe Namath just two years ago. Now, Sanchez might not even be the starter anymore.

Rex Ryan is in quite the quarterback quandary, undecided on whether it will be Sanchez, Greg McElroy or Tim Tebow under center Sunday at Jacksonville.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired in the latest shake-up for the sinking Philadelphia Eagles.

Coach Andy Reid dismissed the abrasive Washburn just hours after the team's eighth straight loss, 38-33 at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Former defensive line coach Tommy Brasher will replace Washburn.

BASEBALL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Alex Rodriguez will start the season in what's become a familiar place: the disabled list.

The New York Yankees said the third baseman will have surgery on his left hip, an injury that could sideline him until the All-Star break and may explain his spectacularly poor performance during the playoffs.

A 14-time All-Star and baseball's priciest player at $275 million, Rodriguez has a torn labrum, bone impingement and a cyst. He will need four to six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen the hip before surgery, and the team anticipates he will be sidelined four to six months after the operation.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - While waiting to find out whether there will be more talks with Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent reliever Joakim Soria and reached a deal to keep catcher Geovany Soto.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Adding offense following a disappointing season, the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a $39 million, three-year contract with catcher Mike Napoli, a person familiar with the deal said.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Giants and free-agent center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract as the winter meetings got under way in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A person familiar with the negotiations says first baseman James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to 6 1/2 months in prison for hiding baseball gloves and other heirlooms from his playing days that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing, capping a tumultuous year of legal woes.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson weighed Dykstra's battle with drugs and alcohol versus the crimes he committed and opted to give the ex-big leaguer a lenient prison term but saddled him with 500 hours of community service. He also ordered Dykstra to pay $200,000 in restitution.

Dykstra, 49, apologized for his actions and promised to turn his life around.

``I don't think I'm a bad person,'' said Dykstra, who was in handcuffs and wearing a white prison-issued jumpsuit. ``I made some bad decisions.''

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - With the lockout lingering into another week, the NHL labor talks are set to resume Tuesday with six owners and six players scheduled to meet while a couple of key figures remain on the sidelines of the negotiations.

The meeting will include the small group of owners and players, staff members and counsel on each side, but Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will not be present.

The NHL announced Sunday that owners Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) will take part in the talks for the league.

The union will announce its representatives on Tuesday.

GOLF

SYDNEY (AP) - Eight-time major winner Tom Watson says golf has no place at the Olympic Games.

Watson, who will play at the Australian Open this week for the first time since winning the tournament in 1984, told reporters that he doesn't support golf's return to the Olympics in 2016.

``I still think of Olympics as track and field and not golf to be honest with you,'' he said. ``I don't want to pour cold water on it, but I don't think it should be in the Olympic Games.''

Watson said golf has its four major championships, which remain its pinnacle events.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SOCCER

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - A Dutch man working as a linesman during his son's youth soccer match was beaten and kicked by several soccer players after the game and died the next day.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen collapsed and was rushed to the hospital hours after players from Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten punched and kicked him. Nieuwenhuizen's club, Buitenboys, said the 41-year-old linesman died Monday evening but did not announce the exact cause of death.

Three players, whose ages range from 15 to 16, were arrested for alleged involvement in the beating Sunday in the town of Almere.

TENNIS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Juan Ignacio Chela says he is retiring from professional tennis, leaving with six ATP singles titles and three in doubles - all on clay.

The 33-year-old Argentine has been hinting at retirement for weeks, and he announced it on his Twitter account.

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Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

The initiative to get Otto Porter Jr. more attempts from three this season is not off to a great start.

That right there is called an understatement. Because it would be one thing if Porter only took a couple of them, but he literally took zero against the Heat on Thursday night in the Wizards' 2018-19 regular season opener.

Yes, one of the NBA's best three-point shooters didn't even get off a single attempt from long range. That is simply hard to justify, especially after a preseason in which the team had a stated goal to shoot more threes than ever before.

It wasn't just threes. The often deferential Porter was even more gun shy than normal. He only took seven total shots in the 113-112 loss and topped out at just nine points.

Porter, in fact, had just one field goal attempt until there was 1:19 remaining in the first half, when he got two of them on the same play thanks to a rebound on his own miss.

Porter still affected the game in other ways, per usual. He had 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks and finished +1 in +/- rating.

But for Porter to reach the next level as a player, he has to add volume to his efficient scoring numbers.

"We will look at the film and figure it out," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's not like we go into the game wanting to only shoot 26 threes [as a team] and Otto shoot zero."

Brooks continued to say the problem is a combination of several things. More plays could be called for Porter and his teammates could look for him more often.

But ultimately, it's up to Porter to assert himself and take initiative. Granted, that may have been easier said than done against the Heat, who boast one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball in Josh Richardson. They are a scrappy team with athletic and hard-nosed defenders on the wing.

For Porter, though, that shouldn't matter. Ultimately, his share of the offense is up to him. The ball is going to swing around often enough for him to create his own opportunities.

Porter only taking seven shots is a bad sign considering Thursday was a better opportunity to get shots than he may receive in most games. The Wizards added Dwight Howard this summer and last season he averaged 11.2 shots per game, 3.4 more than Marcin Gortat, whom he replaced in the starting lineup.

It won't be easy, but the Wizards need Porter to take matters into his own hands.

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Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

The Caps looked like they were in good shape in the third period on Wednesday. With a 3-2 lead in the final frame against a New York Rangers team that had played the night before, Washington looked like they were starting to wear down the blue shirts and tilt the ice in their favor.

But everything changed just before the midway point of the period.

Nathan Walker, in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 4, chased down Neal Pionk behind the Rangers net as Pionk went to collect the puck. Walker put his arms around the Rangers’ defenseman to slow him up and he was called for holding.

“That was the safest thing possible for me to do is to wrap him up and take him in the corner like that,” Walker said to NBC Sports Washington on Friday. “Personally, I didn't think it was a good call on the ref's side, but that's the way it goes.”

Just over a minute later, Chris Kreider deflected a shot that was going wide past Braden Holtby for the power play goal to tie the game at 3.

A third period mistake that tied the game from a player in and out of the lineup could have been a devastating moment for Walker, but head coach Todd Reirden was adamant after the game that he did not want Walker to lose his aggressiveness or change the way he plays as a result of Wednesday’s mistake.

“I insert him to be aggressive and his intensity was something we needed,” Reirden said. “I thought he won a lot of puck battles earlier in the game and at different points. He's pursuing the puck trying to force a turnover and it ends up as a call against. That's I think a tough call in that situation, but we're able to pick him up and if there's a guy on our team that we want to rally around and try to come back for, it's someone like that with a work ethic and just commitment and dedication and how he is as a teammate.”

Luckily for Walker, the Caps were still able to get the win thanks to Matt Niskanen’s overtime goal. Those were nervous moments for him watching as the team tried to overcome his mistake.

“It's definitely nerve-wracking for sure,” Walker said. “You kind of feel like you're the reason why they got back into the game. I personally thought we were all over them in the third period up until they got that goal. I think we still played really well, but obviously the play with the lead is a lot nicer than playing tied up 10 minutes to go in the third. It was nerve-wracking, but it was good that the guys came through and we got the two points at the end of the day so that's the main thing.”

The fact that Walker’s mistake did not end up costing the team will make it easier for Reirden’s message to sink in. It’s his aggressiveness that makes him valuable. One mistake should not make him change that aspect of his game.

Said Reirden, “It's something that if he stops hunting pucks and creating havoc up ice then he's just a very average player that's going to find himself in and out of the league.”

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