Wednesday Sports in Brief

May 19, 2022 GMT

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban called out Texas A&M on Wednesday, saying the school was “buying” players with name, image and likeness deals.

The Aggies signed the top recruiting class in the country earlier this year.

While speaking at an event in Birmingham, Alabama, Saban also mentioned Jackson State and Miami as schools that have used NIL deals to lure players.

Jackson State coach Deion Sanders responded by calling Saban’s comments about a $1 million NIL deal for a highly touted recruit a lie.

Saban said Alabama players earned more than $3 million from sponsorship and endorsement deals “the right way.”

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Pac-12 announced Wednesday it was scrapping its divisional format for the upcoming football season moments after the NCAA Division I Council tossed out requirements that dictate how conferences can determine a champion.

The Pac-12 will now pair the teams with the highest conference winning percentages in its title game after 11 seasons of matching winners of the North and South divisions.

Other conferences are expected to follow, most notably the 14-team Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC is looking to implement a new scheduling model as soon as 2023.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State is hiking Ryan Day’s annual salary to $9.5 million as part of a two-year contract extension that will put him among the nation’s highest-paid college football coaches.

Day’s raise makes him the latest coach to crack $9 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid coaches along with Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and putting his contract in line with recent deals given to Michigan State’s Mel Tucker and LSU’s Brian Kelly.

The extension, which was to get formal approval by university trustees on Wednesday, bumps up the 43-year-old Day’s total salary package about $2 million annually and would keep him in Columbus at least through the 2028 season.

SOCCER

The U.S. Soccer Federation reached milestone agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes matching money.

The federation on Wednesday announced separate collective bargaining agreements through December 2028 with the unions for both national teams, ending years of often acrimonious negotiations.

The deals grew partly out of a push by players on the more successful women’s team, including stars like Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who were at the forefront of the gender equity fight while leading the team to a Women’s World Cup championship in 2019. The struggle became so much a part of the team’s story that chants of “Equal pay! Equal pay!” rose from the crowd as U.S. players celebrated winning the title in France.

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Eintracht Frankfurt’s 42-year wait for a European title ended Wednesday with a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Rangers in the Europa League final.

Rafael Borré converted the decisive penalty kick after Kevin Trapp saved Aaron Ramsey’s shot, giving the German club its first European trophy since the 1980 UEFA Cup, a predecessor to the Europa League.

The win also secures a first appearance in the Champions League next season for Frankfurt.

The match ended 1-1 after regulation and extra time.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Mets ace Max Scherzer removed himself from a start Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals with discomfort in his left side.

He will have an MRI on Thursday, the team said.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner exited with two outs in the sixth inning and a 1-1 count on Albert Pujols. With two runners on, Scherzer threw a slider in the dirt and immediately signaled to the New York bench that he was done.

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Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, manager Buck Showalter and a trainer came out of the dugout to visit Scherzer on the mound. After a quick discussion, the 37-year-old right-hander walked off the field.

GOLF

TULSA, OKla. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau withdrew from the PGA Championship on Wednesday after practicing for two days at Southern Hills to test his surgically repaired left wrist.

The former U.S. Open champion practiced with a wrap that extended several inches up his left forearm. He tweeted Tuesday it had “held up nicely” after his initial practice round.

The 28-year-old had surgery to repair the hamate bone in his wrist on April 14, a procedure that was expected to sideline him for up to two months. He removed his cast and bandages more than a week ago, and teased an early return when he posted an online video of himself hitting a driver.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, Cleveland forward Evan Mobley and Detroit guard Cade Cunningham were unanimously voted Wednesday to the NBA All-Rookie first team.

Orlando’s Franz Wagner and Houston’s Jalen Green were the other players chosen for the first team by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.

Barnes, the No. 4 pick by the Toronto Raptors, edged Mobley for the Rookie of the Year in the smallest margin under the current format that began in 2002-03.

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CFL

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian Football League and its players’ union have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract, ending the second strike in CFL history, the league said Wednesday night.

The contract must be ratified by both the CFL board of governors and the CFL Players’ Association, but the expectation is players will report to their teams Thursday and go through a walkthrough.

The CFLPA said in a memo to its membership that the strike is over.

AUTO RACING

LONDON (AP) — Formula One has decided against replacing the Russian Grand Prix, which had earlier been canceled following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The announcement Wednesday reduced the current season from a record 23 races to 22, the same total as last year.

The Sochi race, originally scheduled for Sept. 25, had been pulled from the calendar a day after Russia invaded Ukraine.

GYMNASTICS

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has been given a one-year ban for displaying a symbol on his uniform supporting the invasion of Ukraine.

Kuliak had taped the “Z” symbol — seen on Russian tanks and military vehicles in Ukraine and embraced by supporters of the war — to his vest for a medal ceremony at a World Cup event in March.

Along with the ban, Kuliak must return the bronze medal he won in parallel bars, the International Gymnastics Federation said.

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