LOS ANGELES (AP)The pilot who crashed the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, killing all nine aboard, made a series of poor decisions that led him to fly blindly into a wall of clouds where he became so disoriented he thought he was climbing when the craft was plunging toward a Southern California hillside, federal safety officials said Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board primarily blamed pilot Ara Zobayan in the Jan. 26, 2020 crash that killed him along with Bryant, the basketball star’s daughter and six other passengers heading to a girls basketball tournament.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball players, on-field staff and non-playing personnel who require access to them at ballparks must wear electronic tracing wristbands from the start of spring training and face discipline for violations.
Players will be encouraged to get vaccines but are not required to get them.
That was part of upgraded health protocols agreed to by Major League Baseball and the players’ association to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The 108-page operations manual, agreed to Monday night and obtained by The Associated Press, expands on the 101-page version used during the shortened 2020 season.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball has created a hotline for people not employed by the league or teams to report harassment or discrimination after New York Mets general manager Jared Porter and Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway were accused of sending lewd text messages to female reporters.
The league will also require anti-harassment and discrimination training for executives during spring training.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have surgery this week on the turf toe injury he suffered in the playoffs, likely sidelining him for the start of the offseason program but ensuring he’ll be ready well before training camp.
Mahomes met with coaches and trainers on Monday, one day after the Chiefs were beaten 31-9 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, and the decision was made to have surgery later in the week, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
-By AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta.
NEW YORK (AP) – The pandemic-era Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs reached the big game’s smallest television audience since 2006.
An estimated 92 million people tuned in across the country to watch the Bucs’ 31-9 victory, the Nielsen company said Tuesday. Add in a record number of people who streamed the game online and CBS said the total audience was 96.4 million.
That’s down from the 101.3 million people who watched the 2020 game between Kansas City and San Francisco. The New England-Seattle Super Bowl in 2015 was the most-watched game with 114.4 million viewers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Kansas City Chiefs outside linebackers coach Britt Reid, the son of head coach Andy Reid, has been placed on administrative leave during an investigation into a traffic crash that left two young children injured, one critically, the team announced Tuesday.
The team has said Britt Reid was involved in a multi-vehicle crash last Thursday near the team’s training complex next to Arrowhead Stadium. He did not travel with the team to the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.
Andy Reid said his son underwent surgery after the crash but few other details have been released.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Alex Tanney, who threw 15 passes in a nine-year NFL career, has retired.
The Giants announced the 33-year-old quarterback’s decision on Tuesday after three seasons with the team. His only appearance for New York was in Eli Manning’s final game in 2019, and he completed one pass.
After playing at Monmouth College in Illinois, Tanney entered the NFL as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. He also did stints with Dallas, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Tennessee (twice), Buffalo and Indianapolis before signing with the Giants on May 2, 2018.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired former rival Ron Hextall as the team’s new general manager.
Hextall played goaltender for 11 seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers and later served as the team’s general manager.
Hextall replaces Hall of Famer Jim Rutherford, who resigned abruptly last month. The Penguins also hired longtime NHL executive Brian Burke as the team’s director of hockey operations.
Patrik Allvin, who served as interim general manager following Rutherford’s departure, will stay on staff as assistant GM.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Columbus Blue Jackets center Mikko Koivu said Tuesday he has decided to retire in the midst of his 16th NHL season.
The 37-year-old Koivu had signed a free-agent contract with Columbus before this season after 15 years in Minnesota as the Blue Jackets sought more depth at center ice.
He spent the first 10 days of the season on the COVID-19 list and then had a goal and an assist in seven games with the Blue Jackets. He was in the lineup during a loss to Carolina on Sunday but was scratched for Monday’s game.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The LPGA Tour announced on Twitter that 50-year-old Annika Sorenstam has committed to play the Gainbridge LPGA, scheduled for Feb. 25-28 on her home course of Lake Nona.
It will be her first official event since she missed the cut in the season-ending ADT Championship at Trump International in 2008, her final season of a Hall of Fame career that included 72 wins on the LPGA Tour and 10 majors. Her last victory was the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill in 2008, and a month later she announced she was retiring.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Fresh off his victory in Saudi Arabia, Dustin Johnson decided Tuesday to withdraw from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, leaving the tournament without a player from the top 10 in the world ranking.
Johnson is a two-time winner at Pebble Beach. He typically plays with his de facto father-in-law, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, except that amateurs are not in the field this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson has played the Saudi International and Pebble Beach in consecutive weeks each of the last two years, and this was the second time he has won in Saudi Arabia.
Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety says he will retire from World Cup ski racing after the world championships.
Ligety’s final race will be the giant slalom on Feb. 19 in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
The American is known for his smooth, technical racing. He won a surprise gold medal in the combined at the 2006 Turin Olympics and another gold medal eight years later in the giant slalom at the Sochi Games as the favorite.
His storied career also includes five wins at world championships, 25 World Cup victories and five season-long World Cup giant slalom titles.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Central Florida on Tuesday hired Terry Mohajir away from Arkansas State to be its next athletic director.
Mohajir was AD at Arkansas State since 2012, overseeing one of the top football programs in the Sun Belt Conference and the funding of facility upgrades.
He replaces Danny White, who left to become athletic director at Tennessee and ended up taking UCF football coach Josh Heupel with him to Knoxville. Mohajir’s first job will be to hire Heupel’s replacement to lead a football program that has been one of the best in the American Athletic Conference.
TRACK AND FIELD
LIEVIN, France (AP) – Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia set a new 1,500 meters indoor world record by finishing in 3 minutes 53.09 seconds on Tuesday at a meet in northern France.
A world bronze medalist, Tsegay followed the fast tempo set by the pacemaker and held on to prevail over double European indoor champion Laura Muir and her teammate Melissa Courtney-Bryant. Muir set a new British indoor record by running 3:59.58.
USA Hockey’s twin-sister Lamoureux tandem is retiring after 14 years of international competition.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando made the announcement in an article titled ”More than Medals” that was published Tuesday on The Players’ Tribune website.
In it, the 31-year-olds reflected on their hockey journeys, which began when they were growing up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and were punctuated with them helping the United States win gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail after pleading guilty to a felony charge of threats of violence for pointing a rifle at a family outside his home last fall.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced that Beasley can serve his stay in the workhouse after the conclusion of his NBA season, setting a tentative report date for May 26. COVID-19 precautions could require the county to release him on electronic home monitoring for the duration of the sentence.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his ”Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, has died. He was 77.
Schottenheimer died Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through former Kansas City Chiefs publicist Bob Moore. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. He was moved to a hospice Jan. 30.
Schottenheimer was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history. He went 200-126-1 in 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington and San Diego Chargers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Terez Paylor, the popular NFL writer and Pro Football Hall of Fame voter whose career took him from the Kansas City Star to Yahoo Sports, died unexpectedly at his home early Tuesday. He was 37.
Yahoo Sports announced his death in a statement. No cause was given.
Paylor joined the Star after graduating from Howard University in 2006, covering everything from preps to arena football to Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. He also covered the University of Missouri before taking over the Chiefs beat in 2013, and he would spend the next seven-plus years covering his beloved NFL.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Phil Rollins, a starting guard on Louisville’s 1956 NIT championship squad who went on to play in the NBA, has died. He was 87.
The school announced that Rollins died Monday morning but did not specify a cause. A Louisville funeral home confirmed it is handling Rollins’ arrangements.
Rollins scored 1,060 points from 1952-56 with the Cardinals, who went 89-24 during his career and achieved a top-five national ranking when he was a senior. The 6-foot-2 captain scored 37 points against Eastern Kentucky that season, which is tied for seventh highest in program history, and averaged 14.9 points per game his final year.
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