BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP)Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver was likely spared even stronger sanctioning by the NBA for racist, misogynistic and hostile words and actions because of one key conclusion by investigators, Commissioner Adam Silver said.

The law firm that spent nearly a year digging into the situation determined Sarver’s use of slurs ”was not motivated by racial animus.” Had that not been the case, Silver indicated, Sarver’s punishment – a one-year suspension and $10 million fine – would have been far more severe.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted that the NBA did not go far enough. ”I gotta be honest.Our league definitely got this wrong,” James said.

Suns guard Chris Paul said: ”I am of the view that the sanctions fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior.”

BERLIN (AP) – Mateusz Ponitka had 26 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists and Poland upset Slovenia 90-87 to move into the EuroBasket semifinals for the first time since 1971.

Vlatko Cancar led Slovenia with 21 points, and Goran Dragic had 17. Luka Doncic was held to 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, though he added 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Poland will face France, a 93-85 winner over Italy. The other half of the semifinal bracket was set Tuesday, with Germany set to play Spain.

FOOTBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) – The athletic directors who lead the schools that play Division I college football at the highest level want the sport to continue be governed by the NCAA – if that governance can be streamlined.

LEAD1, an association of Football Bowl Subdivision ADs, convened 105 of its 131 members for a meeting that focused mostly on how best to govern major college football.

There has been some momentum in the past year to seriously explore breaking FBS away from the NCAA and creating another structure to run the biggest revenue generator in college sports. For now, though, the preference is for reform within the current structure.

”At the end of the day, it was very clear that the status quo is not acceptable,” said LEAD1 President and CEO Tom McMillen, the former Maryland basketball star and congressman. ”And that there was a strong, very strong, preference for a model in the NCAA that is extremely streamlined and much less bureaucratic.”

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Newly revealed text messages show how deeply involved former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant was in directing more than $1 million in welfare money to Brett Favre to help pay for one of the retired NFL quarterback’s pet projects.

Instead of the money going to help low-income families in one of the nation’s poorest states, as intended, it was funneled through a nonprofit group and was spent on a new $5 million volleyball facility at Southern Mississippi, the university the football star and the governor both attended. Favre’s daughter started playing on the volleyball team there in 2017. Bryant left office in 2020.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – More than 121 million fans watched a telecast of an NFL game during the league’s opening week, a 5% increase over last season.

The league and Nielsen also said the average viewership for all games was 18.5 million, the best opening weekend in six years and up 3% from last year.

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL’s investigation into Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder is still ongoing, and his status remains unchanged.

League executive Jeff Miller said there’s no timeline for completion of Mary Jo White’s investigation, which includes new allegations stemming from a congressional committee probe into the team’s history of workplace misconduct.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – More than 5,500 minor league baseball players formed a union, completing a lightning-fast organization campaign that launched just 17 days earlier in an effort to boost annual salaries as low as $10,400.

Martin Scheinman, the sport’s independent arbitrator, notified Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association that a majority of the 5,567 players in the minor league bargaining unit had signed union authorization cards since the drive started Aug. 28. He did not provide the sides a specific number.

MLB agreed Saturday that it would voluntarily accept a union if there was majority support and would not force players to petition the National Labor Relations Board to hold a representation election.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina made history with the first pitch of the game, then the record-setting battery helped the St. Louis Cardinals extend their NL Central lead by beating Milwaukee 4-1.

Wainwright and Molina started together for the 325th time, the most by a pitcher-catcher duo in the majors. They eclipsed the regular-season mark of 324 held by the Detroit pair of Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – NASCAR released its 2023 schedule that includes previously announced races at the new downtown Chicago street course and a return to North Wilkesboro in North Carolina.

The Cup Series schedule is largely unchanged from the 2022 version, with the 10 playoff tracks the same and the exhibition Clash again returning to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The only notable date change is a second stop at Richmond Raceway being moved from August to July, and the shared NASCAR and IndyCar weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway moved from July to August.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) – The Premier League will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II this weekend by having a minute’s silence before every game followed by the national anthem.

The league said that fans will also be invited to applaud at the 70-minute mark, in recognition of the queen’s 70-year reign. Players will wear black armbands and managers have been asked to consider wearing a suit. Last weekend’s games were all postponed following the queen’s death last Thursday at the age of 96.

COLLEGE

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Craig Thompson, the only commissioner the Mountain West Conference has known, is stepping down after nearly 24 years.

The league announced that the 66-year-old Thompson’s last day will be Dec. 31. He was on board when the conference began operations in January 1999. Before arriving at the Mountain West, Thompson served as the commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference.