Alabama faces questions after more details on fatal shooting
Alabama is the No. 2 men’s team in the country and a favorite to win the national championship. The school also faces intense scrutiny over three players’ alleged involvement in the deadly shooting of Jamea Harris near campus early on Jan. 15. One-time reserve forward Darius Miles and another man are charged with capital murder. Crimson Tide star freshman Brandon Miller surfaced in official testimony as a potential witness and as a person who allegedly brought a gun to Miles. Miller has not been charged and there’s no indication he will be. Police also say guard Jaden Bradley was allegedly at the scene.
AP source: Rams parting ways with LB Bobby Wagner
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Linebacker Bobby Wagner is parting ways with the Los Angeles Rams after just one season, a person familiar with the decision says. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Wagner’s release won’t be official until after the start of the new league year next month. Wagner was outstanding in his only season with his hometown Rams, who signed him as a free agent last March following a decade with the Seahawks. Wagner started all 17 games at middle linebacker and made 140 tackles with a career-high six sacks and even two interceptions for the Rams.
AP source: Broncos hire ex-head coach Vance Joseph as new DC
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the hire tells The Associated Press that new Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has hired ex-Broncos head coach Vance Joseph as his defensive coordinator. The hiring comes after a deliberate search that included fellow former head coaches Rex Ryan and Matt Patricia. Joseph coached the Broncos from 2017-18, compiling an 11-21 record. He spent the past four seasons as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator.
Bieniemy takes next step as Commanders offensive coordinator
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Eric Bieniemy brushed off questions about not getting an NFL head coaching job and says he’s embracing his new challenge as offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders. Bieniemy at his introductory news conference also defended his decision to leave the Kansas City Chiefs after 10 years and two Super Bowl championships and explained why this job was the right fit for him. The longtime Chiefs offensive coordinator interviewed for 15 different head jobs in recent years. But coaching two-time league MVP Patrick Mahomes and working under offensive coach Andy Reid clouded what Bieniemy might be responsible for. He will now have a chance to show what he can do calling plays in Washington.
Malik Beasley scores 25 points, Lakers beat Warriors 124-111
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Malik Beasley scored 25 points, Austin Reaves had 17 off the bench and the Los Angeles Lakers returned from the All-Star break with a 124-111 victory over the Golden State Warriors Thursday night. The Lakers had seven players in double figures in what ended up being quiet nights for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James — who suffered a hand injury during Sunday’s All Star game — had 13 points, but was 5 of 20 from the floor. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 22 points and Ty Jerome added 20.
MLB’s bigger bases could lead to more steals, fewer injuries
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Major League Baseball is introducing bigger bases this season as part of a flurry of changes designed to put more action and athleticism back in the game. The bases are expanding from 15-inch squares to 18 inches, which cuts down the distance between them by 4 1/2 inches. The distance between third and home and home and first was trimmed by 3 inches. With the new bases, major league teams could try a more aggressive approach on the basepaths. The bases also could help prevent injuries.
Horschel, Bramlett lead Honda Classic with 1st-round 65s
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Billy Horschel has never won a PGA Tour event in his home state of Florida. His quest to change that is off to a fine start. Horschel shot a 5-under 65 on Thursday, tying him with Joseph Bramlett for the first-round lead in the Honda Classic at PGA National. Bramlett had a bogey-free round. Horschel had six birdies and one bogey. Pierceson Coody and Justin Suh were one shot back. Coody is playing his first PGA Tour event as a professional on a sponsor exemption. He’s a two-time winner in 15 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour since turning pro last summer.
LIV Golf’s 2nd season has team concept, new faces, TV deal
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — LIV Golf embarks on its second season with more emphasis on the team concept and a few new faces. Dustin Johnson is coming off a big year with the Saudi-funded rival league. He amassed just over $35.6 million in eight tournaments. There was minor movement among the teams. LIV Golf was not able to add big stars to its roster during the offseason. The highest-ranked player was Thomas Pieters of Belgium at No. 35 in the world. The first tournament starts Friday at Mayakoba. The Mexican resort hosted a PGA Tour event in the fall.
Utah projected as No. 1 seed in women’s NCAA Tournament
Utah would join South Carolina, Indiana and Stanford as No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament if it began now. That’s according to the NCAA women’s basketball committee, which did its second of two reveals of the teams in line for the top 16 seeds. The Utes replaced UConn on the one-line after the Huskies were beaten by St. John’s this week. Selection committee chair Lisa Peterson says the big debate was whether Utah or LSU should be listed as a one seed. She says Utah’s stronger schedule was a big factor.
Purdue’s Zach Edey makes strong case to be player of year
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — No. 5 Purdue big man Zach Edey has muscled his way into the national player of the year conversation. His 7-foot-4, 305-pound frame makes him hard to defend. He’s leading the Big Ten in scoring with 22.1 points and rebounding with 12.7. He’s fifth in scoring and second in rebounding nationally, and is also 10th nationally in blocks with 2.4. His former coach at IMG Academy, where Edey really learned how to play the game as a teen, can barely believe the ascension.