- Associated Press
Friday, April 23, 2021

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke died Thursday following a car accident in Los Angeles. He was 19.


The university announced Clarke’s death in a release Thursday night, but did not include any more details. Coach John Calipari said he was “absolutely gutted and sick tonight” and called the player “a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy.”

Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant John Matassa, who works in the Valley Traffic Division, told ESPN that Clarke was a solo occupant in a vehicle that ran a red light going “at a very high rate of speed” in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles at approximately 2:10 p.m. PDT.

NFL

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks have brought back quarterback Geno Smith to serve as the backup to Russell Wilson.

Smith signed a one-year deal with Seattle on Thursday to stay in the role he’s held for the past two seasons with the Seahawks.

Smith, 30, has appeared in just one game with Seattle, completing four of five passes for 33 yards in last year’s blowout win over the New York Jets.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) - Willie Mays has won the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Baseball Digest.

The Hall of Fame center fielder was honored Thursday with a new accolade to be given annually recognizing a living individual who has made “significant contributions to the national game.”

Mays, who turns 90 on May 6, was chosen over five other finalists in voting by a panel of longtime baseball writers, broadcasters, historians and executives.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Barcelona president Joan Laporta has maintained his support for the Super League despite the quick exit of 10 of the 12 founding clubs in the breakaway competition.

The Super League provoked a backlash by other clubs, fans and authorities around Europe after it was announced by a dozen top clubs in England, Spain and Italy on Sunday.

It has since collapsed and is now officially backed only by Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Laporta says the Super League “is absolutely necessary” and adds “the biggest clubs create the most financial resources and we must have our say in deciding how the earnings are shared.”

MIAMI (AP) - CONCACAF is avoiding the large population areas of the Northeast and West Coast for the Gold Cup, a championship many top players are likely to skip.

The Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football said matches will be played at: Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Frisco, and Houston in Texas; Glendale, Arizona; Kansas City, Kansas; and Orlando, Florida, in additional to the final on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas, which was previously announced.

OLYMPICS

GENEVA (AP) - Athletes who make political or social justice protests at the Tokyo Olympics were promised legal support Thursday by a global union and an activist group in Germany.

The pledges came one day after the International Olympic Committee confirmed its long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” on the field of play, medal podiums or official ceremonies.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - College football teams will have to go for 2 after touchdowns starting with the second overtime possession, and beginning in the third round each team will get one play to score from the 3-yard line.

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel on Thursday approved a proposal made last month by the playing rules committee to tweak the overtime format.

The overtime recommendation was based on player safety and intended to reduce the number of plays it takes for a winner to be determined.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Missouri State coach Bobby Petrino, whose return to the sidelines was delayed until the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was named Missouri Valley Football Conference coach of the year on Thursday.

Petrino led the Bears to a 5-1 record, and they were co-champions in the spring conference. Missouri State, winners of just one game the previous season, had been picked to tie for ninth in a preseason poll.

Petrino edged out South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier to become the first Missouri State coach to win the honor since Jesse Branch won it in both 1989 and 1990.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson is keeping its men’s track and field and cross country programs after planning to eliminate them at the end of the current season.

The school said Thursday revised financial projections found that COVID-19 did not impact the athletic department as drastically as was initially thought.

Clemson also said it will add at least one and perhaps more women’s varsity sport.

OBITUARY

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Nort Thornton, who coached the California men’s swimming team to NCAA titles in 1979 and ’80 during a 33-year career that produced such Olympic champions as Matt Biondi and Anthony Ervin, died Thursday. He was 87.

His son, Marc, confirmed his father’s death in a Facebook posting.

Thornton began his Cal career in 1974 and built the Golden Bears into a national powerhouse. His teams won 48 NCAA individual and relay titles and 108 Pac-10 individual, relay and diving titles. He had a dual meet record of 231-85 during his tenure that ended with his retirement in 2007.

He was a two-time national coach of the year and was a four-time Pac-10 coach of the year. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

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