Friday’s Sports in Brief

National Sports

SOCCER

National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird resigned after some 19 months on the job amid allegations that a former coach engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct.

Baird’s resignation was announced by the league late Friday, a day after The Athletic published the accounts of two former players who claimed misconduct, including sexual coercion, by North Carolina coach Paul Riley.

Riley was fired by the Courage on Thursday and the allegations touched off a wave of condemnation by players that forced this weekend’s games to be called off.

Additionally, FIFA on Friday opened an investigation into the case. It is rare that soccer’s international governing body gets involved in a controversy involving a member association. U.S. Soccer also announced an independent investigation on Friday.

U.S. Soccer was instrumental in founding the NWSL in 2013 and helped support the league until last year, when it became independent. The federation continues its financial support of the league.

U.S. Soccer suspended Riley’s coaching license Thursday after The Athletic published claims of abuse made by former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP)Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw exited his start with left forearm discomfort in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kershaw gave up three runs and two hits on 42 pitches over 1 2/3 innings in his final regular-season start. The left-hander struck out one and walked none.

He didn’t pitch from July 4 to Sept. 12 while on the injured list with left forearm inflammation. Kershaw is 10-8 with a 3.38 ERA, his highest mark since a 4.26 ERA as a rookie in 2008.

Manager Dave Roberts and a trainer went to the mound to check on the three-time Cy Young Award winner. After a few moments, Kershaw walked off with the trainer and took a seat in the dugout. Rather than give up the ball, as pitchers typically do when they’re being replaced, Kershaw kept it in his glove.

Kershaw can become a free agent after this season. Depending on whether the playoff-bound Dodgers advance in the postseason and his health, it could have been his last appearance with the team.

COLLEGE SPORTS

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State University has now tallied over 2,800 instances of alleged, decades-old sexual misconduct by the late team doctor Richard Strauss, according to its latest campus crime data released Friday.

The school says more than 170 total instances of rape and more than 2,600 instances of fondling attributed to Strauss came to light between 2018 and 2020, much of that through a law firm investigation for the university and lawsuits filed against OSU.

The crime statistics are disclosed under the federal Clery Act, and incidents are counted in the year they’re reported, not the year they occurred. The 2020 data in the report adds dozens of instances of rape and about 470 instances of fondling attributed to Strauss.

Hundreds of men allege he abused them at campus athletic facilities, a student health center, his home and or an off-campus clinic, and some of those men reported multiple instances. They say the school failed to stop Strauss despite students raising concerns during his 20 years at the university.

Ohio State has apologized, and it announced settlements with 185 plaintiffs totaling nearly $47 million and with dozens more people for amounts not yet disclosed.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin is naming the playing field at Camp Randall Stadium after former Badgers football coach and athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced the decision at a ceremony honoring Alvarez, who retired as Wisconsin’s athletic director this summer. Blank said the playing field will be known as ”Barry Alvarez Field at Camp Randall Stadium.”

He coached Wisconsin from 1990-2005 and set a program record for career coaching victories, winning three Rose Bowl titles at a program that had gone 9-36 in the four years before his arrival. His 119-74-4 career record includes a 1-1 mark as an interim coach in bowl games that capped the 2012 and 2014 seasons.

Alvarez was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

”Barry Alvarez has had an immeasurable impact on the UW-Madison campus, beyond in the state and in college sports,” Blank said. ”And that type of career deserves recognition at the very highest level.

DOPING

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – A team doctor who caused 10 Thailand weightlifters including Youth Olympics athletes to test positive for anabolic steroids was banned for life.

Ning Liu gave or used a pain-relieving gel laced with steroids to lifters before or during the world championships and Buenos Aires Youth Olympics in 2018, said the International Testing Agency, which prosecuted the case.

Liu is ”prevented from participating in any activity authorized or organized by any signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code in any capacity whatsoever,” the agency said.

The doctor admitted the doping offenses to the ITA, which also used statements from the 10 lifters.

The athletes previously got bans of two to four years from the International Weightlifting Federation.

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