NEW YORK (AP)Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud were announced Monday as finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
The Heisman will be presented Saturday in New York.
There are some changes this year. The site of the presentation is moving from a theater in Midtown Manhattan, near Times Square, to a smaller venue on the West Side near Lincoln Center.
The process by which Heisman finalists are determined has also been modified. The Heisman Trust announced that starting with this season, there will be four finalists – no more, no fewer – invited to the award presentation ceremony.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Mario Cristobal is leaving Oregon and headed home to Miami.
The news comes on the same day that Manny Diaz was fired as the Hurricanes football coach. Diaz went 7-5 this season and 21-15 in three seasons. His job security had been in question for some time and speculation ramped up three weeks ago when the Hurricanes dismissed athletic director Blake James – one of the people who hired Diaz in 2018.
But Diaz kept working, even in recent days while Miami was trying to pry Cristobal out of Oregon.
Cristobal says he’s looking forward to coaching his alma mater and the place where he started his coaching career and to competing for championships.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers fired coach Alain Vigneault on Monday with the team spiraling toward a franchise-worst losing streak, turning to yet another coach to try and end a Stanley Cup drought pushing 47 years.
The Flyers have been one of NHL’s biggest flops this season. Their 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday sealed Vigneault’s fate. Assistant coach Michel Therrien also was fired.
Mike Yeo was named interim coach of the Flyers, who lost 7-5 to Colorado on Monday night in his debut for their ninth straight defeat – one shy of matching a dubious team record.
The Flyers are 8-11-4 and in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division. Vigneault went 74-54-19 with the Flyers and missed the playoffs last season.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Purdue is No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the first time.
The Boilermakers were a unanimous No. 1 in the poll released Monday to move up from No. 2 last week. Reigning national champion Baylor moved up to No. 2, with Duke, UCLA and Gonzaga rounding out the top five.
Purdue (8-0, 1-0 Big Ten) reached No. 2 in consecutive seasons under Gene Keady from 1986-88 and matched its previous high last week, receiving nine first-place votes from a 61-person media panel.
The Boilermakers routed Florida State last week and opened Big Ten play with a 77-70 win over Iowa on Friday, sliding into the top spot after previous No. 1 Duke lost to an unranked Ohio State squad that is now No. 21. Until this week, Purdue had the second-most appearances in the AP poll – 379 weeks – for a school that had never been ranked No. 1 (Maryland, 434 weeks).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Previously winless Texas Southern stunned No. 20 Florida 69-54 behind PJ Henry’s 16 points and a perfect shooting night by Joirdon Karl Nicholas.
Texas Southern became the first Southwestern Athletic Conference team to beat a ranked SEC program in The Associated Press poll era dating to 1936, ESPN Stats & Info said. Ranked SEC teams had been 51-0 against SWAC opponents.
It was the Gators’ first loss in 27 games against teams from the SWAC.
Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, will take a mental break from tennis and sit out the start of next season, including the Australian Open, saying Monday she wants to ”re-set, recover, and grow” after a ”challenging” two years that included getting COVID-19.
The 21-year-old from Canada wrote in a posting on Twitter that she was affected mentally and physically by ”multiple weeks in isolation quarantining” and that her grandmother’s stay for several weeks in a hospital’s intensive care unit because of the coronavirus ”really hit me hard.”
Andreescu joins other professional athletes who have cited the need for time away from competition to gather themselves mentally – including, for example, Naomi Osaka, a four-time major title winner and former No. 1-ranked player in tennis.
PHOENIX (AP) – Sandy Brondello is out as the Phoenix Mercury’s coach after leading the team to the WNBA Finals in her eighth season.
The Mercury announced Monday that the team and Brondello mutually agreed to part ways and her contract, which expired after the 2021 season, will not be renewed.
A former WNBA player and four-time Australian Olympian, Brondello led the Mercury to the 2014 WNBA title and to the finals last season, where they lost 3-1 to the Chicago Fire.
Brondello was the 2014 WNBA coach of the year and served as the team’s vice president of player personnel. The Mercury went 150-108 under Brondello.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Liberty and coach Walt Hopkins parted ways Monday, less than two years after he was hired.
Hopkins led the Liberty to the playoffs this season after going 2-20 his first year. New York improved to 12-20 this season before losing to Phoenix 83-82 in the opening round of the playoffs on a free throw in the last few seconds.
The 36-year-old Hopkins served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Lynx before being hired by New York in January 2020.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. will stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest Chinese human rights abuses, the White House confirmed Monday, a move that China has vowed to greet with ”firm countermeasures.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said U.S. athletes will continue to compete and will ”have our full support,” but added ”we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”
The announcement came as Biden prepares to host a White House Summit for Democracy, a virtual gathering of leaders and civil society experts from more than 100 countries that is set to take place Thursday and Friday. The administration has said Biden intends to use the meeting ”to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.”
CLEVELAND (AP) – Bill Glass, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end with Cleveland and member of the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship team, has died. He was 86.
The Browns said Glass died Sunday night surrounded by family at his home in Waxahachie, Texas. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Glass spent seven seasons with the Browns, who acquired him from the Detroit Lions as part of the trade involving quarterback Milt Plum.
An All-American offensive guard at Baylor, Glass switched to defense when he began his pro career in 1957 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. A year later he joined the Lions, who had drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick.
Glass spent four seasons with Detroit before going to Cleveland, where he became a star. He was credited with 16 1/2 sacks in 1965, back when they were not recognized as an official stat by the league.
Glass finished with 87 1/2 sacks, getting 77 1/2 in his seven seasons with the Browns. He retired after the 1968 season and was inducted into the Browns Legends program in 2007.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Kenneth Moffett, the federal mediator during the 1981 baseball strike who briefly succeeded Marvin Miller as the second head of the players’ association, has died. He was 90.
Moffett died Nov. 19 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, said his wife, the former Mary Taddeo. He had been ill with dementia for about six months and the death certificate cited natural causes, she said Monday.
His death was first reported by The Washington Post.
Moffett was part of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in 1980, when baseball players and owners reached an agreement that put off a work stoppage until the following year. As deputy director of the FMCS during the 50-day strike that interrupted the 1981 season, he shuttled between the parties, set up bargaining sessions and suggested frameworks for settlement.
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