- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan retired after one last victory with the Badgers, saying he wanted to step away now to give top assistant Greg Gard the opportunity to prove he is ready to lead the program.

Ryan, who turns 68 on Sunday, said in June this would be his last season, and then left the door open for a return in August. But he said Tuesday night that part of the reason he came back at all was to give Gard time to be with his father, Glen, who was diagnosed with cancer in the spring and passed away this fall.

Ryan said the demands on Gard’s time to fly around the country meeting with doctors and helping his dad put his retirement on the back burner. Following Glen Gard’s death, Ryan then spoke with athletic director Barry Alvarez and decided the semester break would be a good time to step down.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Peyton Manning is set to return to practice Wednesday for the first time in a month, but he’ll be a sideline spectator again Sunday when Brock Osweiler makes his fifth consecutive start Sunday at Pittsburgh.

The Denver Broncos said coach Gary Kubiak met with his QBs on Tuesday and laid out his plan for the week.

Manning had a trio of throwing sessions indoors and away from his teammates last week after he had his hard cast and then a walking boot removed from his left foot the previous week. Manning stood on the sideline Sunday after skipping Denver’s trips to Chicago and San Diego and watching the Broncos win over New England from inside the locker room area. He has been dealing with a torn plantar fascia along with sore ribs and an aching throwing shoulder.

The Broncos are 3-1 in Osweiler’s starts and 7-2 when Manning starts, although Denver has struggled to find the end zone no matter who’s taking the snaps.


LAS VEGAS (AP) - Pete Rose believes he still has a chance to one day get back in baseball. In the meantime, he’s turning his attention to the Hall of Fame.

Rose said he is a changed person even if he still likes to bet on an occasional baseball game. And while commissioner Rob Manfred rejected his bid to get back in the game partly because Rose still bets legally in this gambling town, he says he still has a lot to offer the sport.

Baseball’s career hits leader said he was disappointed at Manfred’s decision not to end a ban that has stretched more than a quarter century. But he held out hope he could still one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining teammates such as Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan from the Big Red Machine of the 1970s.

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Cubs finalized their $184 million, eight-year contract with free agent outfielder Jason Heyward, adding a three-time Gold Glove winner in their continuing makeover to build a World Series contender.

Heyward has the right to opt out of the deal after three seasons and become a free agent again at age 29, having earned $78 million under the deal with the Cubs. He also has a conditional opt out after the 2019 season, if he has 550 plate appearances that year.

The deal calls for a $20 million signing bonus, payable in four $5 million installments each April 1 from 2024-27. He gets salaries of $15 million in 2016, $21.5 million in each of the next two years, $20 million in 2019, $21 million apiece in 2020 and 2021 and $22 million in each of the final two seasons.

Heyward gets a full no-trade provision through 2018, then during 2019 and 2020 has 12 teams he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

HAVANA (AP) - A lineup of Cuban-born baseball stars, including some of the most famous defectors in recent memory, made a triumphant return to the island as part of the first Major League Baseball trip here since 1999.

Once the object of official disdain in Cuba for leaving the country illegally, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Brayan Pena and first baseman Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox were swarmed by fans and members of the state media in the lobby of Havana’s soaring Hotel Nacional at the start of a three-day mission meant to warm relations between MLB and Cuba.

The major leagues and Cuban baseball have been moving quickly to rebuild ties since Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared a year ago Thursday that they would re-establish diplomatic relations. The official return of baseball defectors earning millions in the major leagues was a landmark in the new relationship and a dramatic manifestation of Cuba’s shifting attitude toward the hundreds of players who have abandoned the country that trained them.


NEW YORK (AP) - A sprawling U.S. bribery prosecution that has scandalized soccer’s governing body took another step forward, with the former president of Honduras and a former FIFA vice president pleading not guilty at their first court appearance and authorities announcing that two other defendants would be extradited to face charges as well.

Former president Rafael Callejas, a current member of FIFA’s television and marketing committee, was ordered held without bail at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. A judge agreed to release former FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout on $20 million bond with various restrictions, including electronic monitoring and home detention.

Both men are facing racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud charges for their alleged roles in a bribery scheme involving lucrative broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and soccer’s other biggest events. Their lawyers left the courtroom on Tuesday without speaking to reporters.

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