- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015


WASHINGTON (AP) - As members of FIFA’s executive committee prepared to vote on reforming soccer’s scandal-plagued governing body, Swiss government agents swept into a luxury hotel before dawn for a second wave of arrests on corruption charges in the wake of another sweeping indictment by U.S. prosecutors.

Five current and former members of FIFA’s ruling executive committee were among 16 additional men charged with bribes and kickbacks in a 92-count indictment that took down an entire generation of soccer leaders in South America, a bedrock of FIFA and World Cup history.

The arrests - at the same hotel where initial raid occurred in May - came just before FIFA’s executive committee met to approve reform and transparency measures long resisted by soccer’s top leaders but ones that gained traction in the aftermath of the scandal.


COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri promoted defensive coordinator Barry Odom to replace the retiring Gary Pinkel as head coach.

The school said in a release that Odom agreed in principle to a five-year deal that will need to be approved by the school’s board of curators next week.

Pinkel announced last month he had cancer and was retiring after the season and also had a public farewell news conference. The Tigers finished 5-7 but the defense ranked ninth in the nation, the first top-10 finish for the school since the NCAA began tracking defensive statistics in 1978.

Odom was an assistant under Pinkel from 2009-11, then did a three-year stint as defensive coordinator at Memphis before returning to Missouri this season as defensive coordinator after Dave Steckel left to become head coach at Missouri State.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Trying to follow the success Justin Fuente had in reviving Memphis’ program, the Tigers are going with another young offensive coordinator in Arizona State’s Mike Norvell as their new head football coach.

A person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that Norvell will be Memphis’ coach. University President Dr. M. David Rudd wrote on Twitter late Thursday afternoon that he hired a “great football coach” who would be introduced at a news conference Friday. That coach is Norvell, according to a person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the hiring hasn’t been announced yet.

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis first reported Norvell’s hiring.

The 34-year-old Norvell replaces Justin Fuente, who was hired by Virginia Tech on Sunday after four years at Memphis. Fuente came to Memphis after a stint as TCU’s co-offensive coordinator.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Coldplay is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, and a spokesman for the National Football League hinted that past halftime performers could join the band onstage.

Katy Perry starred in the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history earlier this year, when more than 118 million viewers tuned in to see her perform with Lenny Kravitz and her now-famous dancing sharks. Previous halftime headliners include Bruno Mars, Prince, Beyonce, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and the Rolling Stones.

Coldplay’s halftime set will be made up of hits, NFL vice president of programming and media Ron Semiao said, including hot tracks from the new album, “A Head Full of Dreams,” out Friday. Coldplay confirmed the Super Bowl appearance on its website and social media pages.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The NCAA has upheld its nine-game suspension of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, but he will be allowed to begin serving it immediately.

The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee issued its ruling, saying Boeheim was not directly involved in underlying violations of academic misconduct, extra benefits and the university’s drug testing policy.

The Committee on Infractions had ruled in March that the suspension be served during Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The change means the 71-year-old Boeheim will now miss six non-conference games and only three ACC games, returning for North Carolina on Jan. 9. Assistant coach Mike Hopkins will lead No. 14 Syracuse on Saturday at Georgetown.


JOHANNESBURG (AP) - An appeals court decided Oscar Pistorius got away with murder when he stood trial for killing his girlfriend, a ruling that will almost certainly send the disgraced Olympian back to prison.

The court overturned his conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter in the 2013 shooting death of model Reeva Steenkamp and instead found Pistorius guilty of murder.

The double amputee runner, who is under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria, was not in the Bloemfontein courtroom for the verdict. Steenkamp’s mother, June, sat impassively as Leach read the verdict.

The 29-year-old Pistorius served one year of a five-year sentence before being put under house arrest in October.


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The 10,500 athletes at next year’s Olympics will feel first-hand the deep budget cuts buffeting the Rio de Janeiro Games: they won’t have air conditioning in their bedrooms unless someone pays for it.

Charging for air conditioning is part of what games organizers call finding “fat” and cutting it. Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio Games, said in an interview that organizers have found up to $520 million that needed to be cut as part of balancing the operating budget of $1.9 billion.

Asked specifically about the need for AC in the bedrooms, Andrada replied: “We don’t think it’s going to be critical (to have air conditioning) there.”

Though the games take place in the South American winter - Aug. 5-21, 2016 - it could still be hot. This year on Aug. 19 the temperature soared 95 degrees.


NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - Paul Casey is off to a good start in his final chance this year to get a victory.

Casey birdied the 18th hole at Albany Golf Club for a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead with Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in the Hero World Challenge.

Casey is among five players in the 18-man field who has yet to win this year.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one on his second hole and was in the large group at 67 that included Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, who lives at Albany.

Johnson was penalized on his third hole for marking his ball off the green. The penalty later was rescinded because it was not clear where the putting surface ended on several greens.

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) - Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl shared the first-round lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at 6-under 66.

England’s Danny Willett, the winner last year, was a stroke back.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide