- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 6, 2015


ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The disputed call in the fourth quarter of Detroit’s playoff loss at Dallas was not subject to a replay review. Lions coach Jim Caldwell wonders if it’s time to change that.

With the Lions up 20-17 and in Dallas territory, referee Pete Morelli initially announced a pass interference penalty on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Then officials reversed themselves, leaving Detroit facing fourth down. The Lions punted, and Dallas drove for the winning touchdown.

Coaches aren’t allowed to signal for replay reviews of potential pass interference calls, but Caldwell indicated he’d like to see the league allow more reviews if possible.

Dean Blandino, the league’s director of officials, told The Associated Press there have been proposals to expand the use of replay reviews for personal fouls. There also have been proposals to allow coaches to challenge any call.

On the play Sunday, Morelli said the head linesman believed there wasn’t enough contact for a penalty, so none was called even though the back judge had thrown a flag.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) - A development group that includes a company controlled by the owner of the St. Louis Rams announced plans to build an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburbs that could become home for an NFL team.

The proposal that envisions a stadium rising on the site of a former horse track again raised the hopes of fans that Los Angeles could end its two-decade drought without an NFL team. It becomes the latest in a string of stadium proposals in the Los Angeles area since the 1994 exit of the Rams and Raiders from Southern California.


SEATTLE (AP) - Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson is forgoing his senior season and will declare for the NFL draft.

The school announced Thompson’s decision, another blow to Washington’s defense that will now lose three AP first-team All-America selections: Thompson, linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha and defensive tackle Danny Shelton.

Thompson finished his junior season with 81 tackles and scored four defensive touchdowns, including three on fumble returns. He added 456 yards rushing and two touchdowns on offense.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Mississippi quarterback signee Chad Kelly pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct and agreed to 50 hours of community service following a fight with bouncers outside a Buffalo nightclub last month that continues to cloud his status with Ole Miss.

Kelly also has sent a written apology to the Buffalo Police Department, whose officers charged him with resisting arrest, menacing and several other counts following the early morning altercation Dec. 21.

Although Kelly’s attorney, Thomas Eoannou, said he’d been in constant contact with Ole Miss and that Kelly’s scholarship and ability to play football “should be fine,” coach Hugh Freeze told The Associated Press he had yet to decide Kelly’s status with the program.

The arrest occurred days after Kelly, the 20-year-old nephew of Buffalo Bills Hall of fame quarterback Jim Kelly, had signed a commitment to play.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - LeBron James was absent. So were Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. By the end, Cleveland’s 17-point lead was gone, too.

Tony Wroten scored 20 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 9.1 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 95-92 win over the short-handed Cavaliers. Philadelphia had been 0-14 at home this season.

Kevin Love had 28 points and 19 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who didn’t have James and Irving with them on the trip because of injuries. They lost Waiters and two reserves shortly before tipoff because of a trade.

Cleveland traded Waiters to Oklahoma City and acquired guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks in a three-team deal. The Cavs also received the Thunder’s protected 2015 first-round pick and sent reserves Lou Amundson and Alex Kirk and their 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks, who are 5-32 and desperate to clear salary-cap space. New York also received forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City.


NEW YORK (AP) - For the fifth straight week, Kentucky is the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25.

The Wildcats (13-0) got all 64 first-place votes after having the week off, and have been atop the rankings all season. Kentucky hasn’t played since beating Louisville on Dec. 27 and returns Tuesday against Mississippi.

The top five remained unchanged, with Duke, Virginia, Wisconsin and Louisville behind Kentucky.

Seton Hall (No. 19) , VCU (No. 20), Arkansas (No. 23) and Old Dominion (No. 25) were new arrivals to the Top 25.

NEW YORK (AP) - South Carolina remains No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll while Western Kentucky enters the Top 25 for the first time in nearly 17 years.

The Gamecocks opened SEC play with convincing victories over Auburn and LSU to stay unbeaten. Connecticut, Texas, Notre Dame and Baylor follow South Carolina.

No. 25 Western Kentucky leads three new teams in the Top 25. The Lady Toppers were last in the poll on March 9, 1998. Joining them this week are No. 22 Princeton and No. 23 Minnesota. The Tigers are one of four unbeaten teams left in women’s basketball, along with South Carolina, Texas and Mississippi State.


ATLANTA (AP) - A person with direct knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press the Atlanta Braves have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

The person does not become official until after Pierzynski successfully completes a physical exam, scheduled for this week.

The 38-year-old Pierzynski likely will play behind 23-year-old Christian Bethancourt. Evan Gattis is expected to move from catcher to left field following the trade of Justin Upton to San Diego. That cleared a path for Bethancourt, one of the Braves’ top prospects.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Brian Agler is very familiar with how talented the Los Angeles Sparks are, having coached against them for so many years. Now he’ll get a chance to lead them after being announced as the team’s new coach.

The 56-year-old coach had been with the Seattle Storm since 2008 and guided the team to the WNBA championship in 2010. Agler will get an early look at his former team - the Sparks open the season at Seattle on June 6.

He inherits a talented Sparks team led by stars Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike. Sparks general manager Penny Toler fired coach Carol Ross midway through last season and took over the coaching duties herself. Toler said at the time she wasn’t interested in being the permanent choice as head coach. The Sparks lost in the first round of the playoffs to Phoenix.



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