- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans have traded the No. 1 overall selection in this month’s NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams for a collection of picks in one of the biggest deals in league history.

Tennessee swaps the top pick to the Rams along with its choices in the fourth and sixth rounds. The Rams will give the Titans their first-round pick (No. 15 overall) along with two second-round selections and their third-round pick in the draft starting April 28. The Titans also will receive the Rams’ first- and third-round round picks in the 2017 draft.

With the trade, the Rams now have the ability to draft the quarterback of their choice and make a splash as they return to Los Angeles after leaving St. Louis this year. Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jared Goff of California are considered the top QB prospects.


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Breanna Stewart led a UConn sweep of the first three picks in the WNBA draft, going first overall to the Seattle Storm.

Moriah Jefferson went second to San Antonio and Morgan Tuck third to Connecticut, the first time in draft history that three players from the same school went 1-2-3. It’s never happened in any major sport according to information provided to the WNBA by the Elias Sports Bureau.

The WNBA has had two of the first three players come from the same school on three separate occasions. The closest to the top three being from the same team was in 2002 when UConn had players taken first, second, fourth and sixth.

The 6-foot-4 Stewart averaged 19.4 points and 8.7 rebounds to lead the Huskies to a fourth consecutive national championship earlier this month. She became the first player in NCAA history to earn most outstanding player of the Final Four all four years.


The U.S. women’s soccer team will open its quest for a fourth straight Olympic gold medal against New Zealand, then play France and Colombia in the first round of the tournament in Brazil.

The Americans were drawn to play New Zealand on Aug. 3 at Belo Horizonte. The U.S. meets France three days later, also in Belo Horizonte, then plays Colombia on Aug. 9 at Manaus in the Amazon, where the American men tied Portugal 2-2 at the 2014 World Cup.

If the United States wins Group G, it would play its quarterfinal on Aug. 12 in Brasilia against a third-place team from one of the other two groups. The Brasilia winner would advance to a semifinal on Aug. 16 in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana, where the final will be played on Aug. 19.


NEW YORK (AP) - The baseball players’ union is frustrated many of its retired members - especially minorities - can’t find jobs working for teams and has asked MLB to help launch a career preparation project.

Union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star first baseman, outlined the plan during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, a day before the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

Components include college scholarships for all prospects signing professional contracts, creation of a database of minority players and programs to enhance their post-playing employment prospects. The union also wants to establish a coaching school, a “Baseball U.” program for continuing education and courses in baseball analytics, statistics and business etiquette.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Sacramento Kings fired coach George Karl after his first full season with the team, setting the stage for the team to hire its ninth coach since last making the playoffs in 2006.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move a day after the Kings wrapped up another disappointing season with a 33-49 record. Karl was given a four-year contract when he was hired in February 2015 to replace Tyrone Corbin but never worked out and finished with a 44-68 mark.

Karl was unable to improve the team’s defense, had frequent run-ins with star center DeMarcus Cousins and faced questions about his status as far back as November. His fate was officially determined Thursday, leaving the Kings to search for a new coach to lead them into their new downtown arena slated to open next season.

Karl is the eighth coach in Sacramento since the team last went to the playoffs in 2006 under Rick Adelman. Sacramento and Minnesota are the only teams not to go to the playoffs in that span and the Timberwolves are the only team with more losses than the Kings the past 10 seasons.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York ended its ban on professional mixed martial arts - the last hold-out in the nation - opening the cages for major fights in its big venues and lower-level scraps across the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the move as a boost to the state economy as he signed the law at Madison Square Garden, ringed by Ultimate Fighting Championship ex-champions Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman, a Long Island native.

The UFC, the sport’s largest promotion, which broadcasts shows on Fox television and major events on pay-per-view, announced plans at the signing to hold its first New York show Nov. 12 at the Garden.

The law doesn’t take effect until September, giving the New York State Athletic Commission time to add two members, adopt regulations, train staff and begin licensing promoters, trainers and fighters.


SEATTLE (AP) - College athletes who sued the NCAA and video-game maker Electronic Arts over the use of their likenesses are seeing the payoff.

Attorneys at the Hagens Berman firm said they mailed out the first checks last week to roughly 15,000 of the 24,000 players eligible to receive money. The law firm said the median check was about $1,100, though some were written for as much as $7,600.

The money comes from two settlements reached in 2014 for a combined total of $60 million. The plaintiffs said the NCAA and EA illegally used college football and basketball players’ names and likenesses in video games for years.

Hagens Berman also has extended a deadline for another 7,000 athletes to send in a W-9 to avoid paying taxes on the settlement.

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