Thursday Sports in brief | Charlotte Observer


BEIJING (AP) – China on Thursday rejected the decision of Canada and the United Kingdom to join Washington’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as a “farce”.

China is also not worried that the absence of officials could trigger a chain reaction, and many heads of state, heads of government and members of royal families have registered to attend, the spokesperson said. Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin at a daily briefing.

The three countries said they would not send government dignitaries to the games to protest human rights violations in China. Under the diplomatic boycott, countries will still send their athletes to compete.

GENEVA (AP) – Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon set a goal of around 18 months on Thursday to make changes to maintain their status as Olympic sports for the Los Angeles 2028 Games.

The governing bodies of boxing and weightlifting have been described as problem children by the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, who has long expressed concerns about the direction of these sports and the problems of corruption and doping.

The IOC effectively called on the modern pentathlon to remove horse jumping from the event, eliciting an angry reaction from athletes.

All three sports were excluded from the initial list of 28 in the 2028 program, which will be submitted to IOC members for approval in February.


ATLANTA (AP) – Demaryius Thomas, who has won five consecutive Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring during a prolific receiving career spent mostly with the Denver Broncos, has died aged 33.

Thomas was found dead at his home in suburban Atlanta on Thursday evening, said Officer Tim Lupo, chief information officer for the Roswell, Georgia Police Department.

“Preliminary information is that his death was the result of a medical problem, and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise,” Lupo said in a statement Friday morning.

Thomas last played in the NFL in 2019, appearing in 11 games with 10 starts for the New York Jets. He officially announced his retirement in June.


NEW YORK (AP) – Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, giving Crimson Tide their second straight winner.

Young received 42 of 53 first-place votes from the AP’s top 25 voters and 137 points to easily finish ahead of Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (four first-place votes, 67 points) for AP Player Honor of the year presented by Regions Bank.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was third; Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was fourth; and Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was fifth.

MIAMI (AP) – Florida International hired former Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre to lead the Panthers on Thursday.

MacIntyre, 56, was most recently the defensive coordinator in Memphis.

He replaces Butch Davis, the former Miami coach who separated from the school after going 24-32 in five seasons.

MacIntyre is 46-65 in his career over nine seasons as a head coach at San Jose State and Colorado.


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – The Vancouver Canucks on Thursday hired NHL veteran Jim Rutherford as team president.

Rutherford will also serve as the interim managing director while leading the search for a new managing director.

The Canucks cleaned up the house on Sunday, firing general manager Jim Benning, coach Travis Green and other front desk staff. The team hired Bruce Boudreau as a coach for a period of two years.

Rutherford, 72, a Hockey Hall of Fame member in the builders category, was most recently general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2014-21. The team won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.


Theodore Whitmore is no longer Jamaica’s national soccer coach, seven weeks before the Reggae Boyz return to World Cup qualifying and try to get back in contention for a spot in next year’s tournament .

The Jamaican Football Federation announced his departure on Thursday.

Trying to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1998, Jamaica is sixth in the regional finals of the eight nations of North America, Central America and the Caribbean with seven points. Canada leads with 16 points, followed by the United States with 15 and Mexico and Panama with 14 each. The top three teams qualify and the No.4 team meets the winner of Oceania in a playoff for another place.

Whitmore, a former Jamaican player, started his second stint as the national team coach in September 2016. The Reggae Boyz lost to the United States in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final , the match for third place in 2019 and the quarter-finals this year.

SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazilian footballer Pelé said on Thursday he would stay in a Sao Paulo hospital “for a few days” to undergo further tests on his colon tumor.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, 81, was taken this week to Albert Einstein Hospital for chemotherapy sessions to treat the tumor discovered during routine exams in late August. Pelé was hospitalized for almost a month due to the surgery to remove it.

Pelé said on Instagram that he “had little chemotherapy sessions as part of my treatment”. He added that he had just completed the last session of 2021.

College athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The State of Florida has hired Michael Alford as vice president and athletic director to succeed David Coburn, who is retiring.

Alford will begin his new role on January 3. He was President and CEO of Seminole Boosters since last year and has extensive experience in college and professional sports in fundraising, hiring and management in athletics. Alford is taking over a 20 sports program with a budget of $ 106 million.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Vince Tyra has resigned as Louisville’s athletic director, ending a difficult four-year tenure in which he led the Cardinals’ men’s basketball program through multiple inquiries from the NCAA between hiring head coaches for the sport and football.

University spokesman John Karman confirmed that the school had received and accepted Tyra’s resignation letter, which went into effect on Wednesday. Tyra’s departure comes hours after university president Neeli Bendapudi surprisingly resigned to become president of Penn State.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Miami ended a busy transition week on Thursday by announcing the hiring of Dan Radakovich as athletic director.

Radakovich comes from Clemson, where he has spent the past nine years overseeing the Tigers’ rise to the footballing superpower under coach Dabo Swinney.

Radakovich’s announcement as head of the sports department comes two days after Miami introduced Mario Cristobal as their new football coach. Cristobal, a former Hurricanes offensive lineman, was drawn away from Oregon, where he had been a head coach for the past four seasons.

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