Friday Sports in Brief

February 19, 2022 GMT

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball canceled the first week of spring training games through March 4 in the first public acknowledgement of the disruption caused by the lockout.

The announcement Friday came with the work stoppage in its 79th day, and a day after talks on economics between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association lasted just 15 minutes.

Negotiators are set to resume bargaining on core economics on Monday in Jupiter, Florida, and MLB said members of the owners’ negotiating committee will attend the session, just the seventh on the central issues of the dispute since the lockout began Dec. 2.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has hired former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White to investigate an allegation that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder sexually harassed a team employee more than a decade ago.

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White will detail her findings in a written report, which will be released to the public because the allegation against Snyder was made in a public forum, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday.

Following the probe, McCarthy said Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine “any appropriate action” against Snyder, who last year was fined $10 million after a previous investigation into widespread sexual harassment and mistreatment of women by high-ranking team employees. Snyder also temporarily ceded day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife, Tanya.

OLYMPICS

BEIJING (AP) — Eileen Gu captured gold in the women’s ski halfpipe final on a breezy and cold morning to become the first action-sports athlete to earn three medals at the same Winter Olympics.

Gu warmed up with a score of 93.25 on her first run, before going even higher and even bigger to post a 95.25 her second. For her third and final pass, and with the contest locked up, she took a nice leisurely stroll.

The standout American-born freestyle skier who represents China already possessed a gold from big air and a silver from slopestyle.

Defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada finished second and her teammate Rachael Karker earned the bronze. Teenager Hanna Faulhaber was the top American finisher in sixth place.

NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) — The No. 1 overall pick came out on top again.

Detroit rookie Cade Cunningham, being counted on to bring the Pistons back to relevancy, was named MVP of the NBA’s All-Star Rising Stars on Friday night while leading Team Barry to a 25-20 win over Team Isiah.

Cunningham, who scored 13 points with six assists and five rebounds in the night’s first game, had only 5 points in the finale but made several big plays down the stretch, including a clutch 3-pointer.

Cunningham also made a nifty pass inside to set up Orlando’s Franz Wagner, whose free throw sealed Team Barry’s victory.

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Manu Ginobili, a four-time NBA champion who spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs, headlines this year’s group of finalists for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ginobili was one of 11 finalists announced Friday as part of All-Star Weekend events.

Former All-Star players Michael Cooper, Tim Hardaway and Marques Johnson will also be voted on for possible induction along with NBA coach George Karl and WNBA stars Swin Cash and Lindsay Whalen.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, Old Dominion and WNBA coach Marianne Staley, longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans and Texas high school coach Leta Andrews are also finalists.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The College Football Playoff is set to remain a four-team format through the 2025 season after the administrators who manage the postseason failed to agree on a plan to expand before the current contracts run out.

The CFP management committee, comprised of 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, met by video conference earlier this week, Executive Director Bill Hancock said Friday in a statement.

Unable to break an impasse, the commissioners decided to abandon efforts to implement a new 12-team format for the 2024 season and recommended staying with the current model to the presidents who oversee the playoff.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

NCAA Division I’s highest-ranking governing body called for a review Friday of how name, image and likeness compensation policies are impacting recruiting, transfers, academics and athlete’s mental health.

The Division I Board of Directors asked the Division I Council to produce a preliminary report by April and to make formal recommendations by June.

In its announcement, the NCAA said the board is concerned with the involvement of schools in arranging for NIL. The board also reiterated the NCAA’s plea for help from Congress with a federal NIL law.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Andretti has filed an application to field a Formula One team starting in 2024.

The filing to the FIA, the governing body of F1, was revealed Friday on Twitter by Andretti’s father, Mario. The 1978 F1 champion wrote “Andretti Global has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”

Andretti Autosport initially declined to comment on Mario Andretti’s post. The team then reversed its position and confirmed an application had been submitted to the FIA. No further details were revealed.

TRACK AND FIELD

LONDON (AP) — Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare received a 10-year ban for being part of an “organized doping regimen” ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Friday.

The former world championships silver medalist was initially suspended in July just before she was due to run in the semifinals of the 100 meters at the Olympics.

Okagbare tested positive for blood booster EPO in Nigeria in June, in addition to another failed test for human growth hormone in Slovakia in July. A ban of five years was imposed by the AIU for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and the suspension was doubled for her refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

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