Aug. 23 Sports Briefs

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ohio State suspends coach Urban Meyer for 3 games

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for three games for mishandling repeated professional and behavioral problems of an assistant coach, with investigators finding Meyer protected his protege for years through domestic violence allegations, a drug problem and poor job performance. The superstar coach’s treatment of his now-fired assistant was also clouded by his abiding devotion to the legacy of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, the grandfather of former wide receivers coach Zach Smith and an early coaching mentor for Meyer. “I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt,” Meyer said. The investigation turned up “a pattern of troubling behavior by Zach Smith: promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cybercrimes,” according to summary investigative findings released by the university. Meyer knew about at least some of the issues. The report and punishment culminated a two-week investigation of how Meyer reacted to allegations that Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Zach Smith was fired last month after she asked a judge for a protective order.

Tiger, Phil plan winner-take-all pay-per-view match

NEW YORK (AP) — The winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on. WarnerMedia says it has secured the rights for a payper-view event it is promoting as “The Match.” It will be 18 holes between Woods and Mickelson held Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner will receive $9 million. The pay-per-view cost is to be announced later. Woods announced that the match was on in a tweet, setting off Twitter banter with Mickelson , who only signed up for a Twitter account Wednesday. WarnerMedia says pay-per-view coverage will be distributed through Turner’s B/R Live, AT&T DirecTV and U-verse, and other on-demand platforms. HBO Sports and Bleacher Report will take part in the promotion. Woods and Mickelson will make side bets during the match on such things as longest drive or closest to the pin.

Major League Baseball schedules earliest openers ever

NEW YORK (AP) — Major league baseball says all 30 teams will play on March 28, the earliest opening day in history, excluding international openers. The previous earliest opening day was March 29 of this year. MLB released the 2019 schedule Wednesday. It will begin with the Japan opening series between the Seattle Mariners and host Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21. The 2019 season will be the second under the scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 basic agreement. That format adds an additional weekend at the beginning of the season and gives each team three to four additional off days throughout the season to provide added rest and opportunities for rescheduling. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play the first-ever MLB games in Europe, June 29-30 in London.

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