Nov. 28 Sports Briefs

Broncos’ Talib, Raiders’
Crabtree suspended after fight

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver cornerback Aqib Talib were suspended two games each without pay for fighting during the recent game between the two teams.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan announced the suspensions a day after the two players brawled during Oakland’s 21-14 victory. Both players can appeal the suspensions.

The fight was a continuation of a dispute that started last season when Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off during the season finale. Crabtree missed the first game between the teams this year but didn’t wait long to seek revenge.

Crabtree punched Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. while blocking him on the first play of Oakland’s second drive. He then aggressively blocked Talib on a running play and drove him to the ground on the Broncos’ sideline on the following play, starting the brawl.

Chip Kelly gets huge ovation as new UCLA FB coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chip Kelly seemed a bit surprised by the standing ovation from hundreds of UCLA fans and boosters when he walked into the upscale club room at hallowed Pauley Pavilion to become the Bruins’ new head coach.

“Not a lot going on in LA today?” Kelly asked with a grin.

Kelly was the biggest show in Hollywood on Monday, and UCLA is betting big on the former Oregon coach’s ability to transform its up-and-down program into a must-see attraction.

The most coveted coach on the college football market formally accepted his new job with quiet confidence, declining to make any vows about winning Pac-12 championships or national titles. Instead, Kelly began his tenure by expressing respect for his predecessors at UCLA — and not just in the sport that he fundamentally changed with the Ducks only a half-decade ago.

“If you’re a coach, the unofficial mentor of probably all coaches is the great John Wooden,” Kelly said. “I think every coach that has ever put on some shoes and grabbed a whistle and got out and tried to educate young men and women has learned from his Pyramid of Success. And to be at the same campus where he affected so many people and still affects so many people is really, truly an honor.”

UCLA hasn’t won a conference title since 1998, but this sleeping giant of a football program is wide awake following a double jolt of excitement in the past few months.

IOC judging panel backs
Russian doping whistleblower

GENEVA (AP) — In a blow to the credibility of Russia’s denials that it operated state-backed Olympic doping, an IOC judging panel has endorsed a key whistleblower and the investigator who exposed the plot.

Orchestrated cheating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games was “a conspiracy which infected and subverted the Olympic Games in the worst possible manner,” an International Olympic Committee commission prosecuting a slew of Russian cases said on Monday.

Former Moscow and Sochi laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov was a “truthful witness,” the panel said in publishing its first detailed verdict on the same day it sanctioned five more Russian athletes to bring the total to 19.

Rodchenkov is living in the United States under FBI protection as a cooperating witness.

The IOC panel, chaired by Denis Oswald, agreed that investigator Richard McLaren — appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency to verify Rodchenkov’s claims to American media in May 2016 — proved the existence of a doping conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt.

NHL: Jets score 7 straight to beat Minnesota 7-2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Linemates Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and two assists, and the Jets scored seven straight goals to beat the Wild 7-2.

Joel Armia, Jacob Trouba, Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Little also scored for the Jets. Armia added an assist.

Connor Hellebuyck made 17 saves for the Winnipeg, which has won four straight and seven of eight at home.

Jason Zucker and Chris Stewart scored for Minnesota. The Wild left Alex Stalock in the entire game, and he stopped 21 shots.
The Jets have won 15 of 24 games this season, the quickest to 15 wins in franchise history.