• Illinois baseball plans Dominican trip

    Updated: 16 min ago

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois baseball team will make a preseason trip this November to the Dominican Republic. According to a news release from the team, the Illini will play games over an eight-day period against Dominican teams. Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said the trip will give his players a chance to play against teams at Major League Baseball teams' training facilities in the Caribbean country. The team also plans to spend time doing community service work. NCAA rules allow baseball teams to travel abroad once every four years but this will be the first trip for Illinois. Next season's schedule hasn't been set but college baseball teams typically start in February.

  • Serena Williams headlines Hopman Cup field

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams will combine with Wimbledon doubles champion Jack Sock in the United States team which will compete in a star-studded Hopman Cup tournament in January. Williams won the Cup with James Blake in 2003 and Mardy Fish in 2008 and will again use the tournament as preparation for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open. Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will combine with Alize Cornet in a French team playing in Group B with Australia, Great Britain and Poland. Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will play for Britain alongside Heather Watson. Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios and world No.6 Agnieszka Radwanska

  • More than games gold at stake in all-Korean final

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Rarely has there been so much at stake in an Asian Games football final. It's North vs. South on the divided Korean peninsula, and it's a game South Korea's players are desperate to win. Not just because it takes place on home soil against their closest neighbor but also because a gold medal would grant them exemption from mandatory military service, which is largely in place because the two countries are still technically at war. When North Korea and South Korea met in the Asian Games final in 1978, the game ended goalless and the title was shared. While the same scoreline is possible at Incheon on Thursday, especially given the strength of the two teams at the back, there will be no such sharing

  • A capsule look at the Giants-Pirates playoff game

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    A look at the National League wild-card playoff between the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates: ___ Schedule: Wednesday, at Pittsburgh, 8:07 p.m. EDT (ESPN). ___ Season Series: Pirates won 4-2. ___ Projected Lineups: Giants: CF Gregor Blanco (.260, 5 HRs, 38 RBIs), 2B Joe Panik (.305, 1, 18), C Buster Posey (.311, 22, 89), 3B Pablo Sandoval (.279, 16, 73), RF Hunter Pence (.277, 20, 74), 1B Brandon Belt (.243, 12, 27), LF Travis Ishikawa (.252, 3, 18 with Pirates and Giants), SS Brandon Crawford (.246, 10, 69). Pirates: 3B Josh Harrison (.315, 13, 52, 38 doubles), RF Travis Snider (.264, 13, 38), CF Andrew McCutchen (.314, 25, 83, 38 doubles, 84 walks), 2B Neil Walker (.271, 23, 76

  • UM students protest, demand AD Brandon's firing

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — About 1,000 University of Michigan students have marched to the home of school President Mark Schlissel to protest against the performance of athletic director Dave Brandon and football coach Brady Hoke. Tuesday evening's rally came shortly after Schlissel apologized for the way the team handled a head injury to quarterback Shane Morris during Saturday's 30-14 loss to visiting Minnesota. The protest came as disappointments mount for the 2-3 Wolverine and focused on coaches' failure to keep Morris out of the game after his head injury. Brady says he was unaware that Morris hurt his head in a helmet collision. The Michigan Daily reports that students called for the athletic director's removal wit

  • Michigan St, Nebraska have gaudy offensive numbers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State is off to a historic start on offense and welcomes another high-scoring team to begin Big Ten play against Nebraska at 8 p.m. Saturday at Spartan Stadium. MSU (3-1) is ranked No. 10 in the AP poll and has scored 201 points through four games, best in school history. No. 19 Nebraska (5-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) is averaging 45.4 points per game. "Two competitive football teams, two teams that don't want to lose," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. "You can feel the emotion from both football teams. . That's what makes college football so great, so unique." Emotions will be higher than usual Saturday in what could be a preview of this year's Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.

  • Braves hitting coach quits after dismal season

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — The changes keep coming for the Atlanta Braves. Already in the market for a general manager, they'll have to hire a new hitting coach as well. Greg Walker resigned from the coaching staff Tuesday, a move that was expected after the Braves struggled through a miserable season offensively. Atlanta batted .241 as a team and scored only 573 runs, the second-lowest total in the majors. Only seven teams hit fewer homers than the Braves (123), an especially troubling number because the team had the fourth-most strikeouts (1,369) and was supposedly built for power. Down the stretch, the offense was especially feeble.

  • Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Edinson Volquez's renaissance began with a simple game of catch. During his brief session with Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage on that January day at the team's training facility in Florida, the talented but erratic right-hander listened as Searage outlined a plan to help the 31-year-old regain the form that once made him an All-Star. "He felt wanted," Searage said. "That builds trust." Ten months later, Volquez will try to repay that trust by sending the Pirates into the NL Division Series for the second straight year when he starts Wednesday night's wild-card game against San Francisco.

  • Horford back but playing it safe in training camp

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Al Horford stood on the sideline during the first day of training camp Tuesday, tugging anxiously at his No. 15 jersey while his teammates went through a five-on-five drill. The Atlanta Hawks center can't wait to mix it up again. Not yet. The Hawks are playing it safe with Horford, trying to cut down on the risk of another injury like the ones that kept him out for the better part of two seasons. He will gradually ease his way into contact drills, perhaps play a couple of preseason games, all with the focus on being ready to go in the Oct. 29 opener at Toronto. "The coaches and trainers just want to be safe," Horford said after the opening session at the University of Georgia, where the Hawks

  • Tennessee WR Josh Smith won't play against Florida

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee wide receiver Josh Smith will miss a second straight game Saturday against Florida due to a high ankle sprain. Volunteers coach Butch Jones said Tuesday that Smith won't play this week. Jones said receiver Von Pearson, who also has a high ankle sprain, "practiced a little bit" Tuesday. Pearson has missed two games. His status for Florida remains uncertain. Offensive tackle Jacob Gilliam also is practicing again after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in Tennessee's season opener. Jones said "there is a chance he could play again this year." Quarterback Justin Worley practiced Tuesday with a padded sleeve on his right elbow and said he plans to wear the sleeve Saturday.

  • Cincinnati football staffer fired after arrest

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    CINCINNATI (AP) — A staff member with Cincinnati's football program was fired Tuesday, four days after the school learned that he had been arrested on a misdemeanor sexual abuse charge in northern Kentucky. Antrione Archer was accused of exposing himself and touching other adults at a grocery store in Kenton County, Kentucky, last May, according to court records obtained by WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. Archer has been Director of Player Welfare and Development with Cincinnati's football program since 2011, acting as a liaison between coaches and players. The school said in a release it learned about the arrest Friday and put Archer on administrative leave pending an investigation. Court records in Kenton County Justice Court show

  • Dodgers using down time to heal up for playoffs

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers are heading into the postseason healthier than they were a year ago, and they hope it holds up. The NL West champions have some question marks on their roster, most notably involving 14-game winner Hyun-Jin Ryu and second baseman Dee Gordon. They're using the four days before the NL Division Series against St. Louis begins on Friday to heal up. Ryu is set to throw a simulated game Wednesday as he rehabs from shoulder inflammation. The left-hander hasn't pitched in a game since Sept. 12, when he was removed after one inning. The Dodgers foresee him starting Game 3 in St. Louis on Oct. 6. "I feel good and I'm ready to throw tomorrow," Ryu said through a translator.

  • Coaches use large network to watch for injury

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    The sideline is often the worst place to watch a football game. Even for the head coach standing front and center, getting a good look at what is happening on the field can be difficult. Behind the coach can be 100 players and dozens of assistants and staffers packed into an area 50 yards long, all zipping from play to play. How is a coach supposed to look for injuries in all that activity, and still run his team? With plenty of help. Michigan's athletic director apologized Tuesday after quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to play after taking a late hit that left him wobbly. Morris, who also had a sprained ankle, stayed in the game for one more play after the big hit.

  • EIU joins Garoppolo hype with jersey offer

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — It didn't take long for New England Patriot quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's (gah-RAH'-puh-lohz) alma mater to take advantage of the buzz around the quarterback's first NFL appearance. Eastern Illinois University on Tuesday said it will give replica Garoppolo No. 10 jerseys to fans who join the school's Panther Club for $250 or increase their current donation levels by at least $150. The rookie quarterback replaced the struggling Tom Brady Monday night in the Patriots' 41-14 loss to Kansas City. Garoppolo threw for a late touchdown. Garoppolo so far is known mostly as the handsome Brady's handsome backup.

  • Unbeaten Georgia Tech looks to end skid vs. Miami

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn't think his team is too excited about its successful start. It's been 10 days since the Yellow Jackets (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) rallied for an upset win at Virginia Tech, and Johnson still sees plenty of mistakes that need correcting. Those concerns come more into focus with Miami (3-2, 1-1) visiting this weekend. The Hurricanes have won five straight in the series by an average of 16 points. Holding onto the football has been a big problem against the Hurricanes. Three turnovers last season at Miami and in 2011 were too much to overcome. Two years ago, Hurricanes scored the game's final 23 points at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

  • No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs are still quite defensive

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Something is very familiar for No. 25 TCU, even with all those changes on offense. The Horned Frogs are dominating on defense like they have so often under Gary Patterson, who was their demanding defensive coordinator before becoming head coach nearly 14 years ago. "I think it's the same old coach. He wants to be the best defense in the nation," senior safety Sam Carter said Tuesday. "We get the same thing every day. ... Nothing's changed. He's still intense, wants perfection." TCU (3-0), back in the rankings this week for the first time since early last season, is second nationally allowing only 219 total yards and seven points per game. Opponents are averaging only 2.

  • Florida begins stretch that could define season

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Will Muschamp calls every game a must-win. Following a lopsided loss at Alabama, it's really starting to look and feel that way for Muschamp and the Gators. Florida's season and Muschamp's future could be decided in the next month. The Gators play four games over the next five weeks that might determine whether they're back in the Eastern Division race or in the market for a new coach. It begins Saturday at Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee, which is a slight favorite despite losing nine consecutive games in the series. "It's very critical because the East is wide open right now and everybody has a loss," running back Matt Jones said Tuesday. "To go in there and beat Tennes

  • Big Ten West teams step up

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the prevailing notions heading into the season was that the Big Ten East Division could end up being a lot better than the West. It didn't look that way last weekend. Northwestern buried Penn State as road underdogs. Minnesota did the same to reeling Michigan in Ann Arbor. Nebraska continued its unbeaten start with a rout of Illinois and Iowa won its second straight road game. Though it was a small sample size, Saturday's performances were encouraging for the teams in the West. "They won some big games on the road, some big games at home on our side. It's going to be a very interesting next eight or nine weeks as we go through this season to see who comes out of that side on top,"

  • Edsall provides lead gift for UConn statue

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Maryland coach Randy Edsall has provided the lead gift for a statue being built to honor former Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard. Howard was stabbed to death following a dance at UConn in October 2009, while Edsall was the school's football coach. The statue at Rentschler Field in East Hartford is to be dedicated on Nov. 1, at halftime of the Huskies' homecoming game with Central Florida. The school, which had been seeking about $30,000 for the memorial, announced Tuesday that it had raised the money it needed. It did not say how much was raised, but said Edsall was the lead donor. The school said it also received donations from Howard's former teammates and from fans.

  • Michigan apologizes for mistakes with QB injury

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan announced changes to its injury protocol Tuesday, admitting it made a mistake in handling quarterback Shane Morris following a suspected concussion because of a "serious lack of communication" and "confusion" among the coaching staff. Athletic director Dave Brandon said Michigan plans to have a medical professional in the press box or video booth at future football games after what happened over the weekend. Coach Brady Hoke has been criticized for not immediately sitting Morris for the rest of the game after the sophomore took a hard hit in the fourth quarter against Minnesota on Saturday. Hoke said Monday he didn't see the hit on Morris, and that all he knew at the time was that his quarte