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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP: Top Sports Top Sports Headlines from the AP


Raiders bring RB Marshawn Lynch out of retirement

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:35:55 UT

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland. Lynch passed a physical Wednesday and agreed to a restructured two-year contract. Those were the final steps needed before Seattle could trade his rights along with a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Raiders for a 2018 fifth-rounder. Lynch also must apply to the NFL for reinstatement from the retired list before he can play with the Raiders. ___ More AP NFL: and

Sharapova wins 1st match on return from 15-month doping ban

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:21:10 UT

Apart from producing a string of unforced errors, Sharapova also showed flashes of her old self - with several outstanding returns and cross-court winners, mostly followed by her trademark fist pump. The Russian, however, broke again and converted her second set point with a forehand winner to take the opener. Earlier Wednesday, Sharapova completed a one-hour training session on an empty center court. Because her suspension ended only at midnight, she had not been allowed to use official tournament facilities before, forcing her to visit a local tennis club in Stuttgart for training since last weekend. In other first-round play, Kristina Mladenovic beat Australian Open semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-2 to set up a second-round match against the top-seeded defending champion, Angelique Kerber.

Harbaugh gives pope a helmet, pair of Jordans

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:05:35 UT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Jim Harbaugh stood near the steps of St. Peter's Basilica with a Michigan football helmet and a box of Wolverine-themed Jordan sneakers held high above his head. Michigan's coach, flanked by his wife, Sarah, had an opportunity to greet the pope Wednesday after a weekly papal address inside St. Peter's Square. Harbaugh, after delivering a personalized winged helmet - complete with the pope's name and number (226) and a pair of size 11 Jordan Brand sneakers - listened as the holy father asked for his prayers. Asked Wednesday what "Grandpa Joe" might think now that his grandson has met and touched the pope, Harbaugh was almost at a loss for words. The rest of the Wolverines watched from roughly 30 feet away as Pope Francis entered St. Peter's Square in his personal motorcade. After most of the party departs, the Harbaughs will stay behind and have their newborn son, John Paul, baptized during a public mass at The Vatican on Sunday.

Pick 6: 10-win teams in 2016 likely to slip back in 2017

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:24:02 UT

Alabama makes knocking out double-digit victory seasons look so easy, but for most programs it takes a combination of good play and good fortune that can be difficult to replicate from one year to the next. Mike MacIntyre won AP coach of the year for righting a ship that had long been listing, and a major part of the turnaround was a much improved defense. Add a new starting quarterback, and it is highly unlikely the Buffs will be making a second straight appearance in the conference title game. The Wolverines were a few plays away from making the playoff in Jim Harbaugh's second season, with one of the most experienced teams in the country. Matt Rhule left for Baylor and former Florida and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins steps in. The core of a good offense returns, but the American Athletic Conference schedule will be difficult with cross-division games against Houston, Navy and Tulsa and a road game at league favorite USF. Coach Justin Fuente quickly revived a program that had stagnated in the final seasons of Frank Beamer's tenure, leading the Hokies to their first double-digit victory season since 2011. Virginia Tech struck gold last season with junior college transfer quarterback Jerod Evans, but he declared for the NFL. Road trips to Illinois and Vanderbilt in nonconference play are winnable and Conference USA's East Division has no obvious threats to WKU, but the personnel and coaching transition make at least a small step back seem inevitable.

Livestrong revenue dropped again in 2015, trending up now

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:06:37 UT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Livestrong cancer charity saw a fundraising and contributions nosedive in 2015 for a third straight year after founder Lance Armstrong's performance-enhancing drug scandal. Livestrong's most recent federal financial disclosures obtained by The Associated Press show sharp declines in contributions, revenue and assets in in 2015. Armstrong, a cancer survivor, started the charity as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 and his success and celebrity helped build it into a global brand. Major commercial partners such as Nike, Oakley and Dick's Sporting Goods let contracts and sponsorships expire. According to records, Livestrong's contributions have plummeted 85 percent since 2011, the year after Armstrong last competed in the Tour de France. Modest gains in 2016 and 2017 also show Livestrong is settling into a "new normal" of a smaller, leaner operation, said Brian Mittendorf an accounting professor at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business with a focus on nonprofits. The connection with a large, prestigious public university should provide stability for Livestrong over the long term, Mittendorf said.

Saudi council rejects proposal for female sports colleges

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:00:05 UT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A proposal to establish sports education colleges for Saudi women failed to win enough votes in the kingdom's top advisory body, a council member who drafted the plan said Wednesday. Physical education is still not on the curriculum for Saudi girls in public schools, though some private schools offer physical education classes and sports to female students. Despite lingering attitudes against women's participation in sports, the kingdom sent women to participate in the Olympic Games twice, doubling its female contingency to four in the 2016 Rio games. Almaeena said she expected the proposal to have greater backing by Shura Council members because it supports the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan, which is a blueprint for a wide-reaching government overhaul to develop the society and the economy. Almaeena said that in order to improve women's health and participation in sports, there have to be women who can teach young girls about fitness and well-being.

In tense political times, NBA heading to Israel this summer

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:30:13 UT

Basketball Without Borders has visited countries across the globe since 2001, using the sport to promote cultural understanding and active living. The top teenagers from over 30 countries, including Israel, Spain, Germany and France, will get coaching and tutoring from NBA and FIBA players, coaches and former stars, including former Spurs All-Star David Robinson. Behrens said the league has been talking to active players about participating in a program that has visited 25 countries on six continents since its inception. [...] we think this program, because of everything that it does in terms of bringing people together, bridging cultural divides, language barriers, it really has cemented itself as a key part of our calendar.

Bruins will bring back Bruce Cassidy as head coach

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:18:59 UT

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins are bringing Bruce Cassidy back next season, dropping the interim tag from his title as a reward for leading the team back to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Cassidy replaced Claude Julien, the winningest coach in the history of the Original Six franchise, on Feb. 8 and led the team to an 18-8-1 record to finish out the season and earn a postseason berth. [...] they missed the postseason the last two seasons and were out of playoff position on Feb. 8, having lost six of their last nine games, when Julien was fired. A left-handed defenseman, Cassidy was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1983 who recorded four goals and 13 assists in 36 career NHL games.

MLB: Multiple groups have submitted bids to buy Marlins

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:38:32 UT

Multiple groups have submitted bids to buy the team, and none has yet been accepted, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday. "You can rest assured that the acquiring group, whoever it turns out to be, will have a financial structure — meaning some debt and the rest equity — that is consistent with the rules that we have, most notably the debt service rule," Manfred said. The debt service rule was expanded under the new collective bargaining agreement to include club-supported debt incurred by the club or any club-related party. Marlins manager Don Mattingly — who was Jeter's teammate and coach with the Yankees — declined to discuss the possibility of them joining forces in Miami. Sale of the Marlins would be widely applauded in South Florida, where Loria has become unpopular because of his tight budgets, payroll purges and a financing agreement for 5-year-old Marlins Park widely viewed as unfair to taxpayers. Loria, 76, bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry, part of the Boston Red Sox ownership group that has celebrated three World Series titles.

Cleveland OKs last chunk of financing to upgrade Cavs' arena

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:25:08 UT

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland officials have committed the final chunk of financing for $140 million in upgrades planned at the Cavaliers' home arena. The cost of renovations to the concert and sports venue is being split by the city, the team, Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County, and a convention and visitors bureau.