AP Sports Digest for Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
The highlights of Friday’s AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan. You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org. Sports content can be found at http://newsroom.ap.org/page/APSports
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The supervisor is Ben Nuckols, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Jake Seiner at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636. Agate, 800-300-8340.
All times EDT
FBC—BIG 12 EXPANSION
The Big 12 extended membership invitations Friday for BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to join the Power Five conference that will be losing Oklahoma and Texas to the Southeastern Conference. The eight continuing members of the Big 12 unanimously approved the applications of the four schools. The moves come six weeks after the SEC invited Texas and Oklahoma to join its league in time for the 2025-26 season. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 860 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Novak Djokovic tries to improve to 27-0 in Grand Slam matches in 2021 and close in on a calendar-year Grand Slam when he meets Alexander Zverev in the U.S. Open semifinals Friday night. Djokovic lost to Zverev at the Tokyo Olympics in July. The first semifinal is No. 2 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. First semifinal starts at 3 p.m., the second not before 7 p.m. With: US Open-The Latest; US Open-Glance.
NEW YORK — They first met somewhere around age 12, bonded by big tennis dreams and a connection to Canada. Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu went their separate ways but now they’re together again, set to play Saturday in the first U.S. Open final between teenagers since 1999. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.
BKO—HALL OF FAME
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Paul Pierce joins the basketball Hall of Fame, and Bill Russell goes in as a coach when the shrine holds its induction ceremony for the class of 2021. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
FBN—ON FOOTBALL-HEADLINE GAMES
Putting together the NFL schedule might be as complex as space travel. All 32 teams have preferences, there are stadium and city issues to deal with, bye weeks to consider and, most importantly, attempting to avoid competitive imbalances. That final challenge is unavoidable in some instances because weather makes for a competitive edge. For 2020 and 2021, there also has been the added concern of COVID-19 and its impact throughout the league. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 1 p.m.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t at their best in a season-opening victory, but the defending Super Bowl champions will never apologize for winning. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
PAUL NEWBERRY-SEPT 11
On that sunny morning two decades ago, in the hours and minutes and seconds before everything changed, sports was playing its usual role in the fabric of life. For some, it stirred emotions ranging from giddy elation to gut-punches of anger. For others, it was nothing more than ambivalence. Then, four planes plunged from the skies, two skyscrapers fell and we suddenly decided that sports would be our saving grace, the pursuit that helped heal a nation and bring us together. Of course, it was far too much to ask. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.
If Dak Prescott is going to see Tom Brady and Tampa Bay again this season, as the star Dallas quarterback boldly told the seven-time champ after the Buccaneers’ last-second win in the opener, the Cowboys are going to have to change recent history. Some more ancient stuff, too. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.
FBN—PICK SIX-RECORD WATCH
The NFL’s move to 17 games in 2021 has made some records that once might have seemed unbreakable a little bit more attainable with an extra game to do it. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 680 words, photos.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens are putting running back Gus Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters on injured reserve with knee injuries. Coach John Harbaugh announced the moves Friday, describing the injuries as season-ending, non-contact ligament tears from practice. SENT: 380 words, photos.
PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt got paid. The Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker is eager to prove he’s worth the investment after signing an extension that made him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
BKL—LIBERTY LEGACY AT 25
NEW YORK — Teresa Weatherspoon and Vickie Johnson were the dynamic backcourt duo for the original New York Liberty in 1997. Flash forward nearly 25 years and several Liberty players are still working in basketball in the WNBA’s silver anniversary season. Weatherspoon and Becky Hammon are assistant coaches for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs, respectively. Johnson is the head coach for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings. By Melissa Murphy. SENT: 900 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES — Pitching on an extra day’s rest, Julio Urías goes for his major league-leading 17th victory when he starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers against Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 10 p.m.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The spotlight is on IndyCar, for the next three weeks, at least. The supercharged open-wheel series has a nail-biting championship race and a changing of the guard both atop the standings and across the grid. Pato O’Ward has a 10-point lead in the championship standings and five drivers are within 60 points with three races to go. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 2 p.m.
RICHMOND, Va. — Denny Hamlin figured luck would eventually be on his side, and that a return to Victory Lane would follow. Now that he finally broke through in NASCAR's playoff opener, he’s looking to build up his points total as the Cup Series visits Richmond Raceway, his hometown track. By Hank Kurz Jr. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
GENEVA — Olympic power broker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait was found guilty on Friday of forgery linked to implicating his political rivals in Kuwait in a coup plot. Sheikh Ahmad, his English former lawyer, a Kuwaiti aide and two more lawyers based in Geneva in 2014 were convicted on forgery charges linked to orchestrating a sham arbitration case in Geneva. They are likely to appeal. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SOC—WCUP-EVERY TWO YEARS
LONDON — South American football’s governing body joined Europe in opposing FIFA’s push for World Cups every two years, while leading coaches Jürgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann also voiced concerns on Friday. CONMEBOL’s resistance to doubling the frequency of World Cups is striking given its president, Alejandro Domínguez, proposed the same concept to FIFA in 2018. Now CONMEBOL thinks that biennial World Cups would lower the quality of the competition. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 780 words, photos.
Friday Time Schedule (EDT)
College Football (Top 25)
No. 17 Coastal Carolina vs. Kansas, 7:30 p.m.
San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Washington at Pittsburgh, 6:35 p.m.
Colorado at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
Toronto at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Milwaukee at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.
Miami at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
Boston at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
Kansas City at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Houston, 8:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.
Texas at Oakland, 9:40 p.m.
Arizona at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
San Diego at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Orlando City at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Portland at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Atlanta at Washington, 7 p.m.
Indiana at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
The Associated Press