FOOTBALL

With tears beginning to well, Tennessee Titans linebacker Rashad Weaver shook his head and lowered it to his knees, his body swaying as he tried to express what it was like watching friend and former college teammate Damar Hamlin having to be resuscitated back to life on the football field.

”I don’t know, man,” Weaver said Tuesday after sobbing uncontrollably at his locker. ”I missed exactly what happened but like five seconds later, seeing the first replay of it, just kind of like everybody else sitting there and holding your breath and figure out what happened.”

Weaver’s reaction was that of most everyone watching from home and on the field in Cincinnati on Monday night, when Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety, collapsed while going into cardiac arrest after making a tackle.

As Bills player lay sedated in a hospital bed with his family by his side at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition, Hamlin’s competitive and giving spirit was not lost on those who know him.

Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN outside the hospital Tuesday that Hamlin needed to have his heart re-started twice – once on the field, and again after he arrived at the hospital. Glenn also provided those details to other outlets, including ESPN and NFL Network.

The chilling scene of Hamlin’s collapse, which played on ESPN’s ”Monday Night Football,” has put the NFL on hold, with the game suspended.

Players and fans from across the NFL rallied to Hamlin’s support, with vigils held in Cincinnati and outside the Bills’ home stadium. The shock of what happened also reverberated in Pittsburgh, where the 24-year-old Hamlin grew up and was determined to give back to those in need.

Overnight, Hamlin went from being a relatively unknown player to receiving an international outpouring of support. His Chasing M’s Foundation eclipsed its modest goal of raising $2,500, exceeding $5.5 million by Tuesday night.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has talked to University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh about the team’s coaching position, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person characterized the meeting as a conversation, not an interview. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team does not typically release details of its coaching search.

Steve Wilks has been serving as interim head coach after Matt Rhule was fired in the middle of his third season as head coach. Carolina is required to interview at least two minority candidates in person, and those can’t come until after the wild-card weekend if those coaches are employed by another NFL team.

The 59-year-old Harbaugh has spent the past eight seasons coaching the Wolverines, compiling a 74-25 record. Michigan finished 13-1 this season after getting upset this past weekend by TCU in the College Football Playoffs.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Southern California All-America defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu will enter the NFL draft.

Tuipulotu, the FBS sacks leader with 13 1/2 as a junior, announced his decision on social media.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound edge rusher had two tackles and one sack in the eighth-ranked Trojans’ 46-45 loss to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl. He finished his college career with 21 sacks and 32 tackles for loss in 32 games.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Alabama kicker Will Reichard is sticking around after all.

Reichard announced he will return for a fifth season after initially planning to enter the NFL draft and accepting an invite to the Senior Bowl.

Reichard is Alabama’s career points leader. He has a fifth season of eligibility because of the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver. The Tide already signed one of the nation’s top kicking prospects, Conor Talty, in December.

SOCCER

SANTOS, Brazil (AP) – Brazil said a final farewell to Pele, burying the soccer great who unified the bitterly divided country.

Newly inaugurated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva paid his respects at Vila Belmiro, the stadium where Pele played for most of his career. A notable absentee was Jair Bolsonaro, whose term as president ended Dec. 31.

Pele was laid to rest in the city where he grew up and became famous.

Mass was held at the Vila Belmiro stadium before the black casket was driven through the streets of the city of Santos in a firetruck. It was taken into the cemetery as bands played the Santos team’s official song, and a Catholic hymn.

Pele died Thursday. He was 82.

NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. Soccer Federation revealed it is investigating men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter for a 1991 confrontation in which he kicked the woman who later became his wife.

The federation said it learned of the allegation Dec. 11 and hired the law firm Alston & Bird to investigate. The USSF said Berhalter and wife Rosalind had ”spoken openly” about the matter, and Berhalter admitted to the kick.

The USSF said it will announce ”in the coming days” who will coach the team for exhibitions against Serbia on Jan. 25 and Colombia three days later. These are the first matches for the Americans since they were eliminated by the Netherlands last month in the World Cup round of 16.

Berhalter, 51, was hired in December 2018 after the U.S. failed to qualify for that year’s World Cup. He has led the team to 37 wins, 11 losses and 12 draws.

BASKETBALL

Donovan Mitchell’s desperation basket that forced overtime – off an intentionally missed free throw – and extended what became his 71-point effort for the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 145-134 victory over Chicago on Monday night shouldn’t have counted, the NBA said.

Mitchell stepped ”over the plane of the free throw line before the ball touches the basket ring,” the league said in its publicly released report that assesses calls made by officials in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime of games that were within three points or less.

The shot would not have counted, and Chicago should have been given possession with 4.7 seconds remaining and the Bulls leading 130-128.

That basket gave him 58 points, breaking Cleveland’s single-game record of 57 that was held by former Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and wound up forcing the overtime. Mitchell scored 13 more points in overtime. The 71 points are the most in the NBA since Kobe Bryant had 81 on Jan. 22, 2006.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The New Orleans Pelicans are bracing for another extended stint without forward Zion Williamson.

The Pelicans announced that Williamson has a strained right hamstring and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. If that timetable holds, Williamson will miss at least 10 games. Williamson was hurt Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Williamson has appeared in 29 of the season’s first 37 games for the Pelicans, averaging a team-best 26.0 points. He missed the entire 2021-22 season and was limited to 85 games in his first two seasons because of injuries.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. was set to undergo surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his left hand.

The 27-year-old is averaging a career-high 20.2 points this season, while shooting 42.1% from the field and 30.8% from 3-point range.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa junior forward Patrick McCaffery is taking an indefinite leave of absence to address a mental health issue.

McCaffery, son of Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery, said he has been battling anxiety and that it has reached the point where it inhibits his preparation and performance. He has started all 14 games this season, averaging 12.8 points.

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) – All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi and the Chicago White Sox finalized a $75 million, five-year contract.

He is due a $3 million signing bonus, plus $8 million in 2023, $16.5 million each season from 2024-26 and $14.5 million in 2027.

The 28-year-old Benintendi helped Boston win the World Series in 2018. He won a Gold Glove with Kansas City in 2021 and was chosen to his first All-Star team last season before the Royals traded him to the New York Yankees on July 27. He hit a career-high .304, though his home run total dropped to five.

NEW YORK (AP) – Brian Sabean is returning to the Yankees as executive adviser to GM Brian Cashman, three decades after leaving for San Francisco and watching his former prospects lead New York to four World Series titles in a five-year span.

Now 66, Sabean helped lead the Giants to World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14. He was San Francisco’s general manager from 1996 until 2014, then was promoted to executive vice president of baseball operations from 2015-18.

Shifted to an executive vice president role when Farhan Zaidi was hired as president of baseball operations after the 2018 season, Sabean worked under a contract that expired Oct. 31.

BALTIMORE (AP) – The Baltimore Orioles acquired first baseman Ryan O’Hearn from the Kansas City Royals for cash.

The 29-year-old O’Hearn hit .239 with a home run and 16 RBIs last season.

COLLEGE

Bigger brackets. Less bureaucracy. More benefits for athletes.

The NCAA Division I transformation committee wrapped up months of work with a 22-page report that recommends a variety of changes at the top level of college sports, but only one likely to catch the attention of the average fan.

The committee is recommending allowing 25% of teams in sports sponsored by at least 200 schools to compete in annual championship events. That opens the door to possible expansion of the popular March Madness basketball tournaments from 68 to as many as 90 teams each.

The final report will be presented to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration ahead of next week’s NCAA convention in San Antonio. The report calls for more sport-by-sport governance in Division I and enhanced expectations for DI schools with a goal of creating a more uniform experience for athletes.

MIXED-MARTIAL ARTS

LAS VEGAS (AP) – UFC President Dana White was seen on video released by TMZ slapping his wife, Anne, while the two were on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month.

White told TMZ in an interview Tuesday he was ”embarrassed” and concerned for how his three children were affected. UFC spokesman Chris Costello said neither the organization nor White would issue a statement to The Associated Press. Costello referred to White’s comments to TMZ.