Wednesday Sports in Brief

Sports

OLYMPICS

GENEVA (AP)The president of the International Olympic Committee did his best to stay neutral Wednesday as Canada, Britain and Australia followed the United States in announcing diplomatic boycotts of the Winter Games in Beijing.

Thomas Bach, who has led the body through a series of problematic Olympic preparations since taking over in 2013, tried to spin the diplomatic snub into a positive by noting each country is allowing its athletes and teams to compete in Beijing.

GOLF

Tiger Woods is returning to some form of competition.

He says he will be playing next weekend in Orlando, Florida, at the PNC Championship with 12-year-old son Charlie.

The PNC Championship is a 36-hole event involving family members.

It will have been 298 days since Woods’ right leg was badly damaged when his speeding car went through a median and rolled down a hill on a road in the Los Angeles suburbs.

Woods was hitting balls last weekend in the Bahamas during his Hero World Challenge. He said he might play the odd ”hit-and-giggle” event. This would be one of them.

NHL

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira spent the night in a hospital after he was leveled by Jacob Trouba during a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

Team physician Michael Terry said Khaira was released Wednesday morning after undergoing ”extensive testing.” The Blackhawks cited the NHL’s concussion protocol when they placed Khaira on injured reserve later in the day.

Khaira’s head was down as he gathered the puck in the second period Tuesday night. He looked up just as Trouba appeared to drive his right shoulder into Khaira’s chin.

TENNIS

MLEBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Not long after Serena Williams’ name was absent from the entry list for the Australian Open, she confirmed the obvious: the seven-time champion won’t play the 2022 edition of the season-opening major in January.

The 40-year-old Williams hasn’t played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right hamstring injury and her ranking has slipped to No. 41. She won the last of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, and was beaten in the semifinals this year by Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

The Australian Open’s website Wednesday said the seven-time women’s singles champion would not compete in Melbourne ”following advice from her medical team.”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – Michael Dowse is resigning as CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association after about two years in the position, during which the coronavirus pandemic led to a zero-spectators U.S. Open in 2020 and an increase in participation in the sport.

The USTA announced Wednesday that Dowse is stepping down effective March 1.

He was hired to lead the governing body of tennis in the United States in October 2019 and his tenure began the following January.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Miami is hiring Dan Radakovich as its athletic director, luring him away from Clemson after nearly a decade of enormous success there, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school was still finalizing an agreement with its new AD and an announcement was planned for Thursday.

The 63-year-old Radakovich will replace Blake James, who Miami let go last month, two days after the Hurricanes’ football team lost to Florida State. That was the precursor to another move, the firing of Manny Diaz as football coach earlier this week and replacing him with Miami alum Mario Cristobal.

– By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Fresno State is bringing back Jeff Tedford for a second stint as coach after Kalen DeBoer left to take over at Washington.

Athletic director Terry Tumey announced Wednesday that Tedford returns after coaching the Bulldogs from 2017-19. Tedford had a 26-14 record at his alma mater before stepping down for health reasons.

Tedford took over a 1-11 team following the 2016 season and led the Bulldogs to double-digit wins his first two seasons, winning the division in both those seasons and the Mountain West Conference championship in 2018.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Tech women’s basketball associate head coach Tasha Butts said Wednesday she has been diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer.

The 39-year-old Butts said she was diagnosed last month. She intends to keep coaching as much as possible while she’s being treated.

When Butts is unable to be with the team due to her treatments, women’s basketball chief of staff Mickie DeMoss will step in as an assistant coach.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) – UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday his team has lost a third guard to injury a day after learning that star Paige Bueckers likely will be out up to two months with a left leg fracture.

Nika Muhl is expected to miss about three weeks dealing with pain and a stress problem in her right foot, which has been bothering her since she suffered a sprain against High Point in the NCAA Tournament last season, Auriemma said.

The sophomore from Croatia was expected to see extended playing time filling in for Bueckers and freshman Azzi Fudd, who is dealing with a similar right foot stress injury, and won’t be back for at least a couple of weeks.

OBITUARY

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Mark Pike, a Bills special teams standout during Buffalo’s AFC championship-winning runs in the 1990s, died Wednesday following a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 57.

The Buffalo Bills announced Pike died after his condition worsened as a result of COVID-19 followed by a bout with pneumonia. Pike was from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and had resettled in the area following a 12-year career with the Bills, spanning 1987-98.

Listed as both a linebacker and defensive end, Pike was selected by the Bills in the seventh round of the 1986 draft out of Georgia Tech. At 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, Pike carved a niche on Buffalo’s special teams units. He still holds the franchise record in being credited with 255 career special teams tackles. The total ranks second in the NFL behind New England’s Larry Izzo, who was credited with 298.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Al Franken, who promoted track and field, golf and tennis on the West Coast during a long career in sports, died Wednesday. He was 96.

He died at his home in the Westwood section of Los Angeles from acute myeloid leukemia that was discovered recently, according to his son Don.

Franken co-founded the Los Angeles Invitational track and field meet held at the old Los Angeles Sports Arena in 1960. It was held indoors in February and televised nationally, serving as an elite-level stop between the Millrose Games in New York and the U.S. indoor national championships. It was known as the Sunkist Invitational until 1995 because of its sponsor Sunkist Growers. It continued until 2003, when it was canceled for lack of sponsorship.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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