AP Scorecard

AP Sports
January 11, 2024
Shots Fired in Domestic Dispute in Todd
January 12, 2024
AP Scorecard


Patriots’ ‘partnership’ with Bill Belichick comes to an end after 24 seasons, 6 Super Bowl titles

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Six-time NFL champion Bill Belichick has agreed to part ways as the coach of the New England Patriots, bringing an end to his 24-year tenure as the architect of the most decorated dynasty of the league’s Super Bowl era. Belichick became just the third coach in NFL history to reach 300 career regular-season wins, joining Hall of Famers Don Shula and George Halas. Belichick trails only Shula for the record for victories by a coach. But this season, finishing with a 4-13 record, was Belichick’s worst in 29 seasons as an NFL head coach.

Bill Belichick is out in New England, so what’s next for the 6-time Super Bowl champion?

Now that Bill Belichick is out as coach of the New England Patriots after 24 seasons, the question turns to where will the six-time Super Bowl champion go next. Belichick needs just 15 wins to surpass Don Shula’s all-time record of 347 in the regular season and playoffs and could have options about where to go if he wants to go after that record. There are already seven other coaching openings outside of New England with the Raiders, Chargers, Panthers, Falcons, Commanders, Titans and Seahawks all looking for new head coaches.

Lionel Messi wasn’t seen at MLS media day. Doesn’t matter, since everyone talked about him

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Lionel Messi was not visible at Major League Soccer’s annual media day on Thursday. His shadow was. Messi is entering his first full season with Inter Miami, which creates an obvious storyline that seems to be on everyone’s mind as MLS teams enter their preseason training camps. And a franchise that hasn’t come close to winning an MLS Cup and didn’t even make the playoffs last season, even with Messi around for the last few months, suddenly seems like a frontrunner entering 2024. So, yes, Messimania continues, with no signs of slowing down.

Parity, the portal and NIL all driving a new era for college basketball and how teams are ranked

College basketball is undergoing a shift, a new era ushered in by the transfer portal, NIL compensation for athletes and conference realignment. Programs like Baylor and Virginia have won national championships. Upsets have become more commonplace in the NCAA Tournament. Even The Associated Press Top 25 poll has been affected. Teams like Buffalo, Furman, Wofford and Florida Atlantic have been ranked for the first time in the past five years. New teams have moved atop the poll.

Left-hander Shōta Imanaga and Chicago Cubs finalize $53 million, 4-year contract

CHICAGO (AP) — Japanese left-hander Shōta Imanaga and the Chicago Cubs finalized a $53 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a club option that could make the agreement worth $80 million over five seasons. Chicago can exercise a 2028 option after 2025 or ’26. If the team declines the option in either instance, Imanaga would have the right to opt out of the remainder of the contract to become a free agent. Chicago must pay a posting fee of $9,825,000 to the Yokohama BayStars of Japan’s Central League. The amount of the fee would increase if the option is exercised.

Pro Picks: NFL’s wild-card weekend filled with reunions and rematches

Matthew Stafford vs. the Lions. Mike McCarthy vs. the Packers. Tyreek Hill vs. the Chiefs. The NFL’s wild-card weekend is all about reunions and some rematches, too. Stafford leads the Los Angeles Rams to Detroit to face his old team where he spent 12 seasons and didn’t win a playoff game. McCarthy’s Dallas Cowboys host Green Bay, the team he led to a Super Bowl title with Aaron Rodgers 13 years ago. Hill and the Miami Dolphins head to Kansas City, which won one Super Bowl with the dynamic wide receiver and one without him last season. The upstart Houston Texans take on the Browns for the second time in three weeks.

Sportsbooks pulling hard for big underdogs Packers and Steelers in the playoffs

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sportsbook directors follow the money when it comes to cheering for particular teams. They are solidly behind the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. Both are sizable underdogs in the NFL playoffs, with the majority of the money from casual bettors going to the favorites. The Packers are 7 1/2-point underdogs at FanDuel Sportsbook in the wild-card round at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Pittsburgh is an even bigger dog at plus-10 on Sunday at the Buffalo Bills.

Nick Saban ‘didn’t want to ride the program down,’ Alabama begins hunt for his successor

Nick Saban is retiring with his Alabama football program still appearing formidable enough to regularly contend for Southeastern Conference and national championships. The 72-year-old Saban won six national titles and nine SEC crowns in 17 seasons with the Crimson Tide. He told ESPN that he has “always said that I didn’t want to ride the program down.” Saban said he settled on retirement after returning from a trip last weekend to his Florida home. One reported potential candidate to replace him, Oregon coach Dan Lanning, says he is staying put.

Rory McIlroy opens 2024 with bogey-free 62 to lead Dubai Invitational by 2 shots

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy is playing the Dubai Invitational as a favor to a friend and to get in some early-year practice in pleasant weather conditions. McIlroy might end up taking home the trophy the way he has started. The No. 2-ranked Northern Irishman made nine birdies in a bogey-free, 9-under 62 to take a two-shot clubhouse lead in the first round. Yannik Paul of Germany is in second place at Dubai Creek Resort. McIlroy sees a tournament in a relaxed setting, with no cut and a 60-man field as a gentle way to ease into 2024.

Israel barred from International Ice Hockey Federation events over security concerns

ZURICH (AP) — The International Ice Hockey Federation has barred Israel from competing in its world championship events citing security concerns. The IIHF says its ruling council’s decision was based on concern for “the safety and well-being of all participants,” including Israelis. It set no deadline for the teams to return to competition. The statement did not say if any other country had objected to playing against Israel and made no mention of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.