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March 13, 2019
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Update on the latest sports





AP Source: Browns agree with TE Harris on 2-year deal


CLEVELAND (AP) – A person familiar with the deal says the Cleveland Browns and free agent tight end Demetrius Harris have agreed to a two-year contract.


Harris, who backed up Pro Bowler Travis Kelce in Kansas City, will be added to the roster when the NFL free agency signing period begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday. That’s according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because teams are not permitted to announce any moves until later.


In Cleveland, Harris will be reunited with Browns general manager John Dorsey, who signed him in 2013 with the Chiefs.


The 27-year-old Harris didn’t play football in college and began his pro career on the practice squad. He has 57 career catches for 605 yards in four seasons. He had 13 receptions for 164 yards and three touchdowns last season.


The Browns had an opening at tight end after releasing Darren Fells on Monday.


Earlier Wednesday, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon (LAY’-vee-ohn) Bell agreed to a deal with the New York Jets. Bell sat out all of last season after declining to sign his one-year, $14.4 million franchise tender with the Steelers.




Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction


BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts’ highest court has reinstated former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction.


The Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday scrapped the legal principle that erased Hernandez’s conviction after he killed himself in prison, and ordered the onetime football star’s conviction be restored.


Hernandez was found guilty in 2015 of killing semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.


The 27-year-old former football star was found dead in his prison cell in April 2017, days after being acquitted of most charges in a separate double-murder case.


Prosecutors said the legal principle was unfair to victims and outdated.


Under the new rule laid out by the court, the conviction will stand but the court record will note the conviction was neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died while the appeal was pending.




AP source: Nats, lefty reliever Sipp agree to $1.25M deal


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and the Washington Nationals have agreed in principle on a one-year contract that guarantees $1.25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020.


The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal was pending the successful completion of a physical exam.


Sipp would get a $1 million salary this year, and the deal includes a $2.5 million mutual option with a $250,000 buyout. There are not any performance bonuses.


This move gives Washington’s bullpen someone to use in a key spot against lefty hitters – such as Bryce Harper, the former Nationals slugger who joined NL East rival Philadelphia as a free agent.


The 35-year-old Sipp is entering his 11th season. He has a 25-20 career record with a 3.67 ERA and 513 strikeouts in 482 2/3 innings spanning 580 appearances for Cleveland, Arizona and Houston, all in relief.


Last season with the Astros, Sipp was 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA, holding lefty hitters to a .191 batting average.




Padres, lefty reliever Solis finalize minor league deal


PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – The San Diego Padres have finalized their minor league contract with left-handed reliever Sammy Solis.


The 30-year-old Solis was released Saturday by the Washington Nationals and will get $137,097 in termination pay rather than his $850,000 salary.


San Diego announced his agreement Tuesday.


Solis was 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 56 appearances in 2018, his fourth big league season. He had 44 strikeouts and 18 walks.




School suspends administrator in bribe scandal


BOSTON (AP) – A Florida prep school administrator has been suspended from his school after he was accused of taking college admissions tests for students as part of a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed coaches and others to get their children into elite universities.


IMG Academy in Bradenton said late Tuesday that 36-year-old Mark Riddell has been suspended indefinitely. He was the school’s director of college entrance exam preparation.


Riddell didn’t return several phone calls seeking comment.


He was charged Tuesday along with nearly 50 other people and faces conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering counts.


Documents say Riddell took entrance exams for students or replaced their answers with his own.


IMG Academy bills itself as the world’s largest sports academy. The school was founded by renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.




Alaskan Native Pete Kaiser wins Iditarod dog sled race


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod dog sled race.


Kaiser won the race for the first time early Wednesday, crossing the finish line in Nome after beating back a challenge from the defending champion, Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom.


Crowds cheered and clapped as Kaiser came off the Bering Sea ice and mushed down Nome’s main street to the famed burled arch finish line.


The 1,000-mile race began March 3 north of Anchorage.


Kaiser, who is Yupik, is from the southwest Alaska community of Bethel.


Four other Alaska Native mushers have won the race, including John Baker, an Inupiaq from Kotzebue, in 2011.


Kaiser will receive $50,000 and a new pickup truck for the victory.



AP-WF-03-13-19 1511GMT