Update on the latest in sports:
GYMNASTICS-DOCTOR SEXUAL ASSUALT
Michigan’s top court rejects appeal of Nassar sentence
CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former sports doctor Larry Nassar, which means a 40-year prison sentence for assaulting gymnasts will stand.
Nassar is under two identical sentences from judges in two Michigan counties. The Supreme Court’s brief order covers the sentence for molesting gymnasts at an Eaton County gym, near Lansing, Michigan. The court declined to take Nassar’s appeal.
Separately, the state appeals court still is reviewing a 40-year sentence handed down in Ingham County. The court is considering whether Nassar’s rights were violated by provocative remarks by the Judge in that case.
Nassar worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains elite gymnasts. Even before his state sentences begin, he’s serving decades in federal prison for possessing child pornography.
Yankees Tulowitzki likely headed to the injured list
NEW YORK (AP) – Yankees shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is likely headed to the injured list with a low-grade strained left calf – that would give New York a major league-most 11 players on the IL a week into the season. Tulowitzki made an early exit Wednesday against Detroit and was tested at a hospital during the game. The 34-year-old has battled back issues in recent years that have severely limited the five-time All-Star.
Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar and Dellin Betances are among the Yankees already out of action
Elsewhere in in MLB news:
-Yu Darvish will try to improve over his first start of the season, when he walked a career-high seven while allowing three runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Rangers. The Cubs righty, slowed by injuries last year, starts at Atlanta.
-Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw makes a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City while working back from shoulder inflammation. The lefty is likely to need one more outing in the minors before returning to the majors. Kershaw had started eight straight openers for Los Angeles – this will be opening day across the minor leagues. … Also, Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz, who’s been sidelined by a bone spur in his elbow, will make a rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett. The 2018 All-Star had been projected to open the season as Atlanta’s No. 1 starter.
-MLB generates billions in revenue each season, yet players throughout its minor leagues are sleeping on air mattresses, skipping meals and purchasing equipment on the cheap while making as little as $3,300 per season. The inequity of baseball’s pay system is attracting private companies eager to invest in players in exchange for a cut of potential big league paydays — one is even organizing direct investments by MLB and NFL players. Meanwhile, some minor league players are using online crowdfunding to ask fans to provide money for meals, rent, cleats and other essentials.
UNDATED (AP) — Coming off winning road trips, the surprising Orioles, Tigers and Mets play their home openers. Sellouts are expected at Camden Yards, Comerica Park and Citi Field to greet teams trying to bounce back from losing seasons. Alex Cobb will be activated off the 10-day injured list to start for the 4-2 Orioles against the Yankees. Spencer Turnbull pitches for the 4-3 Tigers vs. Kansas City and, in a matchup of aces, Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) starts for the 5-1 Mets against Stephen Strasburg and Washington. The Angels also play their home opener. Mike Trout’s team is 1-5 going into its game against Texas. And, with bad weather expected, two home openers have been postponed in advance. The San Diego at St. Louis game and the Seattle at Chicago White Sox matchup were pushed back a day until Friday.
Also on the schedule (all times Eastern)
Boston at Oakland, 3:37 p.m.
Toronto at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
UNDATED (AP) – Milwaukee is on the brink of clinching the NBA’s best record, and the bottom of the East is a mess. Out in the West, Houston is hard-charging at Denver for the No. 2 seed, Golden State still has some work left to get the No. 1 spot and San Antonio has slipped into eighth going into the final seven days of the regular season. Cleveland plays at Sacramento.
UNDATED (AP) – The Milwaukee Bucks, on the brink of clinching the NBA’s best record face the Philadelphia 76ers today, and Golden State continues working to get to the No. 1 spot in the West when they face the Lakers in Los Angeles. The Sacramento Kings host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
CHICAGO -Despite staging a late comeback against the Chicago Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues are still a point shy as they tried to climb into a tie for first place in the Central Division. The Blues are in play tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Elsewhere in the NHL (all times Eastern)
N.Y. Islanders at Florida, 7 p.m.
Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Montreal at Washington, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Boston at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Winnipeg at Colorado, 9 p.m.
San Jose at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Arizona at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Emmert: Court ruling reinforces NCAA athletes not employees
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – NCAA President Mark Emmert (EM’-urt) says a judge’s recent ruling in a federal antitrust lawsuit again reinforced that college athletes should be treated as students not employees. Emmert spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, making his first public comments since last month’s decision in the so-called Alston case.
The Judge ruled last month the NCAA did violate antitrust laws and cannot prohibit schools from providing more benefits to athletes as long as they are tethered to education. Plaintiffs had sought to have all NCAA rules capping compensation be struck down. The NCAA is still appealing the ruling, in part, Emmert says, because the association does not believe courts should decide what qualifies as a benefit tethered to education.
In other NCAA news:
– North Carolina freshman Coby White is entering the NBA draft. White announced his decision on social media, saying “this year, this school, this experience has prepared me for the next phase of my basketball journey.” White averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while helping the Tar Heels earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It is unclear if he signed with an agent.
-Vanderbilt freshman Simisola Shittu is entering the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward and center tweeted that he intends to keep his name in the draft rather than returning to school. Shittu would maintain NCAA eligibility if he withdraws from draft consideration by May 29. He averaged 10.9 points and 6.7 rebounds this season as Vanderbilt went 9-23.
– Tennessee guard Jordan Bone says he’s entering the NBA draft. Bone’s decision allows him to work out with NBA teams while determining whether to start his pro career or return for his senior season. The 6-foot-3 guard can remain eligible to return for his senior season as long as he withdraws from draft consideration by May 29.