Thursday Sports in Brief

The Associated Press
·4 min read

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida quarterback Kyle Trask made his future plans official Thursday, formally announcing he's declining an opportunity to return to school and entering the NFL draft.

No one thought Trask would stick around following a record-breaking season that included being named a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Trask completed 68.9% of his passes for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns this season. He led the nation in passing yards and TD passes. He also ran for three scores. He broke the previous school record (39) for TD passes (39) set by 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Freshman Will Rogers scored his first rushing touchdown of the season and had a 13-yard TD pass to lead Mississippi State past No. 22 Tulsa 28-26 on Thursday in the Armed Forces Bowl, which ended in a massive brawl.

Minutes after the game ended following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mississippi State on a late onside kick as Tulsa tried to make a comeback, the teams became involved in a large melee on the field. Tulsa coach Greg Montgomery said sophomore safety Kendarin Ray, who was helped off the field after being at the bottom of a dogpile during a second scrum, was treated for ''some sort of concussion.''

NHL

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - The Canadian government, citing ''national interest grounds,'' gave its approval Thursday for the start of NHL training camps. It issued an exemption to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for NHL players and team staff to return to the country.

The five provinces with NHL franchises, however, must give their approval for games between Canadian teams during the regular season, which is scheduled to start Jan. 13. The seven Canadian teams will play in a new North Division.

Alberta became the first province to say the NHL can play games in its arenas.

NFL

MIAMI (AP) - Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tested positive for COVID-19 and is expected to miss Sunday's regular-season finale at Buffalo.

Coach Brian Flores shared the news with Fitzpatrick's teammates during a Zoom meeting Thursday, safety Eric Rowe said. Fitzpatrick's positive test was first reported by NFL Network.

Fitzpatrick replaced Tua Tagovailoa last week in the fourth quarter and orchestrated an improbable comeback win at Las Vegas that allowed the Dolphins to retain control of their playoff chances.

NEW YORK (AP) - NFL Players Association President JC Tretter is calling for the significant reductions in offseason work forced by the pandemic to continue in future years.

The Cleveland Browns center posted his thoughts on the union's website Thursday. He cited changes in the collective bargaining agreement reached early in 2020, and the subsequent COVID-19 alterations.

''The COVID CBA forced significant changes, and it has shown us another way players and teams can successfully prepare for and play in the NFL,'' Tretter wrote. ''This year has brought less time at practice than ever before. We had no offseason practices, fewer training camp practices and no preseason games. While some feared that those changes would lead to a sloppy 2020 NFL season, our collective level of play across the league has actually never been higher.

''I believe the changes implemented this season have demonstrated that we can put an entertaining product out on the field while further reducing wear and tear on our players' bodies.''

SOCCER

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani was banned for three games by the English Football Association on Thursday after using a Spanish term for Black people which he said was intended as an affectionate greeting.

Cavani has also been fined 100,000 pounds ($136,500) and ordered to complete face-to-face education after admitting to breaching the FA's rules.

The FA said the comment was ''insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute'' and also was an ''aggravated breach'' because it ''included reference, whether express or implied, to color and/or race and/or ethnic origin.''

OBITUARY

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Tommy Docherty, one of soccer's great characters who managed Manchester United and Scotland, has died. He was 92.

Affectionately known as 'The Doc', he died on Thursday after a long illness.

Docherty spent most of his playing career - nine years - at Preston before joining Arsenal and then Chelsea. He played 25 times for Scotland.

He went on to manage 12 clubs, also including Chelsea, Aston Villa and Derby. But he was best known for his five-year spell at Man. United, overseeing an FA Cup final win over Bob Paisley's Liverpool in 1977.

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