AP Sports SummaryBrief at 10:50 p.m. EST

Browns QB Watson only talks football after NFL suspension

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has refused to address non-football questions in his first comments since returning from an 11-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations. Watson spoke to the media for the first time since Aug. 18 but declined to discuss his suspension or the reasons he had to sit out. He has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual harassment and assault during massage therapy sessions. The 27-year-old will play his first game for the Browns on Sunday in Houston, where he starred for four seasons and where the alleged misconduct took place. Watson acknowledged he may have some rust from his long layoff.

College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams in 2024 season

The College Football Playoff says it will expand to a 12-team event starting in 2024. The announcement came after the Rose Bowl agreed to amend its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. That was the last hurdle CFP officials needed cleared to expand the four-team format. The expansion is expected to produce about $450 million in additional gross revenue for the conferences and schools that participate. The plan to expand the playoff was unveiled publicly in June 2021 and it took 18 months of haggling and delays to finally complete.

EXPLAINER: How will College Football Playoff expansion work?

The College Football Playoff will include 12 teams, starting with the 2024 season. An expansion plan that was crafted for two years and haggled over for another 18 months finally cleared all the obstacles needed to go from idea to reality. The CFP announced Thursday that the current four-team system would be tripling in size. There are still a few more details to work out, like exact dates of some of the games, but college football is two years away from another dramatic change to its postseason. Here’s how it will work.

LeBron: Media disparity between Jones photo, Irving comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James has questions about the disparity of media scrutiny he believes is being applied to a 1957 photo of Jerry Jones and the recent controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving. The photo of Jones, captured by an Associated Press photographer, shows him standing among a group of white students at North Little Rock High School in Arkansas on Sept. 9, 1957. The group was blocking six Black students who were attempting to desegregate the school. James said that Black athletes get more scrutiny when “we do something wrong or something that people don’t agree with” but that the Jones picture “seems like it’s just been buried under.”

Germany out of World Cup despite 4-2 win over Costa Rica

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Germany was eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup for the second tournament in a row. The four-time champions beat Costa Rica 4-2 but it wasn’t enough to advance to the round of 16. Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain allowed both of those teams to advance instead. The Japanese team finished at the top of the group. Germany also exited early while playing as defending champions at the last World Cup. Germany coach Hansi Flick says “I believe for the future of German football we need to do things differently in training.”

Japan beats Spain 2-1 as both teams advance at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Japan scored twice early in the second half to come from behind to defeat Spain 2-1 in a result that put both teams into the last 16 of the World Cup. Ao Tanaka scored the winning goal from close range early in the second half. It took about two minutes for video review officials to confirm the ball hadn’t gone out of bounds before the goal. Álvaro Morata scored first for Spain in the 11th minute at Khalifa International Stadium. But Japan rallied after halftime. Ritsu Doan equalized in the 48th with a left-footed shot from outside the box. And Tanaka added the second one three minutes later. Germany was eliminated from the tournament even with a 4-2 win over Costa Rica in the other Group E match. A victory by Costa Rica would have eliminated Spain.

Gaylord Perry, two-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84

GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry has died at the age of 84. Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said Perry died at his home in Gaffney, South Carolina, at about 5 a.m. Thursday. The Perry family said that Perry died after a short illness. Perry pitched for eight major-league teams from 1962 until 1983. He won the Cy Young with Cleveland in 1972 and with San Diego in 1978 just after turning 40.  Perry was a five-time All-Star who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Antonio Brown faces arrest warrant for domestic incident

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is wanted on a battery charge in Tampa stemming from a domestic incident. Police say the 34-year-old Brown was involved in a verbal altercation with a woman at a home in Tampa on Monday. The report says Brown threw a shoe at the victim, attempted to evict her from the home and locked her out. Brown faces a court-issued warrant for his arrest. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Brown in early January after he left the field mid-game and complained about his playing time.

Hurt on goal, Pulisic hopes to face Netherlands at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — United States midfielder Christian Pulisic hopes to play against the Netherlands in the round of 16 at the World Cup on Saturday after bruising his pelvic bone while scoring in the 1-0 win over Iran. Pulisic is going to consult with the medical staff in the hope of joining the latest training session. He says “I will do everything in my power to work with this medical team and make sure I can play.” Pulisic was in pain when he sprawled on the field after colliding with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand on Tuesday.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian. The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg. The club intends to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens. The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

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