UNDATED (AP) — Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL. Sam told ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports that he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August. The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month and is expected to be a mid-round pick in the draft after leading the SEC with 11 1/2 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart has been suspended three games by the Big 12 for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the 19th-ranked Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Saturday. Smart apologized to the fan, his family and team for his actions before coach Travis Ford expressed support for the sophomore without dismissing the severity of the player’s actions. Smart will miss games against Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor but will be allowed to practice during his suspension.
UNDATED (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder expanded their lead in the NBA’s Western Conference yesterday, while the Indiana Pacers saw their lead in the East shrink to 3 ½ games over Miami. The Thunder enjoy a three-game lead over San Antonio after Kevin Durant had 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead a 112-100 win over New York. Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to push Orlando past the Pacers 93-92.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have fired coach Maurice Cheeks after going 21-29 in a little more than a half-season at the post. The team has employed nine head coaches since the 1999-2000 season and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009. A person with knowledge of Detroit’s plans says assistant John Loyer will take over as interim coach.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Jimmy Walker managed to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after blowing most of a six-stroke lead. He rolled in a five-footer for par on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner. Walker closed with a 2-over 74 for an 11-under total in becoming the fourth player in the last 20 years to win three of his first eight starts to a season.