Friday’s Sports in Brief – FOXSports.com

COLLEGE SPORTS

North Carolina can move forward, closing one of the most embarrassing chapters in the school’s history now that the long-running NCAA academic case has ended with UNC facing no penalty.

Still, even with what had to be the best possible outcome – a weight being lifted that has loomed over the Chapel Hill campus for years – school officials greeted the news more with cautious relief than exuberance.

”This isn’t a time of celebration,” chancellor Carol Folt said in a conference call with reporters.

The NCAA said an infractions committee panel determined it ”could not conclude” there were academic violations by the school in the scandal focused on irregular courses featuring significant athlete enrollments.

The school had faced five serious charges – including lack of institutional control – and the possibility of major sanctions such as postseason bans or vacated wins and championships. Yet the case full of starts, stops and twice-rewritten charges reached a best-case-scenario conclusion with the panel’s Friday report.

SOCCER

NEW YORK (AP) Bruce Arena quickly resigned as U.S. coach after the Americans’ failure to qualify for the World Cup. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati is staying around, at least for now.

Arena quit three days after the ruinous 2-1 loss at 99th-ranked Trinidad and Tobago that ended the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances.

”There’s no point in me being around,” Arena said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ”I’m not going to be around for the next cycle. The only thing I regret, obviously, is not having a cycle with the team, because you need more time than 10 months with a team. But I knew that in advance of it, so I’m responsible for it.”

The USSF, which will miss the World Cup for the first time since 1986, said it will announce within 10 days an interim coach for planned exhibition games next month.

Gulati, speaking during a telephone news conference, said he did not plan to resign. He said it was not the right time to talk about whether he will seek a fourth four-year term Feb. 10 during the federation’s annual meeting but did say in recent weeks he had sent letters to people seeking to be nominated.

Gulati said the federation held a board meeting Thursday night and will seek ”outside expertise” as it evaluates what went wrong.

UNDATED (AP) – A villa valued at seven million euros ($8.3 million) on an Italian island was allegedly how a Qatari television executive bribed a top FIFA official.

Italian police said Friday they seized the luxury property in Sardinia they claim Nasser al-Khelaifi, who is also president of Paris Saint-Germain, made available to former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Details of the alleged corruption were revealed one day after Swiss federal prosecutors oversaw evidence-gathering raids in four European countries for a widening investigation of FIFA and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests won by Russia and Qatar.

Criminal proceedings have been opened against Al-Khelaifi and Valcke for suspected bribery and forgery linked to awarding broadcast rights for the next four World Cups.

PRO FOOTBALL

DALLAS (AP) – Attorneys for Ezekiel Elliott have indicated they intend to ask for another hearing before the federal appeals court that cleared the way for the NFL’s six-game suspension of the star Dallas Cowboys running back over domestic violence allegations.

Players’ union attorney Jeffrey Kessler wrote to a federal judge in New York that Elliott’s legal team would pursue a hearing before a larger panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to grant the NFL’s request to overrule a Texas court’s injunction that had blocked the suspension. The ruling also ordered the Texas court to dismiss Elliott’s lawsuit.

Barring another ruling in Elliott’s favor, the suspension will start Oct. 22 at San Francisco. The Cowboys are off this week.

BASEBALL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A flight carrying the Chicago Cubs to Los Angeles was diverted to New Mexico early Friday due to a medical issue on board.

The plane was on its way to California again within a few hours.

Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron said the plane landed in Albuquerque around 5:30 a.m. Friday and a passenger was taken to the hospital. The Cubs said the person was a player’s family member.

Jiron said the crew flying the plane ”timed out” and didn’t have any more flying time left, so a second crew had to be brought in to take the flight to Los Angeles. He said the plane left Albuquerque around 10:30 a.m.

The Cubs are set to play the Dodgers on Saturday in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.

OLYMPICS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – The prospect of a U.S. bid for the Winter Olympics is less a matter of ”if” and more a matter of ”when.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee board is moving forward with discussions about bringing the Winter Games to America for either 2026 or 2030.

Because Los Angeles was recently awarded the 2028 Summer Games, a bid for 2030 would make more sense, chairman Larry Probst said after the USOC board’s quarterly meeting.

But the USOC needs more information about the International Olympic Committee’s process for awarding the next Olympics. The 2026 Games are set to be awarded in 2019, but the IOC could decide to award the 2030 Games at that time, as well, mirroring this year’s dual award of the 2024 Games to Paris and 2028 to LA.

If the IOC considers that possibility, Probst said ”we’d want to be in that conversation, at the table for that discussion,” which would mean 2026 would be in the mix.

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