Update on the latest sports


Feds: Pilot in Kobe Bryant crash was disoriented in clouds

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Safety investigators say the pilot of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew through the clouds in an apparent violation of federal standards and likely became disoriented.

Robert Sumwalt is the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and said Tuesday that pilot Ara Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules before the crash a year ago. That means he needed to be able to see where he was going. Zobayan piloted the aircraft to climb sharply and had nearly broken through clouds when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter banked abruptly and plunged into the hills below, killing all aboard.

The helicopter did not have the so-called “black box” recording devices, which were not required.


Former coach Marty Schottenheimer dead at 77

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer has died.

Family friend and former Kansas City Chiefs publicist Bob Moore says Schottenheimer died Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and was moved to a hospice Jan. 30.

Schottenheimer won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football but fell short in the playoffs. He was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history. He coached for 21 seasons with Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego.

His success was rooted in “Martyball,” a conservative approach that featured a strong running game and tough defense. He would exhort his players before a game with his mantra, “One play at a time.”

Marty Schottenheimer was 77.


Super Bowl on CBS draws audience of 96.4 million viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl drew a total audience of 96.4 million viewers. CBS said Tuesday that the audience included record digital numbers for a game that had lost its competitive edge by halftime — Tampa Bay won 31-9 — and was marked by limited watch parties because of the pandemic.

The most watched Super Bowl was in 2015. The New England-Seattle game drew 114.4 million viewers.

CBS said Sunday’s championship was the most live-streamed NFL game, averaging 5.7 million viewers per minute. Kansas City led all metered markets. The Boston market, buoyed by Tampa Bay and ex-Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, was second and Tampa was third.


Williams in second-round match

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams continues her quest for a record 24th Grand Slam singles title when she plays her second-round match against Nina Stojanovic of Serbia.

Bianca Andreescu, who beat Williams in the 2019 U.S. Open final but was then sidelined for 15 months, plays her second match in the continuation of a long-awaited injury comeback against Hsieh Su-wei.

Naomi Osaka, who won the U.S. Open last year, plays Caroline Garcia.

On the men’s side Novak Djokovic takes on Frances Tiafoe in what could be an early test for the defending champion. U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem faces Dominik Koepfer in the second round.

In Tuesday action:

— Rafael Nadal showed no signs of a back problem that hampered his preparation for the Australian Open. He won his first-round match against Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. The second-ranked Nadal is aiming to go one better than Roger Federer and win a men’s-record 21st men’s Grand Slam singles title.

— Top-ranked Ash Barty dominated in her first Grand Slam match in more than a year, dropping just 10 points in a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Danka Kovinic.

— Sofia Kenin’s Australian Open title defense got off to a bit of a rocky start before she righted herself and pulled out a two-set win. The 22-year-old American trailed by an early break and took about 45 minutes to actually wrest some semblance of control before eventually beating 133rd-ranked Australian wild-card entry Maddison Inglis 7-5, 6-4.

— American 16-year-old Coco Gauff is into the second round at the Australian Open. Gauff advanced by beating Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2.

— Garbiñe Muguruza has won her opening match at the Australian Open, where she reached the final last year before losing to American Sofia Kenin. Muguruza, a Spaniard seeded 14th, beat Margarita Gasparyan of Russia, 6-4, 6-0.

— American Jessica Pegula is building on her momentum from the end of last year, upsetting 12th-seeded and two-time former Australian champion Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round for the first time.

— Seventeen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain was impressive in his highly anticipated Grand Slam debut match, defeating Dutch qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp in the first round.

— Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas capped the Day 2 program on Rod Laver Arena by routing French veteran Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.


AP source: Villar, Mets agree to $3.55M, 1-year contract

NEW YORK (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that infielder Jonathan Villar has agreed to a $3.55 million, one-year contract with the New York Mets.

Villar turns 30 on May 2. He adds infield depth behind new shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jeff McNeil.

Villar split last season between Miami and Toronto, which acquired him at the Aug. 31 trade deadline. He batted .232 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 185 at-bats. Villar has a .259 career average with 80 homers and 283 RBIs. He previously played for Houston, Milwaukee and Baltimore.


Johnson pulls out of Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Dustin Johnson has decided to pull out of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The world’s No. 1 player is coming off a victory at the Saudi International. His manager says Johnson felt he would be better served with a week of rest at home before going to Los Angeles for the Genesis Invitational and then a World Golf Championships event in Florida.

Johnson has played in Saudi Arabia and Pebble Beach each of the last two years. He typically plays Pebble with hockey great Wayne Gretzky, his de facto father-in-law. Because of COVID-19, amateurs are not playing this year.


Start of world championships delayed until Thursday

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — The start of the skiing world championships in Italy has been pushed back to Thursday. Organizers say the women’s super-G that was postponed Tuesday will open the competition. The men’s super-G had already been moved to Thursday.

Heavy snow, fog and a bad forecast wiped out the races that were scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. More snow is in the forecast for Wednesday so the men’s combined that was scheduled for that day has been pushed back to Monday. No racing will be held Wednesday.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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