The FBI has identified “quite a few” sexual abuse victims of a former Connecticut girl’s AAU basketball coach and authorities are seeking the public’s help in finding others, an official said Friday. Danny Lawhorn, 30, of Hartford, faces both state sexual assault and federal child enticement charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of three girls who played for the Bria Holmes Elite program between 2017 and this year. The federal charges allege that in June he assaulted a player from overseas who was staying at the Hartford home that Lawhorn shared with Holmes, a former WNBA player, and the couple’s child. Two other former players in the Holmes Elite program have come forward to say they were abused by Lawhorn in 2017 and 2019, federal prosecutors said. All three girls, who were under the age of 18 at the time, said Lawhorn asked for a massage before he sexually assaulted them, according to court documents. Aristos Papadacos, a special agent with the FBI’s New Haven office, said at a news conference Friday they are asking for any other victims to come forward and contact them through a special website. He said because of the nature of the elite program, some victims may be out of state or even overseas.
Mike Gundy gets perpetual 5-year extension
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has agreed to a new contract that will keep him on a perpetual five-year deal at his alma mater. The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved the recommendation from Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum and Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg. The school announced the agreement in a news release that stated further terms will be provided at a later date. Gundy has a career record of 143-67 in 17 seasons and has led the program to 15 consecutive bowl games. The 54-year-old ex-Oklahoma State quarterback has coached the Cowboys to four New Year’s Six bowl games since 2010, and the Cowboys have reached The Associated Press Top 10 poll in 10 seasons since 2008, including this season.The eighth-ranked Cowboys take a 6-0 record into Saturday’s game at Iowa State. “Coach Gundy has elevated the Cowboys to among the most consistent winners in college football during his 17-year tenure at Oklahoma State University,” Weiberg said. “The numbers speak to our program’s success under his leadership.” “Stillwater is home, and I love this community and Oklahoma State,” Gundy said. “Coaching my beloved alma mater is a great honor for me. I look forward to working with my outstanding coaching staff to continue having a positive impact on the lives of the players and their families who allow us the privilege to help them succeed on the field and in life.” In 2017, Gundy agreed to a long-term deal that provided annual rollovers plus an annual $125,000 escalator. He received a one-year extension in 2019 that paid him $5.1 million that year and went through 2023 ... Southern Mississippi accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference on Friday, dealing another blow to Conference USA, which already had six members announce their departures this week. Two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that Southern Miss had agreed to leave a conference it helped found in 1995 and join the Sun Belt at a date to be determined.
Ben Simmons misses 76ers home opener
Ben Simmons sat out the Philadelphia 76ers’ home opener for personal reasons and the franchise does not know when the three-time All-Star guard will return. Simmons was suspended for the first game of the season for conduct detrimental to the team after coach Doc Rivers threw him out of practice for refusing to participate in a drill. He returned and addressed the team before the shootaround for the opener against Brooklyn. Rivers said it was a “productive day” and hoped the meeting was a start toward bringing Simmons back into the fold. “It still doesn’t mean things will work out perfect, or it could,” Rivers said. “I’ve always believed that. I’ve never wavered from that.”
Bradley Beal sits out with hip issues
Wizards guard Bradley Beal sat out the Washington Wizards’ home opener against Indiana because of hip problems. Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Beal was sore and the team was going to be cautious. Unseld said he expects Beal to be available Monday night at Brooklyn. Beal, who missed five games late last season with a right hip contusion, played 34 minutes in Washington’s 98-83 win at Toronto on Wednesday night to open the season.
Hideki Matsuyama leads Zozo Championship by one
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama overcame cold temperatures and often steady rain showers to shoot a 2-under 68 and take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan. Matsuyama, who trailed by a stroke after the first round following a 64 on the par-70, 7,041-yard Narashino Country Club course, had a two-round total of 8-under 132 ... Hee Jeong Lim shot a 6-under 66 and first-round leader Na Rin An a 69 to leave the South Korean players tied for the lead after two rounds of the LPGA Tour’s BMW Ladies Championship. Lim and An had 11-under totals of 133 on the par-72 LPGA International Busan course. American Danielle Kang shot 68 and In Gee Chun 69 and were tied for third, one stroke behind ... Bryce Easton was leading the Mallorca Open when the second round was suspended because of darkness on the Mediterranean island. Easton had a four-shot lead when play was stopped with the South African still to finish the 18th hole.Easton was 4 under on the windy day at the Santa Ponsa course after making four birdies to go with one bogey on the par-4 14th. That took him to 11 under overall ... Steven Alker shot a 9-under 63 to take the first-round lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three PGA Tour Champions playoff events. Alker had a bogey-free round on The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course, making nine birdies in a 12-hole stretch from No. 12 to No. 5. The 50-year-old New Zealander is 55th in the season standings.
European leagues opposed FIFA biennial plan
Europe’s top soccer leagues cautioned that FIFA’s biennial World Cup plan is still on the table and they vowed to resist the proposed overhauls of the international match schedule. FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised Wednesday to seek a global consensus during a longer period of consultation about the World Cup’s future. That was seen as him acknowledging the strength of European opposition to doubling the frequency of the World Cup. The 33-nation European Leagues group was later briefed by FIFA officials, including Arsène Wenger, who shaped the proposal that includes biennial World Cups and fewer, but longer, breaks in domestic seasons to play national team games.
Ash Barty done for the year, won’t defend WTA Finals title
World No. 1-ranked Ash Barty won’t defend her season-ending WTA Finals title and is done for the year due to continuing COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions. “I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” Barty said in a statement on Saturday. “It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritize my body and my recovery from our 2021 season.” Barty hasn’t played since the US Open in September and says her focus now is on preparing for another attempt at winning her home Australian Open in Melbourne in January. The 25-year-old Barty won five titles this season, including a second major at Wimbledon in July, and is assured of ending as year-end No. 1. Barty won the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China in 2019 before last year’s edition was not played because of the pandemic.