UCLA hired Chip Kelly as its football coach, hoping the former Oregon sideline boss can bring the Bruins their first conference title since 1998. The coach who helped changed college football with his groundbreaking offense at Oregon celebrated his 54th birthday Saturday by agreeing to a five-year, $23.3 million deal to take charge of the Bruins. Kelly, who was 28-35 in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-16, was out of coaching this year. Kelly replaces Jim Mora, who was fired last Sunday with one game left in his sixth season. Kelly won three Pac-12 titles and reached four major bowl games in just four seasons (2009-12) leading the Ducks. Oregon went 46-7 during his tenure, reaching the BCS championship game after the 2010 season and also playing in two Rose Bowls and a Fiesta Bowl.
Nebraska pulls plug on Riley
Nebraska fired football coach Mike Riley after three seasons in which he was unable to return the Cornhuskers to national prominence. Riley was under contract through February 2021 and is due a buyout of more than $6.6 million. The Cornhuskers finished the season 4-8 after a 56-14 loss at home to Iowa on Friday. The four wins were the program’s fewest since going 3-6-1 in 1961. Central Florida’s Scott Frost, who quarterbacked Nebraska’s 1997 team that split the national title with Michigan, is the popular choice of the fans to replace Riley. Nebraska had losing records two of three seasons under Riley, who was 19-19 and lost 12 of the last 18.
Wizards' Wall out 2 weeks
Washington Wizards All-Star guard John Wall is expected to miss about two weeks with inflammation in his left knee. The 27-year-old Wall underwent an MRI exam and missed Friday's practice. He will receive injections in the knee in the hope of reducing inflammation. The team says Wall was injured Nov. 7 after making knee-to-knee contact with another player . . . Dwight Howard of the Charlotte Hornets was fined $35,000 for making an obscene gesture toward Cleveland fans in the second quarter of Charlotte’s 100-99 loss to the Cavaliers on Friday night.
Ohtani’s agent wants details
According to details obtained by The Associated Press, the agent for star Japanese pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani asked for written explanations in English and Japanese on how Ohtani would fit into each organization intending to bid on him and what makes the team attractive. The answers are due as soon as possible. The memo from Nez Balelo, co-head of CAA Baseball, was distributed to all 30 teams by the commissioner’s office late Friday along with materials for the Dec. 1 vote on a new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball. If the deal is approved, the 23-year-old is expected to be put up for bid later that day or the following day.
Balelo’s memo asks for a team to evaluate Ohtani’s talent as a pitcher and as a hitter; to explain its player development, medical training and player performance philosophies and facilities; to describe its minor league and spring training facilities; to detail resources for Ohtani’s cultural assimilation into the team’s city; to demonstrate a vision for how Ohtani could integrate into the team’s organization; and to tell Ohtani why the team is a desirable place to play. Each team was asked to provide its answers in both languages as soon as possible. Clubs were told not to include any financial terms of a possible contract. The Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League are expected to set the posting price at the $20 million maximum, and any big league team meeting that price would have 21 days to negotiate a deal. The money is paid only if a contract is agreed to.
Messi staying in Barcelona
Lionel Messi put Barcelona's fans at ease with a new contract that will keep the soccer star with the Spanish club through 2021, when he’ll be 34. According to El Mundo newspaper, Messi will receive $35.8 million per season along with a signing bonus of $59.6 million. If he remained unsigned, Messi would have been free to listen to offers from other teams on Jan. 1. Messi’s new deal includes a buyout clause of $835 million, a massive figure aimed at keeping away even the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, which secured Neymar in the offseason by triggering his buyout clause with a record 222 million euros ($262 million) payout . . . S.S.P. Chawrasia shot a 1-under 69 in the third round for a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open. The 39-year-old is at 10-under 200 overall at the Hong Kong Golf Club, ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello and Wade Ormsby . . . Jason Day moved into position for his first Australian Open title, shooting a 2-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round at The Australian Golf Club. Day birdied the 18th for a 10-under 203 total. Second-round leader Lucas Herbert was in second place after a 71 . . . American figure skater Nathan Chen locked up a spot in his second straight Grand Prix Final, winning the men’s competition at Skate America in Lake Placid, N.Y., despite a disappointing free skate Saturday. Countryman Adam Rippon finished second and also qualified despite falling and dislocating his right shoulder on his first jump. Chen won with a two-day total of 275.88 points to Rippon’s 266.45 . . . Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to give host France a 2-1 lead over Belgium in the Davis Cup final in Lille. Gasquet and Herbert had never played together before but they put France a win away from a 10th Davis Cup title. Belgium is seeking its first . . . Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for Sundazy’s Formula One season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Bottas set a lap record on the 3.5-mile Yas Marina circuit, clocking 1 minute, 36.231 seconds. He was .172 seconds ahead of Hamilton and about half a second clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel . . . Seven months after a double hip replacement, Manuel Charr defeated Alexander Ustinov of Russia by unanimous decision for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in Oberhausen, Germany. The judges awarded the bout, 114-111, 116-111, 115-112, in favor of Charr, who becomes the first German heavyweight champion since Max Schmeling in the early 1930s.