NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday the league will work swiftly to make changes to better deal with personnel conduct issues in the wake of incidents that surfaced in recent weeks. Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting in Monterey, Calif., Bettman told reporters that NHL personnel will be required to attend mandatory counseling regarding racism and anti-bullying. Bettman also talked about the formation of a hotline for people to call to report any such incidents. “Inclusion and diversity are not simply buzz words. They are foundational principles of the NHL,” Bettman said. “Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind.” Bettman’s comments were his first publicly since former NHL player Akim Aliu alleged that former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters previously directed racial slurs toward him while in the minor leagues a decade ago. Peters, who has also been accused of physical abuse while coaching Carolina, resigned following Aliu’s accusations.
League admits error, denies appeal
The Houston Rockets managed to lose two games Monday, falling to the Sacramento Kings and learning that their appeal of a recent loss had been denied by the NBA. Last week’s game featured one of the weirdest baskets anyone has seen lately. In that double-overtime loss to San Antonio, a James Harden dunk popped up over the rim after passing through the net and was disallowed by game officials. The officials admitted that they’d missed the call at the time, and the NBA concurred Monday. After the controversial call, the Spurs outscored the Rockets, 26-13, through the rest of regulation and won, 135-133, in double overtime. ‘‘While agreeing that the referees misapplied the rules, commissioner [Adam] Silver determined that the Rockets had sufficient time to overcome the error during the remainder of the fourth quarter and two subsequent overtime periods,’’ the league said in a statement, ‘‘and thus the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest was not warranted.’’
Boston College wins second straight
Steffon Mitchell scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Boston College pulled away from Albany in the second half for a 72-51 victory. Jairus Hamilton scored 16 points and Julian Rishwain and Jay Heath each chipped in with 11 for the Eagles (6-5), who won their second straight game after finding out 6-foot-11-inch senior center Nik Popovic was lost indefinitely with a back injury . . . Tommy Burris hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:31 left in overtime for his only points in the game to give UMass Boston a 69-66 win over Holy Cross. Former Globe All-Scholastic Charles Mitchell scored 21 points for the Beacons, and his twin brother, Charlie, added 12 . . . Davide Moretti scored 18 points and hit successive 3-pointers that helped Texas Tech knock off undefeated No. 1 Louisville, 70-57, at Madison Square Garden. Louisville became the fourth top-ranked team to lose this season, joining Michigan State, Kentucky, and Duke . . . Wayland Baptist senior guard J.J. Culver became one of a handful of college basketball players to score 100 or more points in a game, reaching the century mark in a 124-60 win over Southwestern Adventist. Culver hit 34 of 62 shots, 12 of 33 from 3-point range, and was 20 for 27 on free throws to finish with an even 100 points for the NAIA Pioneers.
Liverpool moves to knockout stage
Defending champion Liverpool survived some early scares before scoring two goals in as many second-half minutes to beat Salzburg 2-0 and advance to the Champions League knockout stage on Tuesday. Naby Keita, a former Salzburg player, headed in the opening goal in the 57th minute before Mohamed Salah rounded the goalkeeper and squeezed home a finish with his weaker right foot from an acute angle near the byline. In other games to advance to the Round of 16, Napoli beat Genk, Dortmund beat Slavia, Chelsea beat Lille, and Barcelona beat Inter Milan.