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WNBA again tops hiring for diversity

ORLANDO — The WNBA kept its standing among pro sports leagues as the leader in racial and gender hiring.

According to an annual report released Tuesday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at UCF, the league received an A-plus in race and gender hiring. It marks the 11th consecutive year the WNBA has had at least an A grade in each category.

Reports are also issued on the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and college sports.

Report author Richard Lapchick said progress in diversifying team ownership is welcome.

"It's the one area where there has not been great progress, so any positive motion will be a good signal to other leagues," he said. "The WNBA is doing that and the NBA is the only league with two (majority) owners of color. It's not a big number, but it's two more than where we were five years ago."


FIFA audit head criticizes Blatter

The first public indication from within FIFA about the weight of the case against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini came from its financial compliance head, who denounced a payment that led to the sport's leaders being suspended as a "classic conflict of interest." Blatter, the FIFA president, could also be culpable for the alleged "falsification" of accounts over the payment of about $2 million to UEFA president Platini, according to Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee.

Americans tie: The U.S. under-17 national team, which has a full-time residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, tied Croatia 2-2 at the U-17 World Cup in Vina Del Mar, Chile. Christian Pulisic and Brandon Vazquez scored for the Americans, who have one point through two games in Group A.

NWSL: A team in Orlando will join the women's league as its 10th member next season. The Orlando Pride, led by former U.S. women's national team coach Tom Sermanni, is owned by the same group that owns Orlando City SC of MLS.


Pigot racing here in IndyCar event

Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot, 22, landed an IndyCar ride for next year's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500, plus at least one other race, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The program for Pigot, a native Californian residing in Orlando, is funded by Bradenton-based Andersen Promotions, which operates Indy Lights and the two lower rungs on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.

NASCAR: The series will make just one attempt to finish races under green this weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. There are usually three tries at a green-white-checkered finish, but NASCAR seeks to cut the chance of accidents in Sunday's Sprint Cup and Saturday's truck series races. July's race at Daytona was marred by a last-lap crash that sent Austin Dillon's car sailing into the fence.

Et cetera

Tennis: American John Isner relied on his strong serve to beat qualifier Kenny De Schepper 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) in the first round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Isner had 16 aces.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/20/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 10:07pm]
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  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    The 10 strikeouts look flashy, but RHP Chris Archer was not his sharpest Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including three straight in the two-run second and a Gary Sanchez homer in the third, and lasted only six innings, throwing 102 pitches.

  2. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  3. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  4. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  5. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Friday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.