Wednesday's Sports in Brief


NEW YORK (AP) The NFL's finance and stadium committees will meet in New York next Wednesday to discuss the potential relocation of the Chargers from San Diego to Los Angeles.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos has indicated he will move the team into the $2.6 billion stadium being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and scheduled to open for the start of the 2019 season. Spanos has until Jan. 15 to exercise his option to do so, which would give Los Angeles two franchises next season.

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The two committees have been busy lately, first with the Rams' move from St. Louis for the 2016 season, and then with the Chargers' and Raiders' situations. Oakland owner Mark Davis is planning a move to Las Vegas, where $750 million in taxpayer money has been committed for a $1.9 billion facility that would open in 2019 or 2020.


CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins has apologized for groping receiver Curtis Samuel during the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.

Wilkins said he had talked with Samuel after the game and that everything was all right between them. Wilkins, a sophomore defensive end, was seen on video grabbing Samuel's rear and reaching his hand between the receiver's legs while Samuel was on the ground after teammates had tackled him in the Tigers' 31-0 victory.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he spoke with Wilkins after the incident and was satisfied with the apology.

Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware said too much is being made of Wilkins' actions and that such things have always been a part of football.

Clemson faces Alabama for the national championship Monday night.


CLEVELAND (AP) - The AL's best team is set to start the new year with a power surge.

One win from a World Series title last season, the Cleveland Indians are set to finalize a $65 million, three-year contract with free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers over the past five seasons, took a physical, one of the final steps to complete a deal agreed upon before Christmas. The team announced a news conference for Thursday at Progressive Field with president Chris Antonetti ''regarding a potential new member of the organization.''

Cleveland aggressively pursued Encarnacion, who also was sought by big-market clubs. Encarnacion hit 42 homers and drove in 127 runs last season for the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost to the Indians in the AL Championship Series.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has been left off South Korea's roster for the World Baseball Classic while he remains subject to a criminal investigation into allegations that he fled the scene after crashing a car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The decision by South Korea manager Kim In-sik came after police in capital Seoul sent the case to the prosecution with a recommendation that he should be indicted. Prosecutors will also investigate Kang's friend, who after the crash in December falsely told police he was behind the wheel.

Kang (pronounced Gahng) signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Pirates in 2015 after Pittsburgh paid his Korean club, the Nexen Heroes, $5 million to negotiate with the slugger.

UNDATED (AP) - Little League International announced mandatory criminal background checks for its volunteer coaches, new eligibility requirements for players and a host of new rules intended to increase the pace of play.

Under the rules changes that take effect this year, local leagues will have the option to force batters to keep one foot in the batter's box during regular-season games and allow intentional walks by announcing the decision to the umpire rather than throwing four balls. Umpires will also be able to eject a player and manager determined to be stealing signs.

Leagues will now be required to conduct nationwide background checks of sex offender registry data and other criminal records for its coaches and others involved with running teams.


BOSTON (AP) - Milt Schmidt, the hockey hall of famer who led Boston to two Stanley Cup championships as the center of the ''Kraut Line,'' served Canada in World War II and returned to the NHL to win its MVP award and two more titles as the Bruins general manager, died on Wednesday, the team said.

He was 98.

Schmidt had been the oldest living NHL player. He was the only person in Bruins franchise history to serve as on-ice captain, coach and general manager.

Schmidt's Boston teams won the Stanley Cup in 1939 and in `41. When he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force two months after the Pearl Harbor attack along with ''Kraut Line'' mates Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, they were carried off the ice on the shoulders of the archrival Montreal Canadiens.