NFL flags pass interference rule

Upon further review, the NFL is throwing out its controversial pass interference rule.

The NFL’s experiment with a replay review system for pass interference is ending after just one season. The rule, which was implemented in 2019 and allowed for a coach’s challenge for interference calls or non-calls, wasn’t even placed on the agenda by the league’s competition committee for next month’s owners meetings. The meetings are scheduled to be held outside Los Angeles on May 20-21, although there is a chance the owners will meet via conference call if there is a continued shelter-in-place order because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The competition committee will put forward a rule that would prevent teams from “manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.” In last season’s AFC wild card game between the Titans and Patriots, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel purposely had his team take two delay-of-game penalties and ran more than a minute off the clock. Patriots coach Bill Belichick employed a similar tactic against the Jets last season, calling it “a loophole that will be closed and probably should be closed.”

The pass interference replay system came under frequent criticism last season. All replay challenges of interference calls and non-calls were reviewed in the league’s New York office. There had to be “clear and obvious visual evidence” of an incorrect call or noncall.

According to the NFL, there were 101 stoppages for instant replay review related to pass interference, with just 24 overturning the on-field ruling.

The rule was adopted on a one-year basis after a controversial no-call in the previous season’s NFC Championship Game at New Orleans.

Center Matt Skura

  • will return to the Ravens on a one-year deal after signing his restricted-free-agent tender. Skura, a former undrafted free agent, was having a breakout season last year before he tore his ACL, MCL and PCL in the Ravens’ Week 12 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

College basketball

Iowa’s Garza enters draft, keeps eligibility

Iowa All-America center Luka Garza announced he’ll enter the NBA draft process without an agent so he can maintain his college eligibility.

Garza was runner-up to Dayton’s Obi Toppin for Associated Press national player of the year after averaging 26.2 points in Big Ten games, making him the first player to average at least 26 in conference play since Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994.

Duke’s Carey Jr. to NBA draft

Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. is entering the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-10, 270-pound Carey announced his decision following a season in which he was The Associated Press player of the year and newcomer of the year for the ACC. He was also a second-team AP All-American while being named national freshman of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Creighton guard Ty-Shon Alexander

  • declared for the NBA draft with the option to return to school for his final season of eligibility. Alexander was named to the All-Big East first team after leading Creighton with 16.9 points per game.

Josh Green is the latest Arizona freshman to declare for the NBA draft, joining Nico Mannion and Zeke Nnaji

  • . Green averaged 12 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists during his lone season with the Wildcats. He’s projected to be a first-round pick.
  • Ivy League scoring leader

Mike Smith

  • said he’s transferring to Michigan. The 5-foot-11 Smith averaged 22.8 points a game last season at Columbia.

Kentucky fills backcourt need

Likely in need of one more player for its already formidable backcourt next season, Kentucky seems to have found a perfect fit.

The Wildcats landed a commitment from Creighton graduate transfer Davion Mintz, who started all but one game over his final two seasons with the Bluejays before sitting out the entire 2019-20 campaign while battling an ankle injury. Mintz fills a major need for a Kentucky team that has already lost Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans to the NBA draft.


Former Blackhawks defenseman dies at 79

Pat Stapleton, a former NHL defenseman who famously kept an air of mystery over whether he possessed the puck from the winning goal of the 1972 Summit Series, died at 79. Mr. Stapleton was on Canada’s Summit Series team in 1972 and is alleged to have claimed the puck from Paul Henderson‘s series-winning goal over the Soviet Union. Mr. Stapleton was usually coy when asked whether he indeed had what would be one of the most famous souvenirs in hockey.

Defenseman Kurtis MacDermid

  • has agreed to a two-year, $1.75 million contract extension through the 2021-22 season with the Los Angeles Kings. MacDermid has scored 13 points with 115 penalty minutes during parts of three seasons with Los Angeles.

Tom Webster

  • , a former NHL and WHA forward who went on to coach the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, has died. He was 71. Mr. Webster scored 53 goals and helped the New England Whalers — now the Carolina Hurricanes — win the World Hockey Association’s first title in 1972-73.

— From wire reports

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