Thursday’s Sports in Brief – FOXSports.com

NFL DRAFT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) With defensive studs everywhere in this draft, NFL teams turned offensive. With an emphasis on quarterbacks.

Hardly stunning in a pass-happy league, except that no quarterbacks in this crop have been highly touted. Yet three went in the first dozen, with two whopping trades putting the Bears and Chiefs in position to grab QBs.

Chicago paid a whopping price to move up one spot to second overall for North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky. Kansas City gave up its first-rounder next year to go from 27th to 10th for Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes.

Altogether, eight of the first dozen picks were to aid offenses, including Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to Houston – which also traded up for a passer.

All of which overshadowed the predictable at the top of the draft: Roger Goodell got booed, then defensive end Myles Garrett was picked first by the Cleveland Browns.

FIFA INVESTIGATION

NEW YORK (AP) – An Asia-based FIFA official has pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to charges relating to bribery and corruption in elections for soccer’s world governing body.

Guam Football Association President Richard Lai, who is a member of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee and is on the Asian Football Confederation’s executive board, pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with multiple schemes to accept and pay bribes to soccer officials.

Lai, a U.S. citizen, also pleaded guilty to failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in forfeiture and penalties. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen.

Bridget M. Rohde, an Acting U.S. Attorney, announced the guilty plea and said it ”marks another important step in our ongoing effort to root out corruption in international soccer.”

PARIS (AP) – French financial prosecutors are investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and have heard former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

A person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that France’s financial prosecutor services (PNF) opened the investigation on grounds of private corruption, criminal association, influence peddling, and benefiting from influence peddling relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Blatter was questioned in Switzerland last week as a witness, the same person told the AP.

HOCKEY

General manager George McPhee says the Vegas Golden Knights are open for business to any teams seeking to protect their players in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

McPhee told The Associated Press he’s already had preliminary discussions with most teams over what trades could be made before the draft is held in Las Vegas on June 21, two days before the traditional draft. Without going into much detail, McPhee said talks have focused on which players teams would prefer the Golden Knights either select or don’t.

In exchange, McPhee is open to acquiring draft picks to begin stockpiling for depth. The team opens its first season in October.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says two groups are still bidding to buy the Miami Marlins from Jeffrey Loria.

Former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are involved in one of the groups. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Jeter/Bush group won an auction for the team with a $1.3 billion bid. Manfred said some reports on the sale have been premature.

”There are multiple bidders for the Marlins,” Manfred said at the groundbreaking for the Jackie Robinson Museum. ”There is no agreement in place. We’re working with more than one group, and when we have a definitive agreement we’ll make an announcement.”

Asked about the timeline, Manfred responded: ”The timeline is relatively short; it would be measured in days, not months.” He also said ”there is not a signed document on any topic.”

AARON HERNANDEZ

BOSTON (AP) – Court records show the estate of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez currently has a dollar value of zero.

The former New England Patriots tight end took his own life last week in prison.

Hernandez’s fiancee and her lawyer said in an affidavit filed Wednesday in probate court that Hernandez’s estate is currently worth ”$0.00” with ”no monies available and no identifiable personal assets.” The Boston Herald first reported on the affidavit.

But there is an offer to buy Hernandez’s house – worth nearly $1.3 million. The mother of a man Hernandez was convicted of killing in 2013 has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit seeking any proceeds from the sale. Odin Lloyd was a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee when he was fatally shot.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence in Lloyd’s killing when he hanged himself April 19, five days after he was acquitted in a 2012 double slaying.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The NCAA Board of Governors decided not to tinker with a package of football recruiting reforms that was approved earlier this month, essentially rubber stamping an early signing period in the sport.

The Division I Council approved a sweeping package that would allow players to sign with schools as early as December, permit high school juniors to take official visits from April through June and impose a two-year waiting period before Bowl Subdivision schools can hire people close to recruits to non-coaching positions.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association also has to approve the dates, a move expected to happen in June.

The changes will go into effect Aug. 1.

The board did not have to approve the package, but it could have asked for alterations. Instead, it took no action.

AUTO RACING

SOCHI, Russia (AP) – Formula One drivers are split over plans to test a new ”shield” device to protect against flying debris.

The FIA will trial the transparent screen in the coming months for a potential introduction in 2018, as it pushes for greater head protection for drivers. Recent years have seen major head injuries in several motorsport series.

”I wouldn’t mind trying out the shield, seeing how is the visibility,” Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said. ”In terms of safety it would be a good step compared to what we have now.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was another supporter, saying ”we’ve still got to see a bit more, but first impressions seem OK.”

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