Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long fired from post

• Arkansas fired Athletic Director Jeff Long on Wednesday, ending a nearly decade-long tenure that included the scandalous ouster of football coach Bobby Petrino and the continued mediocrity of the program under Bret Bielema.

The Razorbacks (4-6) will fail to win at least nine games this season for the sixth straight year.

Petrino, now at Louisville, was fired after a motorcycle crash during which it was later discovered he was riding with his mistress. That led to revelations that he had hired the woman to a position in the athletic department, and that he had given her $20,000 to buy a new car.

• Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb are the finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s top defensive player.

• Washington suspended senior linebacker Azeem Victor after his weekend arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.


UCLA players suspended over theft on trip to China

• Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting at three high-end stores in China publicly apologized Wednesday before coach Steve Alford announced they were being suspended indefinitely.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley won’t be allowed to suit up, practice or travel with the team while the university sorts out the circumstances of last week’s incident in Hangzhou, China.

“These are good young men who have exercised an inexcusable lapse of judgment and now they have to live with that,” Alford said. “They let a lot people down in the process.”

Ball, Hill and Riley took turns apologizing for the theft while also thanking President Donald Trump for intervening on their behalf with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

• North Carolina guard Cameron Johnson will be out after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.


Grigor Dimitrov advances in ATP Finals in London

• Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the semifinals at the ATP Finals in London by beating David Goffin 6-0, 6-2. He will face Pablo Carreno Busta, who entered the tournament after Rafael Nadal withdrew because of a knee injury.

• Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year after a heart condition put his career in jeopardy. Federico Higuain of the Columbus Crew and Erick Torres of the Houston Dynamo were the other finalists.

• Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews practiced for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury last week.

— From wire reports