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LEADING OFF: Mets-Phils again, Hinch vs Houston, Ohtani a go

The Mets and Phillies renew hostilities in Philadelphia only four days after their previous matchup at Citi Field, which got a little testy at the endBy The Associated PressMay 5, 2022, 7:11 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleA look at what’s happening around baseball today:———JUST SAW YOU GUYSThe Mets and Phillies renew hostilities in Philadelphia only four days after their previous matchup at Citi Field, which got a little testy at the end.One inning after Philadelphia reliever Cristopher Sánchez hit Francisco Lindor in the thigh with a 93 mph pitch Sunday night, New York right-hander Yoan López threw inside to Kyle Schwarber.Both benches were warned, and Schwarber eventually grounded out. López then plunked Alec Bohm with a 1-2 changeup, but was not ejected.The next day, López (three games) and Mets manager Buck Showalter (one game) were handed suspensions by Major League Baseball. An appeal was filed by López, who had already been optioned back to Triple-A.Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.90) pitches for the Phillies in the opener of a four-game series. Taijuan Walker (0-0, 0.00) makes his third start of the season for the Mets — all against Philadelphia. New York has won four of six meetings this year, and the NL East rivals will play a whopping 13 times by the end of May.I REMEMBER YOUHouston opens a four-game series at home against former manager A.J. Hinch and the Detroit Tigers. Hinch guided the Astros to two AL pennants and a World Series title before getting fired in the wake of the team’s illegal sign-stealing scandal.He was replaced by Dusty Baker, who this week became the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins — and the first Black man to accomplish the feat.Houston hopes star second baseman Jose Altuve is feeling better after fouling a ball off his groin area during Wednesday’s win over Seattle. Altuve initially remained in the game but later exited with right groin soreness.Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera has 3,005 hits, two behind Tigers great Al Kaline for 31st place on the career list.OHTANI AT FENWAYShohei Ohtani is expected back on the mound for the Angels in the finale of a series at Fenway Park after dealing with tightness in his groin this week.Ohtani was held out of the lineup Monday against Boston but started as the designated hitter Tuesday and Wednesday. The AL MVP has slumped at the plate early this season but looked sharp on the mound recently, going 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.NL SHOWDOWNGiants ace Logan Webb (3-1, 3.26 ERA) gave up a career-most 11 hits to Washington in his previous outing, a setback he’ll try to shake off in the opener of a series against St. Louis. He’ll oppose Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (1-1, 1.52), who pitched into the eighth inning against Arizona last time out but still lost a 2-0 decision.CINCINNATI BLUESThe slumping Cincinnati Reds (3-21) are piling up losses on and off the field.Already with by far the worst record in the majors, the Reds removed outfielders Tyler Naquin and Nick Senzel from the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game at Milwaukee and placed both on the injured list. They were added without injury designations, an indication that both are sidelined with COVID-19-related issues.Star first baseman Joey Votto was added to the IL for COVID-19 on Tuesday, although manager David Bell said Votto hadn’t tested positive at that point. Bell said Wednesday that Votto would likely be out for “more than a couple of days.”Rookie fireballer Hunter Greene will start Cincinnati’s series finale against the Brewers. After throwing a pitch-tracking-era record 39 fastballs over 100 mph on April 16, his velocity has slipped, averaging 95.8 and 96.7 mph in his past two starts.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Smith stops 30 shots, Oilers beat Kings 6-0 to even series

Mike Smith bounced back with a perfect 30-save night and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 to even their first-round playoff series through two gamesByThe Associated PressMay 5, 2022, 6:48 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleEDMONTON, Alberta — Mike Smith bounced back with a perfect 30-save night and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 Wednesday to even their first-round playoff series through two games.Evander Kane had two goals and an assist, Ryan McLeod had one of each and Jesse Puljujarvi, Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl also scored. Connor McDavid added two assists.Smith, who made the fatal puck-handling mistake that led to Edmonton’s 4-3 loss in Game 1 on Monday, completed his fifth playoff shutout.“I made one bad play and it cost us the game,” he said. “I think I just carried the same kind of mindset into tonight and obviously wanted to put in a good showing, especially after you feel like you’re maybe the cause of the loss.”Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft wasn’t surprised to see his goalie rebound.“That is a true pro,” he said. “I thought he made some really good saves in Game 1 as well. It was an unfortunate puck handle. But … we moved on to preparing for Game 2 and he led the way in his preparation. I thought he went out and executed tonight.”Jonathan Quick stopped 30 of 36 shots for the Kings.“Sometimes you tip your hat to the opposition, they played a really good game,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said.The series moves to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday, with the Kings also hosting Game 4 on Sunday. Game 5 goes Tuesday in Edmonton.The Oilers put away their second power-play goal of the night 11:55 into the third after Quinton Byfield was called for holding. Kane fired in a snap shot from inside the faceoff circle for his second goal of the night.“It seems that special teams, these first couple games throughout the league, have been very important,” Kane said. “The other night, we won the special teams battle and lost the game — that doesn’t happen very often. Tonight, we did a great job again, and that’s going to have to be continued throughout the rest of our journey here.”Edmonton jumped ahead 5-0 early in the third when Puljujarvi collected a pass across the slot from McDavid and ripped a shot over Quick’s glove.Just 21 seconds earlier, Kane capitalized when Sean Druzi bobbled a puck in the slot in front of the Kings’ net and the Oilers winger tipped it in for his first goal of the postseason.The Oilers took a 3-0 cushion into the third period after Evan Bouchard sent a shot sailing from just inside the blue line and McLeod tipped it past Quick 16:05 into the second.Nurse scored short-handed at 6:03 of the second, charging down the ice with McDavid and firing a wrist shot that deflected off of the Kings’ Arthur Kaliyev and over Quick’s glove for a 2-0 lead.After a goalless first, Edmonton opened the scoring on the power play after Dustin Brown was called for goaltender interference early in the second. Tyson Barrie sliced a crisp pass to Draisaitl in the far faceoff circle, and the star sniper blasted a one-timer past Quick for his second goal of the playoffs.The Oilers were 2 for 3 with the man advantage on Wednesday and the Kings went 0 for 4.“We didn’t play hard enough, really,” Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar said. “We got some power-play opportunities and we couldn’t convert and they did. It was a big turning point in the game and couldn’t really get going.”NOTES: Los Angeles is 0 for 8 on the power play through the first two games of the series. … Kings F Viktor Arvidsson missed a second straight game with an undisclosed injury. … F Josh Archibald slotted into Edmonton’s lineup as Woodcroft opted to play 12 forwards and six defensemen.———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Paul has another stellar 4th, Suns blow past Mavs 129-109

Chris Paul scored 28 points, including 14 in another spectacular fourth quarter, to lead the Phoenix Suns over the Dallas Mavericks 129-109 for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinalsBy DAVID BRANDT AP Sports WriterMay 5, 2022, 6:43 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articlePHOENIX — The top-seeded Phoenix Suns were braced for another fourth-quarter playoff fight on Wednesday night.Chris Paul turned it into an early knockout.The 12-time All-Star scored 28 points, including 14 in another spectacular final period, to lead the Suns over the Dallas Mavericks 129-109 for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.Paul, who turns 37 on Friday, almost single-handedly turned a tight game into a comfortable victory — the Suns’ 11th win in a row against the Mavericks counting regular-season games.“You’ve just got to lean on the work,” Paul said. “It all goes back to the work. You can’t cheat the game. You’ve got to do the strength and conditioning, you’ve got to lift, you’ve got to get your rest, you got to get your shots up.”When you do that, you live with the results.”Suns guard Devin Booker said he’s run out of ways to describe Paul’s fourth-quarter heroics.“You guys tell me, you’re watching the same thing,” Booker said. “It impresses us every time we see it, but it doesn’t surprise us. It’s just the will to win.”The Mavs led 60-58 at halftime but the Suns quickly recaptured the lead after Booker hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third. The Suns took an 89-83 advantage going into the final quarter and it looked like a tough fight was coming.But that’s about the time Paul decided the game was his to control, hitting six shots in a row on everything from 3-pointers to mid-range jumpers to layups. The feisty Mavericks finally didn’t have an answer. Booker hit a pair of 3-pointers midway through the fourth to give the Suns a 114-95 lead.Booker led the Suns with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. The Suns shot 64.5% overall — which was a franchise record in the playoffs — and made 52% of their 3-pointers. They shot 84% from the field (16 of 19) in the fourth quarter.“We have good players,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I’d love to sit here and tell you I’m moving the chess pieces around, but we have good players who can knock down shots.”Game 3 is on Friday in Dallas.The Mavericks will go home in a 2-0 hole, desperately needing contributions from someone other than Luka Doncic, who scored 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting two nights after a 45-point performance in Game 1.“He had a great game, but no one else showed,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ve got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can’t win with just him out there scoring 30 a night. Not this time of the year and playing the best team in the league.”Reggie Bullock added 16 points for the Mavs.“The mood is fine,” Doncic said. “I think a lot of players, it’s the first time in this situation. They’ve got to win four, so it’s not over yet. We are going to go back home, our crowd is amazing.”The Suns jumped out to a 9-0 lead for a second straight game, but the Mavericks had a better response than in Game 1.Dallas slowly fought back and Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 38. Davis Bertans followed with a 3-pointer with 7:56 left in the second quarter to give the Mavs a 41-38 advantage and their first lead of the series.The Mavs took a two-point lead after a foul-filled first half. Doncic scored 24 before the break on 9-of-14 shooting, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Jae Crowder led the Suns with 15.TIP-INSMavericks: Bertans gave the Mavs good minutes in the first half, scoring nine points and going 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. … Doncic briefly turned and stared down a Suns heckler late in the third quarter when he was walking off the playing floor into the tunnel. Doncic was quickly ushered away from the fan by Dallas team personnel.Suns: Shot 64.7% from the field in the first quarter. … Crowder picked up a technical foul in the second quarter. Ayton was called for a flagrant 1 foul after being called for an offensive foul, catching Dwight Powell in the face with his elbow. … Phoenix hosted a sellout crowd for a 31st straight game.———More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Betts, Freeman power Dodgers past Giants again, 9-1

Mookie Betts and Max Muncy homered, Freddie Freeman added a two-run triple and the Los Angeles Dodgers swept a short series from the San Francisco Giants with a 9-1 victoryBy GREG BEACHAM AP Sports WriterMay 5, 2022, 6:17 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleLOS ANGELES — Tony Gonsolin didn’t worry when he left an early first-pitch fastball over the plate and fell behind the San Francisco Giants on a homer by Brandon Crawford.Gonsolin knows the Los Angeles Dodgers rarely fail to provide their pitchers with enough support to get away with a few mistakes.“Our offense is going to put up runs,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when.”By the time they were done with the Giants on Wednesday night, the Dodgers left no question about who has the early advantage in the NL West — and in the latest edition of this famed rivalry.Mookie Betts and Max Muncy homered, Freddie Freeman added a two-run triple and the Dodgers swept a short series from San Francisco with a 9-1 victory.Trea Turner and Will Smith had RBI singles in the fourth inning for the Dodgers, who finished with 11 hits after pouring on six runs in their final two at-bats against the Giants’ short-handed bullpen.“I think collectively it was the best game we’ve played (offensively),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Just a well-played offensive game.”The Dodgers took the first two of 19 meetings this season between California clubs that racked up a combined 213 victories last season. Los Angeles has won four of five and 15 of 20 after outscoring San Francisco by a combined 12-2.Gonsolin (2-0) pitched five innings of three-hit ball for the Dodgers, striking out five and avoiding trouble despite allowing the Giants’ leadoff batters to reach base in each of his final four innings. San Francisco briefly went ahead in the second when Crawford barely cleared the right-field fence with his second homer of the season.“When we get leadoff runners on consistently, we’re going to score runs,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Obviously didn’t happen in this game. But they beat us throughout the night.”Alex Wood (2-2) yielded four hits and three runs while pitching into the sixth against his former team for the Giants, who have lost three straight and five of six.“To go through that lineup several times and stay in a game is all we can ask of our starting pitchers,” Kapler said.Wood, who finished with seven strikeouts, spent five seasons with the Dodgers over two stints. He won 16 games in 2017 before returning in 2020 and filling a key playoff role for LA’s World Series champions.Wood retired the Dodgers’ first nine batters before Betts led off the fourth with a single, catalyzing a two-run rally.“You know Woody is a good pitcher,” said Cody Bellinger, who had a long double and scored a run for LA. “He’s got some funk to his delivery, and he’s got some good stuff. We battled him out, and then we did a good job of getting in the bullpen and getting those guys.”Betts crushed Wood’s first pitch of the sixth to deep center — and a fan in Giants gear prevented Mike Yastrzemski from having any shot at pulling it back by catching it on the fly from the first row. The homer was Betts’ fourth of a slow-starting season.Los Angeles added four runs in the seventh on Gavin Lux’s bases-loaded single, Betts’ long sacrifice fly and Freeman’s triple to right, which was greeted by the loud chants of “Freddie! Freddie!” that have become a regular soundtrack in Chavez Ravine.VETERANS’ DAYMuncy singled in the seventh and added a two-run homer in the eighth, snapping an 0-for-15 skid and securing just the second two-hit game of his bumpy season.Justin Turner ended his 0-for-17 slump with a long single immediately after Muncy’s homer.TRAINER’S ROOMGiants: Yastrzemski went 1 for 4 in his first game back from the COVID-19 list. He missed seven games. Luke Williams, the final batter in Tuesday’s loss, got optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room.Dodgers: LHP David Price has rejoined the team after testing positive for COVID-19 on April 24. He won’t be ready to pitch until next week at the earliest, but will travel to Chicago with the Dodgers this week.UP NEXTGiants: The St. Louis Cardinals visit China Basin on Thursday when the Giants open a seven-game homestand. Kapler hadn’t announced a starter.Dodgers: After LA’s second day off in four days, Tyler Anderson (2-0, 2.55 ERA) will take the mound at Wrigley Field on Friday for a series opener against the Chicago Cubs.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Kaprizov gets hat trick as Wild thump Blues 6-2, even series

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The scoreless streak for the Minnesota Wild was pushing 70 minutes when they finally caught a break with a broken St. Louis stick.Joel Eriksson Ek got the game’s first goal a few seconds later, and the entire Wild bench jumped up in elation — with a bit of relief.Kirill Kaprizov had a hat trick and Eriksson Ek scored twice for the Wild, who snapped back at the St. Louis Blues with a 6-2 victory to even their first-round playoff series at one game apiece Wednesday night.“It’s for sure helping to build confidence, knowing you can take the lead and run with it,” Eriksson Ek said.Frederic Gaudreau and Kaprizov scored on the power play for the Wild, who went 0 for 6 with the man advantage in their 4-0 defeat in Game 1 and were 1 for 9 against the Blues over three regular-season losses. The Wild beat their Central Division rival in regulation for only the third time in 16 games since the Blues won the Stanley Cup in 2019.The Blues didn’t score on Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury until Jordan Kyrou’s power-play goal midway through the second period. They lost defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to injury after he blocked a shot with the side of his face in the first.“Once you know it hit him in the head, obviously that’s really scary,” St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko said. “As a teammate and a friend, it’s tough to see. Hope he feels better.”Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who host Game 3 in St. Louis on Friday night.“You come here, get a split and go home. You’re satisfied with that,” coach Craig Berube said. “It’s going to be a long series and you’ve got to battle and stay with it.”Eriksson Ek, the 2015 first-round draft pick from Sweden who was a Selke Award finalist last summer for the NHL’s best defensive forward, has elevated his offense in a big way during this first season of the eight-year, $42 million contract he signed last summer.Eriksson Ek broke Blues goalie Ville Husso’s shutout streak at 69:33 when he scored on Minnesota’s first on-target shot. After Bortuzzo’s stick broke on a clearing attempt, Jordan Greenway grabbed the puck and — passing it right past the defenseless Bortuzzo — fed Eriksson Ek on the sweet spot of his stick for the one-timer.“It was obviously super important for us to get that momentum to get kind of feeling good about the game,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “I think the fans were into it right away.”Kaprizov, the precocious Russian star who set franchise records this season with 47 goals and 108 points, gave the Wild a 5-2 lead with a slick tap-in of Mats Zuccarello’s pass on the rush. He added an empty-netter with 7:08 left after Berube pulled Husso in a last-ditch effort.In between Kaprizov’s scores, Eriksson Ek thought he had a hat trick himself. So did the dozens who tossed their caps onto the ice, but a Blues challenge — Marcus Foligno was offside — erased that goal.“I think Moose should buy some new hats for all those people,” Eriksson Ek said.The Wild kept the same power-play lineup after their Game 1 struggle, and Gaudreau delivered on the first opportunity. After Justin Faulk was called for high-sticking, Husso left a juicy rebound of Jonas Brodin’s slap shot out front that Gaudreau knocked in.Near the end of the first period, with Faulk in the penalty box again for slashing, Bortuzzo either stumbled forward or intentionally went low for the block — and had Eriksson Ek’s slap shot painfully ping off his face. Bortuzzo left the ice immediately and did not return.A little later on that power play, Eriksson Ek’s redirect resulted in a rebound that Kaprizov tipped off the post. With Kevin Fiala crashing hard to the net, Husso couldn’t stop the puck from sliding past the goal line.Then, just 51 seconds into the second period, Eriksson Ek gave the Wild a 4-0 lead. He stole a sloppy pass from Tarasenko that was supposed to go to Calle Rosen and deked Husso with a forehand-to-backhand dangle to poke the puck in for a glove-side goal.The Wild were exasperated by their special teams struggles in Game 1. This time, they went 2 for 3 on the power play and killed four of five penalties while doing a better job of controlling the rebounds Fleury kicked out.Fleury made 32 saves for his 91st postseason win, his first with the Wild. The Xcel Energy Center crowd, which was buzzing all night, took a break from taunting Husso with a serenade of Fleury’s last name late in the game.“It was a fun game to play, and hopefully we have many more,” said Fleury, acquired on March 21 from Chicago right before the trade deadline.Bortuzzo’s departure left the Blues awfully thin on the blue line. Nick Leddy was scratched with an upper-body injury he sustained but played through in Game 1. Marco Scandella has not played in the series due to a lower-body injury.NOTES: The Wild improved to 3-13 in playoff Game 2s. They raised their record to 2-8 in home games in the four postseason series in franchise history they’ve had with home-ice advantage as the higher seed. … The Blues fell to 10-2-1 on the road since the trade deadline.———More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Ruidiaz scores pair, Sounders top Pumas 3-0 to win CCL title

Raúl Ruidíaz scored on a deflected shot late in the first half, added a second goal off a perfect counter attack in the 80th minute, and the Seattle Sounders defeated Pumas 3-0 to win the CONCACAF Champions League titleBy TIM BOOTH AP Sports WriterMay 5, 2022, 5:59 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSEATTLE — For many years, the Seattle Sounders talked of wanting to be the first team from Major League Soccer to be crowned the club champions of CONCACAF, only to stumble along the way to accomplishing their goal.It was finally achieved Wednesday night, adding another triumph to Seattle’s list of titles in record fashion.Raúl Ruidíaz scored on a deflected shot late in the first half, added a second goal off a perfect counter attack in the 80th minute and the Seattle Sounders beat Pumas 3-0 to win the CONCACAF Champions League title.The Sounders became the first team from MLS to claim the championship of club teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean since the current format was adopted in 2008. Seattle was the fifth MLS team to reach the final and the first to finish the task.“These are precious, precious moments. And then when you missed the opportunity a few times, you don’t want to do it too often,” Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “So I’m really happy we’re able to take care of this today and write history.Nicolás Lodeiro added a final punctuation in the 88th minute with his third goal of the final after he scored both Seattle goals on penalty kicks in the first leg last week in Mexico City when the sides played to a 2-2 draw. The title earned Seattle a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup and added to an already filled trophy case that includes U.S. Open Cup titles, a MLS Supporters’ Shield and two MLS Cup titles.Officially, Seattle won the two-leg final 5-2. But with away goals not a tiebreaker in the final, whoever won the second leg in Seattle outright would be the champion.“I am very frustrated and I am very proud of our team,” Pumas coach Andrés Lillini said. “We left everything on this field.”Ruidíaz provided Seattle the lead in the 45th minute. His shot inside the penalty area deflected off Pumas’ forward Diogo and caught goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera moving the wrong direction. It set off a celebration with most of the record crowd of 68,761 cheering wildly enough to give Lumen Field a shake.It was the largest crowd to ever attend a match in any round of the CCL. And they roared again after the second goal. Precise passes from Alex Roldan to Jordan Morris to Lodeiro and then Ruidíaz left the striker in perfect position to beat Talavera.“It was a great team goal. We knew those spaces were going to open up a bit when they were pushing,” Morris said.Lodeiro’s goal just added to the party and the 3-0 win was the largest margin of victory in any CCL final match.The sides were even at 2-2 after a wild first leg. Pumas took a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals from Juan Dinenno, the top scorer in the tournament. Seattle rallied behind two penalty kick goals from Lodeiro to draw level and simplify the second leg. The second of Lodeiro’s two goals in Mexico City came in the ninth minute of stoppage time.But Dinenno was mostly quiet in the second leg. His best chance was a free kick midway through the second half that missed the net. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made a terrific save on Diogo’s free header in the 65th minute.Frei was named the overall player of the tournament. Seattle also played short-handed after Nouhou Tolo and João Paulo were subbed off with injuries inside the first 30 minutes. Seattle is concerned Paulo tore the ACL in his right knee.“It’s been a team effort to push us over the line,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Again, I can’t understate it, this is a hard tournament to win.”Seattle managed to finish where Real Salt Lake (2011), Montreal (2015), Toronto (2018) and LAFC (2020) fell short in the past as MLS teams that reached the final. Real Salt Lake and Montreal both returned home after pulling off draws on the road against LigaMX opponents, only to be defeated on their home turf.Seattle finished the tournament unbeaten in all eight matches of the knockout stage and went 2-0-2 against LigaMX clubs after beating out Leon in the quarterfinals.———More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

AP source: SEC, Pac-12 leaders to push for NIL law in DC

The commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and the Pac-12 are scheduled to meet with lawmakers in Washington They will lobby for federal legislation to regulate name, image and likeness compensation to athletesBy RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football WriterMay 5, 2022, 5:06 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 are scheduled to meet with lawmakers in Washington on Thursday to lobby for federal legislation to regulate name, image and likeness compensation to athletes.Greg Sankey of the SEC and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 plan to meet with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and other lawmakers, a person who has been briefed on the commissioners’ trip to Capitol Hill told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because neither conference was making the lobbying efforts public. Sports Illustrated first reported the planned visit.The commissioners of two of the five wealthiest conferences want to lay out the negative ramifications on college sports and athletes if the status quo remains unchanged when it comes to NIL compensation. They also plan to present a framework for a possible solution.The NCAA lifted its ban on athletes earning money for endorsement and sponsorship deals last year, but with no detailed and uniform rules in place. Left practically unregulated, NIL has quickly become intertwined with recruiting with millions of dollars suddenly available to athletes from well-heeled donors.Coaches and administrators are concerned that booster-funded organizations have been luring recruits and all but transferring athletes to their schools with payments that are recruiting inducements in disguise as NIL deals.In an interview earlier Wednesday with the AP, Kliavkoff said the commissioners of the Power Five conferences were obligated to take a leadership role in shaping the future of college sports during a turbulent time.”I believe that all of us agree on the idea that NIL is a good thing and that student athletes should be able to earn money using their name, image and likeness,” Kliavkoff said. “I think we all agree that there should be a few very definitive limitations on that to prevent schools from buying kids or pay-for-play. And I think there’s alignment (among commissioners) that we believe in the collegiate model, and we think a finding by anyone that our student-athletes are employees is an existential threat to the collegiate model.”———