Sports at a glance
Duke men No. 1 again
Duke was in good position to be ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll before landing Marvin Bagley III. Once the nation’s top recruit decided to reclassify for this season, the Blue Devils became the voters’ clear choice.
Led by Bagley and senior guard Grayson Allen, Duke was the preseason No. 1 for the second straight season a ninth time overall, matching rival North Carolina for most all-time. The Blue Devils received 33 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in the AP Top 25 released on Wednesday.
No. 2 Michigan State received 13 first-place votes, No. 3 Arizona had 18 and No. 4 Kansas got one.
Kentucky rounded out the top 5, followed by Villanova, Wichita State and Florida. Defending national champion North Carolina is No. 9 and Southern California is 10th.
NFL ties hurt Papa John’s
NEW YORK — Sales growth at Papa John’s is slowing, and the pizza chain is blaming it on the outcry surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
The company, which is a sponsor and advertiser of the NFL, said customers have a negative view of the chain’s association with the NFL. The company also cut its earnings growth expectations for the year and Papa John’s stock fell about 10 percent Wednesday.
CEO John Schnatter said the controversy over playing kneeling during the national anthem is hurting his business. He said Papa John’s has hired a new creative agency that will help it create more digital ads.
A representative for the NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Elsewhere in NFL:
n Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Gordon, who hasn’t played since the 2014 season over violation of the league’s drug policy, met in New York on Wednesday with Goodell. Gordon can immediately join the team for meetings, engage in conditioning work and individual workouts.
n The Patriots signed former 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer on Wednesday to fill the role of Tom Brady’s backup, a day after Hoyer was released by San Francisco following its acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with New England. Hoyer began his career as Brady’s backup in New England in 2009, and has spent time with seven NFL teams during his nine-year career.
Death threats force coach out
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — An Ohio high school football coach has resigned after two seasons, saying he received death threats after his teams lost 18 straight games.
Lance Engleka resigned Saturday from his position as the head football coach at Middletown High School. Engleka wrote in a letter to the principal that he refuses to tolerate the online death threats, attacks from parents and verbal abuse leveled at his family and coaching staff.
Officials say Engleka will keep his position as the dean of students.
The Associated Press