University of Maine running back Josh Mack has been named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the Football Championship Subdivision offensive player of the year.

Mack, a sophomore, rushed for 1,335 yards while leading the country with 133.5 yards per game. He joins 24 other finalists for the award, including the 2016 winner, quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe of Sam Houston State.

Black Bears linebacker Jaron Grayer was selected as a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the freshman of the year. Grayer, one of 20 finalists, led Maine in tackles with 79.

Winners will be announced Jan. 5.

nOklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won’t start the regular-season finale Saturday against West Virginia, Coach Lincoln Riley said.

Mayfield was spotted grabbing his crotch and yelling an obscene comment toward Kansas players during the Sooners’ win on Saturday.


G-LEAGUE: Jon Holmes, a forward averaging 6.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Maine Red Claws, will join 11 other G League players on Team USA for the first round of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.

Holmes will play for Team USA against Puerto Rico on Thursday in Orlando, Florida, and against Mexico on Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina, before rejoining the Red Claws.

Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy is serving as U.S. coach.

The U.S. plays two more games in February and two next summer, then must go through another round of qualifying to reach the World Cup, which is used to determine qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics.


U.S. MEN: The U.S. Soccer Federation is not planning to hire a men’s national team coach before the organization’s presidential election in February, and with no major competitions in the near future, it might wait until the pool of potential candidates grows after next summer’s World Cup, multiple people familiar with the situation told the Washington Post.

The full-time job has been vacant since Bruce Arena stepped down last month in the wake of the failed World Cup qualifying campaign.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Brighton fought back twice to draw with Stoke 2-2 at home, extending its unbeaten run to five matches on its impressive return to England’s top flight.


ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: World champions Emma Coburn and Sam Kendricks were voted USA Track and Field’s top athletes for 2017.

Coburn captured the steeplechase title at the world championships in London in August. Kendricks finished the season undefeated in the pole vault.


WTA: Jana Novotna, who won the hearts of the tennis world when she sobbed on the shoulder of a member of the British royal family after a heartbreaking loss in the 1993 Wimbledon final, has died at the age of 49.

The native of the Czech Republic had cancer.

Novotna won her only Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1998, after losses in the final in 1993 and 1997. She also lost in the 1991 Australian Open final, and reached No. 2 in the singles rankings in 1997.