Sports briefs

Published: Monday, Dec. 6 2010 11:02 p.m. MST

Denver Broncos fire coach McDaniels

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have fired coach Josh McDaniels, whose nearly two-year stint was marred by the Spygate II videotape scandal, a series of personnel blunders and the franchise's worst skid in four decades.

Running backs coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim coach for the final month, succeeding McDaniels, 34, whose hiring by team owner Pat Bowlen in January 2009 is now viewed as a monumental mistake.

In a statement, team owner Pat Bowlen said: "My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly. I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts."

Studesville and chief operating officer Joe Ellis will meet with the media Tuesday. There was no word on whether McDaniels would hold a farewell news conference.

Cowboys great Don Meredith dies at 72

SANTA FE, N.M. — Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith has died in Santa Fe after suffering a brain hemorrhage and lapsing into a coma on Sunday. He was 72.

Meredith's wife, Susan, confirmed the former football star's death. She says a private graveside ceremony is being planned and that family members are traveling to Santa Fe.

Meredith played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965. While he never led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, Meredith was one of the franchise's first stars. Over his nine-year career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and 111 touchdowns. He retired unexpectedly before the 1969 season. He later went on to fame as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football.

Newton, James, Luck, Moore are finalists

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Oregon running back LaMichael James will meet up in New York before heading to Arizona for next month's national championship game.

Newton and James have been announced as finalists for the Heisman Trophy and will be joined by Stanford's Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore of Boise State for Saturday's announcement.

Newton overcame a pay-to-play scandal with a superb season on the field, piling up nearly 4,000 combined yards and 48 touchdowns in leading the top-ranked Tigers into the Jan. 10 national championship game.

The dynamic James had more yards and touchdowns than anyone else in FBS, helping the second-ranked Ducks into their first national championship game.

Gillick voted into baseball Hall of Fame

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Pat Gillick, a former general manager whose teams won three World Series titles, has been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Former players' association head Marvin Miller fell one vote short and late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner also was shy of the necessary 75 percent in voting by the Veterans Committee announced Monday.

Gillick, who spent 27 years as GM of Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and Philadelphia, will be inducted into Cooperstown during ceremonies on July 24 along with any players chosen next month by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

— Deseret News and wire reports

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