ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions have fired coach Jim Schwartz. The Lions made the move Monday, one day after they ended their late-season slide with a loss at Minnesota. Detroit flopped to a 7-9 record this year after a 6-3 record start put the franchise in a position to win a division title for the first time since 1993. Schwartz was 29-51 over five seasons, including a 10-6 mark in 2011 that lifted the Lions to their only postseason appearance this century. The former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator was hired in 2009 when Detroit was coming off the NFL's first 0-16 season. Schwartz had the team going in the right direction during his first three seasons before it took a step back the next two years.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan has taken a step back for a second straight season under coach Brady Hoke. The Wolverines were defeated by Kansas State 33-17 Saturday night in the Buffalo Wings Bowl, losing their sixth game in an eight-game stretch that left them barely over .500 in Hoke's third year. Michigan won seven games this season after winning eight last year and 11 in Hoke's debut season with the storied program in 2011. The Wolverines will try to bounce back next year without offensive tackles, Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, receivers Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. Defensive tackles Jibreel Black and Quinton Washington, safeties Thomas Gordon and Courtney Avery and kicker Brendan Gibbons are also out of eligibility.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson scored two more touchdowns, including the go-ahead catch in the end zone in the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 14-13 on Sunday in the final game at the Metrodome after 32 seasons. With both the Vikings (5-10-1) and the Lions (7-9) out of the playoffs, both coaches also faced the possibility of their last full day with their teams. Jim Schwartz fell to 29-52 in five years with the Lions. Leslie Frazier raised his record with the Vikings in three-plus years to 21-33-1. Each of them has reached the playoffs once. The building will be torn down next month to make room for a new domed stadium on the same site.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Michigan freshman quarterback Shane Morris will start in place of Devin Gardner in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Gardner sustained a turf toe injury in the Wolverines' final regular-season game against Ohio State and showed up in Arizona wearing a protective boot. Coach Brady Hoke announced Thursday that Morris will make his first college start against Kansas State after Gardner was unable to practice Wednesday. Morris played in three games this season, attempting nine passes. He sat out most of his senior season in high school because of mononucleosis. As a result of Gardner's injury, Morris has worked with Michigan's first-team offense leading up to Saturday night's bowl game in Tempe, Arizona at 10:15 p.m.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Pistons have assigned rookies Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. The Pistons took Mitchell and Siva in the second round of this year's draft. Mitchell has appeared in 10 games with the Pistons, averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. He was drafted 37th overall out of North Texas. Siva has appeared in 13 games with the Pistons, averaging 5.8 minutes. Siva, the 56th selection in the draft, won an NCAA championship as a senior at Louisville. The Pistons announced the moves on Thursday. Tonight the Pistons are in Orlando to play the Magic at 7 p.m.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions have put tight end Dorin Dickerson on injured reserve, four days after he didn't immediately tell the team's medical staff he had a concussion during a game against the New York Giants. The Lions signed tight end Matt Veldman from their practice squad Thursday to replace Dickerson, claimed wide receiver Micheal Spurlock off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys and added wide receiver Carlin Isles to the practice squad. Dickerson told reporters Sunday he was unconscious after a kickoff return during the 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants. Dickerson said he should've reported the concussion, but thought he could play through it. He ended up dropping a pass and getting called for holding at the beginning of the Lions' only drive in overtime, leading to a punt. Sunday the Lions visit the Minnesota Vikings with kick off at 1 p.m. and pre-game at Noon on 97.7 WTGV-FM.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Boston Marathon bombing has been selected the sports story of the year in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press. Two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the April 15 race in an area packed with fans cheering the runners. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured. Ninety-six ballots were submitted from U.S. news organizations. Voters were asked to rank the top 10 sports stories of the year, with the first-place story receiving 10 points, the second-place story nine points and so on. The marathon attack drew 761 points and 67 first-place votes Friday. The No. 2 sports story, Lance Armstrong's admission of doping, had five first-place votes and 517 points.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State has suspended senior linebacker Max Bullough for violating team rules, making him ineligible to play in the Rose Bowl. Coach Mark Dantonio said in a news release early Thursday morning that Bullough was suspended for the rest of the season. He did not say what rules Bullough violated and said there will be no further comment. The No. 4 Spartans will play No. 5 Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. It is Michigan State's first appearance in the game in 26 seasons. Bullough is a two-time team captain who had 76 tackles this season and 299 career tackles. He also was named a third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten this season. Dantonio said in the statement Bullough will remain a "valued member in this team's achievements."
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions have placed tight end Brandon Pettigrew on injured reserve, ending his season. The five-year veteran injured an ankle late in a Dec. 16 loss to Baltimore and has not practiced or played since. He finished the season with 41 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions practiced Wednesday with just two tight ends, Joseph Fauria and practice squad player Matt Veldman. Dorin Dickerson suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants and has not yet been cleared to return.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Lions dealt some fans a blow one day after a 23-20 loss to the New York Giants eliminated them from playoff contention. People who committed to buying postseason tickets from the Lions received them in the mail on Monday. Team president Tom Lewand confirmed money spent on playoff games will be credited toward season-ticket renewals for the 2014 season. Fans who don't want to renew their season tickets can get a refund, according to team spokesman Ben Manges. The franchise was in a position to sell tickets to potential postseason games because the Lions were in control of the NFC North late in the season. Detroit, though, won only one of its past six games and lost fourth-quarter leads in each of those losses. The skid and a 29-50 record over five seasons has put coach Jim Schwartz's job in jeopardy.