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Zac Brown Band to perform national anthem at CFP title game

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Three-time Grammy winners Zac Brown Band will perform the national anthem before the college football national championship game in Atlanta on Jan. 8.

The College Football Playoff on Thursday announced the participants for its pregame festivities. Atlanta gospel choir David Walker & High Praise will accompany Zac Brown Band on the anthem and Carly Ortega, a 12-year-old Georgia native, will sign it. Ortega attends the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf.

The flag will be presented by U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, based in Smyrna, Georgia.

The CFP previously announced that the Chainsmokers, Darius Rucker, Jason Derulo, Bebe Rexha, Brett Young, Spencer Ludwig and Lizzo will perform in concerts at Centennial Olympic Park from Jan. 6-8.

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For more AP college football coverage: www.collegefootball.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

On run for years before capture, man convicted in slaying

ATLANTA (AP) - A man who spent nearly eight years on the run after a slaying in Atlanta has been convicted and sentenced to prison.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said in a news release Wednesday that jurors found 31-year-old Brandon Williams guilty of murder for the May 10, 2008, shooting death of 16-year-old Corey Coleman at a house party. A judge on Dec. 4 sentenced Williams to life plus five years in prison.

Coleman's death and search for Williams was featured in 2010 on "America's Most Wanted." Williams was captured in April 2016 after authorities say they arrested him for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in a Charlotte, North Carolina, nightclub.

The victim's mother, Glorious Carter, told prosecutors she felt justice was served, adding "we finally have peace."

Georgia college bus driver accused of leaving gun on campus

ATLANTA (AP) - Officials say a student bus driver for the University of Georgia is accused of taking a loaded gun into a residence hall.

According to a campus police report, 30-year-old Brett Michael Davis told police he was driving his route on Dec. 6 when he parked at Russell Hall so that he could walk to Brumby Hall to use the bathroom.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that he left without his weapon to continue his bus route. Authorities say a campus employee called police and Davis returned shortly after to retrieve his gun.

Although he had a concealed carry permit, police say Davis was charged with having a weapon on school property, and reckless conduct.

The newspaper did not report on if he had a lawyer.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

The Latest: Sooners RB Anderson will not be charged

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Latest on a sexual assault accusation against Sooners running back Rodney Anderson (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

An Oklahoma prosecutor says Sooners running back Rodney Anderson will not be charged after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn announced his decision Thursday.

The accusation stems from a petition for a protective order in which the woman says Anderson assaulted her in her apartment and that she fears for her safety. An attorney for Anderson has called the accusations "patently false," saying the woman made them after Anderson declined her social invitations.

Anderson has been one of Oklahoma's breakout stars this year after season-ending injuries the past two. He leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Oklahoma plays Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

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11:25 a.m.

An Oklahoma prosecutor has scheduled a news conference to announce whether Sooners running back Rodney Anderson will be charged after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn set his announcement for 2 p.m. Thursday.

The accusation stems from a petition for a protective order in which the woman says Anderson assaulted her in her apartment and that she fears for her safety. An attorney for Anderson has called the accusations "patently false," saying the woman made them after Anderson declined her social invitations.

Anderson has been one of Oklahoma's breakout stars this year after season-ending injuries the past two. He leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Oklahoma plays Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

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More AP college football coverage: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .

The Latest: Sooner RB's lawyer: No charge proves innocence

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Latest on a sexual assault accusation against Sooners running back Rodney Anderson (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

An attorney for Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson says a prosecutor's decision not to charge his client after a sexual assault allegation shows the Sooners standout is innocent.

The statement Thursday from attorney Derek Chance followed the decision not to charge by Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

Lawyer Derek Chance said Anderson and his family are looking forward to putting the matter behind them.

The accusation stemmed from a petition for a protective order in which a woman says Anderson assaulted her in her apartment and that she fears for her safety.

Anderson leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Oklahoma plays Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

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2:05 p.m.

An Oklahoma prosecutor says Sooners running back Rodney Anderson will not be charged after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn announced his decision Thursday.

The accusation stems from a petition for a protective order in which the woman says Anderson assaulted her in her apartment and that she fears for her safety. An attorney for Anderson has called the accusations "patently false," saying the woman made them after Anderson declined her social invitations.

Anderson has been one of Oklahoma's breakout stars this year after season-ending injuries the past two. He leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Oklahoma plays Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

___

11:25 a.m.

An Oklahoma prosecutor has scheduled a news conference to announce whether Sooners running back Rodney Anderson will be charged after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn set his announcement for 2 p.m. Thursday.

The accusation stems from a petition for a protective order in which the woman says Anderson assaulted her in her apartment and that she fears for her safety. An attorney for Anderson has called the accusations "patently false," saying the woman made them after Anderson declined her social invitations.

Anderson has been one of Oklahoma's breakout stars this year after season-ending injuries the past two. He leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Oklahoma plays Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.

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More AP college football coverage: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .

Winning numbers drawn in 'All or Nothing Day' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "All or Nothing Day" game were:

02-07-08-09-11-13-14-15-16-20-21-24

(two, seven, eight, nine, eleven, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-four)

Falcons-Buccaneers Capsule

ATLANTA (8-5) at TAMPA BAY (4-9)

Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

OPENING LINE - Falcons by 3 1/2.

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 6-7, Tampa Bay 3--9-1

SERIES RECORD - Tied 24-24

LAST MEETING - Falcons beat Buccaneers 34-20, Nov. 26

LAST WEEK - Falcons beat Saints 20-17; Buccaneers lost to Lions 24-21

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 9, Buccaneers No. 29

FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (11), PASS (12)

FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (12), PASS (6)

BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (T26), PASS (6)

BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (17), PASS (32)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Falcons have won two straight to even all-time series, but hold 16-14 edge since creation of NFC South in 2002. ... In past three games vs. Bucs, Falcons QB Matt Ryan has thrown for 995 yards, seven touchdowns, zero interceptions. He's sparkled on Monday nights, too, with 2,367 passing yards, 17 TDs and five interceptions in past eight appearances. ... WR Julio Jones had season-best 12 receptions for 253 yards and two TDs against Bucs three weeks ago - his NFL-record third game with 250-plus yards receiving. No other receiver in league history has more than one. ... RB Devonta Freeman has fourth-most rushing yards (2,815) in NFL since 2015. He's first with 28 rushing TDs over span. ... Bucs have lost eight of 10 following 2-1 start. They will miss playoffs for 10th consecutive season. ... Five-time Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy's status uncertain after suffering biceps injury vs. Detroit. ... LB Lavonte David leads league with five fumble recoveries and ranks second with five forced fumbles. ... QB Jameis Winston has thrown for 542 yards, seven TDs and one interception in last two games vs. Falcons. ... WR Mike Evans needs strong finish to extend string of three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He has 55 receptions for 760 yards and three TDs through 13 games. Fantasy Tip: Jones has averaged 123.5 yards per game and caught 10 TD passes in 11 career meetings vs. Bucs. In three previous home games vs. Atlanta, Evans has 23 receptions for 336 yards and four TDs.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL.

Kennesaw State University president to leave early next year

KENNESAW, Ga. (AP) - A university president who faced intense criticism from students, faculty and alumni for his response to cheerleaders who knelt during the national anthem will resign early next year, Georgia education officials announced Thursday.

Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens will step down from the public institution northwest of Atlanta effective Feb. 15, the state's board of regents said.

Ken Harmon, the school's provost and vice president for academic affairs, will serve as interim president after Olens leaves, the board said in a statement. The University System of Georgia intends to immediately begin a national search for a new president, the statement said.

At a Sept. 30 football game, some black cheerleaders knelt during the national anthem to protest social injustice, prompting a barrage of calls and emails to the university's administration from furious school boosters. The cheerleaders were then moved off the field during pre-game activities, but continued kneeling in a stadium tunnel.

Olens was criticized by people on both sides of the issue, while the board of regents faulted him for failing to keep state officials informed about the school's decision to move the cheerleaders off the field.

Formerly Georgia's attorney general, Olens took the helm at Kennesaw State last year. Before his appointment, university faculty and students questioned his credentials to lead an academic institution.

With 35,000 students, Kennesaw State is Georgia's third-largest university and one of the nation's 50 largest public institutions.

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 4 Midday' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 4 Midday" game were:

5-7-9-8

(five, seven, nine, eight)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Georgia FIVE Midday' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Georgia FIVE Midday" game were:

6-7-1-9-9

(six, seven, one, nine, nine)

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