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Archive for Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sports Briefs

August 20, 2009

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Thompson to be honored

New York — Former Georgetown coach John Thompson, the late Kay Yow and high school coaching legend Jack Curran were selected Wednesday to receive the second annual Lapchick Character Awards. The three will be honored at a luncheon at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, it was announced Wednesday.

The award, started by a group including Joe Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri, recognizes coaches who have shown the character traits and coaching skills of the Hall of Famer who coached St. John’s and the New York Knicks.

Ex-Cincinnati player dies

Cincinnati — Paul “Duke” Hogue, a center on Cincinnati’s back-to-back national championship basketball teams, has died at age 69. His wife of 43 years, Patti Hogue, said he died Monday of heart and kidney failure. The 6-foot-9-inch center helped lead the Bearcats to NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962.

BASEBALL

Smoltz to pitch for Cards

St. Louis — John Smoltz agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, giving the 42-year-old former ace a chance to rejuvenate his career in the middle of a pennant race.

Smoltz joined the NL Central leaders shortly after he cleared waivers, following his release by Boston. He was 2-5 with an 8.33 earned-run average in eight starts for the Red Sox.

General manager John Mozeliak said Smoltz likely would start Sunday at San Diego, and probably would get at least a few turns in the rotation. The GM said Smoltz didn’t ask to start as a “negotiating ploy.”

“He had very little demands,” Mozeliak said on a conference call. “He had no demands. From everything he had heard about this club, he was excited to take this opportunity.”

The Cardinals hope Smoltz can either fill a void as the fifth starter or provide right-handed relief in the bullpen. Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas and Florida also were said to be interested in signing the longtime Atlanta star.

The risk for the Cardinals is small — Boston is responsible for the bulk of the contract. St. Louis is on the hook only for a prorated share of the major-league minimum, about $100,000 through the rest of the season.

Reds shelve Taveras

Cincinnati — The Cincinnati Reds placed center fielder Willy Taveras on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a strained right quadriceps. Taveras was hurt on a bunt attempt.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas TE out for season

Austin, Texas — A recurring neck injury will force Texas sophomore tight end Ian Harris to miss the 2009 season.

Longhorns trainer Kenny Boyd made the announcement Wednesday. Harris played in three games in 2008 but has struggled to overcome a nerve injury.

Harris is the fourth tight end to be lost for the season to an injury.

Redshirt freshman D.J. Grant injured his knee last week and will need surgery. Former starter Blaine Irby has not yet recovered from a 2008 knee injury. Josh Marshall missed last season due to a broken collarbone and announced at the start of training camp that he would give up football. The Longhorns still have tight ends Greg Smith and freshman Barrett Matthews.

SEC policy protested

New York — The presidents of three leading media organizations have sent a letter to Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive protesting the league’s credential policy for college football.

The letter from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the American Society of News Editors said Wednesday the SEC’s policy is too restrictive for reporters and photographers.

Among the issues of contention are rights involving video and audio game highlights and photos.

NBA

Knicks’ Robinson arrested

New York — New York Knicks player Nate Robinson was arrested Tuesday for driving without a license. Police said Robinson was arrested after officers pulled him over in the Bronx at about 5:30 p.m. and discovered he had a suspended license. The Knicks guard was taken to the 52nd Precinct and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and issued a summons to return to court at a later date, police said.

Magic sign guard Williams

Orlando, Fla. — The Orlando Magic have announced signing free agent guard Jason Williams. Williams retired in September 2008 after playing a season for the Miami Heat, where he average 8.8 points per game. He did not play the 2008-09 season. Williams was a first-round draft pick and seventh overall in 1998. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team that season. Williams has played in 679 career NBA regular-season games with Sacramento, Memphis and Miami.

TENNIS

Safina out at Rogers Cup

Toronto — Dinara Safina is out of the Rogers Cup. The No. 1-ranked Russian fell, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, to Aravane Rezai of France in a second-round match Wednesday at the $2 million WTA Tour event.

Roddick falls at Cincinnati

Mason, Ohio — Andy Roddick has suffered a stunning upset only two weeks from the start of the U.S. Open. Fellow American Sam Querrey defeated the fifth-ranked Roddick Wednesday night, 7-6 (11), 7-6 (3), at the Cincinnati Masters.

AUTO RACING

Busch bags truck victory

Bristol, Tenn. — Kyle Busch pulled away from Matt Crafton in the closing laps to easily win the O’Reilly 200 truck series race Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch passed Jason White for the lead on lap 124 and then steadily pulled away from Crafton after the race’s final caution period on lap 175. Driving the No. 51 Toyota for Billy Ballew, it was Busch’s second straight win at the .533-mile short track and his third victory of the season.

Sprint Cup champ honored

Washington — Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had the gas to get to the White House on Wednesday, where President Barack Obama honored the 2008 winner.

Points to decide F1 title

Valencia, Spain — Formula One’s 2010 championship will remain decided by points according to new regulations published on Wednesday, which left out any reference to a proposed budget cap that nearly created a breakaway series.

HOCKEY

Blackhawks’ Kane indicted

Buffalo, N.Y. — Chicago Blackhawks standout Patrick Kane was indicted Wednesday on misdemeanor assault and theft charges after he was accused of beating up a cab driver over a fare dispute.

The grand jury dismissed a more serious felony charge of second-degree robbery, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III said.

TRACK AND FIELD

Bolt reaches 200 finals

Berlin — Usain Bolt cruised during the 200-meter semifinals on Wednesday, looking sharp for an assault on a second world record at the world championships. Bolt thrived in 80-degree heat in Berlin, running hard on the curve before closing it down just past the halfway mark and strolling past the line in 20.08 seconds.

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