Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UConn back at practice

October 21, 2009

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— Connecticut’s football team got back to work Tuesday, holding their first practice since the stabbing death of player Jasper Howard over the weekend.

“It’s definitely hard to move forward, with a loss like that,” linebacker Lawrence Wilson said. “But as his mom and his parents said to us, Jasper would want us to win. So I think the team will practice hard for him.”

Police said Howard, a junior cornerback, was fatally stabbed during a fight outside a university-sanctioned dance early Sunday. Nobody has been charged with the stabbing, and UConn police said Tuesday there were no new developments in the investigation.

Howard’s stepfather, Henry Williams, said the family is confident that the killer will be brought to justice. Speaking to reporters, Williams also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and support the family has received from the Connecticut community.

“We have a lot of pain,” Williams said. “We still have hurt, but we can go on now feeling a little better because a lot of our questions have been answered. The captain of the state police told me, ‘The case will be solved,’ and I believe him.”

Funeral services were tentatively set for Monday in Florida and UConn coach Randy Edsall said the team would attend.

Williams said Howard, who was from Miami, loved UConn and considered the team his second family. He asked UConn’s football players to take a moment to grieve, and then play the rest of the season for his son.

Howard’s mother, Joanglia, did not speak, and had to leave the room during Williams’ remarks when she was overcome with emotion.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Six UCLA players ailing

Los Angeles — J’mison Morgan has a swollen left knee, making him the sixth UCLA basketball player to be injured since practice began last week. Jerime Anderson (left groin), James Keefe (left shoulder), Malcolm Lee (concussion), Brendan Lane (left ankle) and Mike Moser (lower back) are the other injured scholarship players.

NFL

Eagles acquire Witherspoon

Philadelphia — The Philadelphia Eagles have acquired linebacker Will Witherspoon from the St. Louis Rams for rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round pick in 2010.

The Eagles made the trade Tuesday to get Witherspoon, an eight-year veteran who spent his first four seasons with Carolina. He was the Rams’ starter at the weakside spot and had 36 tackles and one forced fumble this season. Witherspoon has recorded more than 100 tackles three times in his career and has missed only two games to injury. Gibson, a sixth-round pick, was inactive for all six games with Philadelphia.

Browns lose LB Jackson

Cleveland — Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury. Cleveland placed its leading tackler on injured reserve Tuesday, two days after he damaged his shoulder during the first half of a 27-14 loss at Pittsburgh.

Pats release WR Galloway

Foxborough, Mass. — The New England Patriots have released receiver Joey Galloway and tight end Michael Matthews. Galloway signed with the Patriots as a free agent after 14 seasons. He played in three games and had seven receptions for 67 yards. Galloway was a first-round draft pick by the Seahawks in 1995.

Bears, Cutler agree

Chicago — The Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler have agreed on a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2013 season. Acquired in a blockbuster trade from Denver in the offseason, the Pro Bowl quarterback has completed 110 of 172 passes with 1,201 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions while leading Chicago to a 3-2 record. A person familiar with the negotiations said the deal includes approximately $20 million guaranteed and roughly $30 million in new money.

BASEBALL

Indians interview Acta

Cleveland — Manny Acta had his second interview with the Cleveland Indians, who also plan to sit down with ex-New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine about their managerial opening.

Pujols to have surgery

St. Louis — For the second straight offseason, Albert Pujols will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. The St. Louis Cardinals said Tuesday that the two-time NL MVP will undergo a debridement procedure — which could be used to shave bone spurs — this morning in Birmingham, Ala.

Dodgers’ GM staying

Los Angeles — Ned Colletti agreed to a long-term extension Tuesday to stay on as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

GOLF

Glover fires 65 at Slam

Southampton, Bermuda — Lucas Glover shot a course record Tuesday to dominate the first round of the PGA Grand Slam. Glover hit six birdies and an eagle to finish at 6-under 65 at the newly renovated Port Royal Golf Course. The U.S. Open champion owed his record-setting round to a hot putting, including monster putts of 60-plus feet on Nos. 4 and 17, which earned him the eagle and a two-shot lead over Stewart Cink.

NBA

Refs could be back soon

New York — The NBA’s locked-out referees could be back on the floor in time for the regular season. The league has made a new proposal, and a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press it will be recommended for approval to the referees on Friday. The person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing, said it’s “highly likely” they’ll be on the court for next Tuesday’s season opener in Cleveland.

WNBA

Shock moving to Tulsa

Oklahoma City — The three-time WNBA champion Detroit Shock are moving to Tulsa in hopes that a small-yet-enthusiastic market will embrace what will be the city’s only major pro sports team.

TENNIS

Clijsters advances

Luxembourg — Kim Clijsters won her first match since capturing the U.S. Open, defeating Meghann Shaughnessy, 6-2, 6-2, on Tuesday to reach the second round of the Luxembourg Open.

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