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Washington meets with Shanahan

Redskins move quickly to find replacement for fired Zorn

January 5, 2010

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— The Washington Redskins moved quickly in their pursuit of Mike Shanahan on Monday, flying in the former Denver Broncos coach on the same day the team fired Jim Zorn.

Shanahan and wife Peggy landed at Dulles International Airport near Redskins Park in mid-afternoon and were driven away in a limousine to meet with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen. Snyder planned for Shanahan to stay overnight at the owner’s house in Maryland, and a formal hiring announcement could come as early as today.

Shanahan’s arrival was the highlight of a long, eventful day as the Redskins sought a new direction after a 4-12 season. The first move came in the pre-dawn hours, when Zorn was dismissed during a meeting in his office with Allen after the team’s cross-country flight following a 23-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

“It’s real clear that we’re going to be aggressive,” Allen said. “What we’re looking for in a head coach is somebody who can lead these men that we had in our locker room this year to levels they’ve haven’t played through before.”

NFL

Fiancee: Henry jumped

Chris Henry’s fiancee says he jumped out of the back of her truck instead of falling and that she wasn’t driving fast on the day the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was fatally injured.

Loleini Tonga tells ESPN that she thinks Henry thought he would land safely and may have been scared because he saw someone calling the police. She said he didn’t jump with the intention of harming himself.

Rams have top pick

New York — The St. Louis Rams, who finished with the worst record in the NFL at 1-15, have the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.

The Rams will be followed by the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington, Kansas City, Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland and Buffalo have picks four through nine.

Denver and Jacksonville will have a coin flip for pick No. 10.

Bills fire staff

Orchard Park, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills cleared the way for their next head coach, informing their entire coaching staff to start looking elsewhere for jobs.

Interim head coach Perry Fewell was among those relieved of his duties on Monday, though the Bills said he is still a candidate and will be interviewed.

Giants fire D-coordinator

East Rutherford, N.J. — Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan became the first victim of the New York Giants’ collapse in 2009.

Miami QB out of hospital

Davie, Fla. — Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Pat White was out of the hospital and back at the team’s training complex Monday after a scary helmet-to-helmet collision briefly left him motionless.

College basketball

Kansas remains No. 1

Unbeatens Kansas, Texas, Kentucky and Purdue are the top four teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll for the fourth straight week.

The Jayhawks (13-0) are again the runaway No. 1 with 56 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Texas (13-0) was No. 1 on eight ballots, while Kentucky (15-0) had the remaining first-place vote. The four teams are the only unbeatens in Division I.

Vols facing short rotation

Knoxville, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl says with four of his scholarship players suspended he’ll have a rotation of six scholarship players and three walk-ons when the Volunteers face Charlotte this week.

Senior forward Tyler Smith, junior point guard Melvin Goins, junior center Brian Williams and sophomore guard Cameron Tatum are suspended indefinitely after being arrested on drug and gun charges on Friday.

Pearl says he doesn’t know how good the 16th-ranked Vols (10-2) will be against Charlotte (10-3).

The coach said he does not yet know if the players will still be suspended when Tennessee hosts No. 1 Kansas on Sunday because school officials and authorities are still in the process of gathering information about the incident.

OSU player suspended

Stillwater, Okla. — Oklahoma State forward Marshall Moses has been suspended for one game for violating team policy, hours after he was arrested on several misdemeanor complaints.

Deputy Police Chief Ron Thrasher says Moses was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly driving under a suspended license and possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

UConn women still No. 1

Connecticut once again was the unanimous choice as the top team in The Associated Press women’s Top 25 poll, receiving all 40 first-place votes from a national media panel Monday.

Stanford was No. 2, with Notre Dame, Tennessee and Baylor rounding out the top 5.

Kansas dropped to No. 24.

MLB

Parrish, Royals agree

Kansas City, Mo. — Left-hander John Parrish and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a minor league contract.

The 32-year-old Parrish missed last season because of a shoulder injury. He was 1-1 with a 4.04 ERA for Toronto in 2008, making six starts and seven relief appearances.

Parrish is 13-13 with a 4.54 ERA in 16 starts and 158 relief appearances in seven major league seasons with Baltimore, Seattle and Toronto.

Source: Beltre to Red Sox

A person familiar with the negotiations says free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre and the Boston Red Sox are close to agreeing on a one-year contract.

Beltre would get $9 million this year and would have a $5 million player option for 2011 with a $1 million buyout, the person said.

Bay gets $17M option

New York — Jason Bay’s contract with the New York Mets includes a $17 million option for 2014 with a $3 million buyout, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Rockies, Olivo agree

Denver — The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms with catcher Miguel Olivo on a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2011.

College football

Texas Tech begins search

Lubbock, Texas — Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers says interim coach Ruffin McNeill will be strongly considered for the permanent job.

Myers said Monday that the search has started for Mike Leach’s replacement and he could have a pick by week’s end.

Pelini earns bonus

Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team’s appearances in the Big 12 championship game and the Holiday Bowl mean an extra quarter-million dollars for coach Bo Pelini.

Pelini’s contract calls for him to receive an extra $150,000 for taking his team to the conference title game and $100,000 for going to a bowl.

UK coach Brooks retires

Lexington, Ky. — Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has announced that he is retiring after seven seasons coaching the Wildcats.

Brooks made the announcement on Monday. He will be replaced by offensive head coach Joker Phillips, who agreed to become Brooks’ eventual successor two years ago.

NBA

Lakers’ Gasol injured

El Segundo, Calif. — Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has a mild to moderate strained left hamstring and is doubtful for tonight’s game against Houston.

Arenas, authorities meet

Washington — Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas says he took unloaded guns from his locker in a “misguided effort to play a joke” on a teammate.

Arenas released a written statement Monday after meeting with law enforcement officials. And Arenas’ lawyer says the player voluntarily met with prosecutors and detectives and answered every question during a two-hour interview.

Boxing

Dispute goes to mediation

Las Vegas — Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are going to mediation to try to salvage their March 13 fight.

Representatives of the two fighters will meet today with a California mediator in an effort to reach agreement on blood testing issues that have threatened to derail the fight.

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