Columbia, Mo. Missouri running back Derrick Washington was dismissed from the team Wednesday, two days after being charged with sexual assaulting a former tutor in her bedroom over the summer.
The school released a two-sentence statement that said the Tigers’ leading rusher the past two seasons and a team captain had been “permanently suspended” from the football program.
Washington, a 21-year-old senior and Kansas City-area prep star, is accused of entering a former Missouri tutor’s closed bedroom while visiting her roommate and assaulting the woman while she slept. The woman obtained a court order of protection that expired in July.
Washington, who faces a single felony count of deviate sexual assault, will remain on scholarship as long as he meets his academic requirements. He declined comment when reached on his cell phone.
Coach Gary Pinkel indefinitely suspended Washington last week without disclosing details. The timing of Washington’s initial suspension was questioned since his appointment as one of four team captains and a school-paid trip to Dallas for the Big 12 Conference’s annual preseason media gathering occurred after the protection order was issued in late June.
NU gets rough Big Ten debut
Omaha, Neb. — The Big Ten’s welcome gift to Nebraska looks more like a booby prize.
The football schedule for 2011-12, the Cornhuskers’ first two seasons in the Big Ten, pits Nebraska against a lineup no sane coach would envy.
The Cornhuskers open the 2011 conference schedule at Wisconsin. They come home to play Ohio State, then it’s off to Minnesota and home games against Michigan State and Northwestern.
Here comes the big finish: at Penn State, at Michigan and home against new border rival Iowa.
BYU signs deal with ESPN
Provo, Utah — BYU is perfectly happy with “Plan B.”
Two weeks after BYU’s original intention to go independent in football collapsed in a matter of hours, athletic director Tom Holmoe made the announcement Wednesday that has been haunting him for much of the last month: The Cougars are going solo in football, accepting the many risks with the hopes of greater rewards.
BYU and ESPN have reached an eight-year deal for the network or one of its affiliates broadcast the Cougars’ home games.
Drake to play game in Africa
Des Moines, Iowa — Drake University plans to face an all-star team from Mexico in Tanzania next year in what the school says will be the first American football game ever played in Africa.
The school announced Wednesday that the Bulldogs, who compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, will play on May 21 in Moshi, Tanzania, in the inaugural Global Kilimanjaro Bowl.
Penn State taps freshman QB
State College, Pa. — Penn State coach Joe Paterno named freshman Robert Bolden the starter for the Nittany Lions’ opener Saturday against Youngstown State. A team spokesman said this is the first time Penn State will open the season with a true freshman as the starting quarterback.
Cards sign DT to 4-year deal
Tempe, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have signed Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to a four-year, $48 million contract extension with $30 million guaranteed.
Raiders deny interest in Leinart
Alameda, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have plenty of roster moves they need to make before the start of the season. Apparently trading for Matt Leinart isn’t one of them. The Raiders denied a report from ESPN on Wednesday that said the team has had discussions about trading with Arizona for Leinart.
Redskins extend QB Beck
Washington — The Washington Redskins have signed quarterback John Beck to a two-year contract extension.
Belarusian collapses at Open
New York — The scene was simply scary: Victoria Azarenka, a 21-year-old on the rise in the WTA rankings, paused about a half-hour into her second-round match Wednesday at the U.S. Open, then staggered, stumbled and collapsed to the court.
As a record-breaking summer suffocates New York, the temperature in Flushing Meadows headed into the 90s for a third consecutive day, and the mercury topped 100 degrees on court. But tournament referee Brian Early said Azarenka’s problem did “not seem to be primarily a heat-related illness.”
Indeed, Azarenka herself later revealed she fell in the gym while warming up before the match, banging her head and arm in the gym.
“I was checked by the medical team before I went on court and they were courtside for monitoring. I felt worse as the match went on, having a headache and feeling dizzy,” said Azarenka, who is from Belarus but lives part of the year in Scottsdale, Ariz.
While that was the biggest news of the morning, there were surprises on the scoreboard throughout Day 3, including more than 12 hours later, when 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick bowed out in the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic at night.
Other surprises: 18-year-old American qualifier Ryan Harrison’s 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 victory over 15th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic, and unseeded Michael Llodra’s 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 upset of Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.
Winners included No. 4-seeded Andy Murray, the 2008 runner-up; No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny; No. 14 Nicolas Almagro; No. 18 John Isner; and No. 20 Sam Querrey, who beat NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in an all-American matchup.
Perry out of Deutsche Bank
Norton, Mass. — Kenny Perry has withdrawn from the Deutsche Bank Championship, ending his run in the FedEx Cup. Perry’s agent, Alan Bullington, says the 50-year-old Perry is exhausted and needs a few months at home in Kentucky to rest and refocus.
Royals catcher to have surgery
Kansas City, Mo. — Jason Kendall, who had been the Kansas City Royals starting catcher in 118 of their first 132 games, will undergo shoulder surgery Friday in Los Angeles for a torn right rotator cuff. Royals manager Ned Yost said the club is hopeful he would be back by next spring.
Critical Dibble off TV for Nats
Washington — The Washington Nationals say Rob Dibble no longer will work as a TV analyst for the team’s games, a split that comes after the former reliever made comments critical of rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Dibble lashed out at Strasburg last week for not pitching through pain.
Tigers call up 30-year-old rookie
Minneapolis — Max St. Pierre’s perseverance has paid off. The Detroit Tigers have added an awfully happy backup catcher. The 30-year-old rookie was brought up to the big leagues Wednesday after 14 seasons — spanning 978 games — in the minors. His next at-bat — and manager Jim Leyland promised he’d get one — will be his first in the majors.