Sports briefs: Oct. 4

October 4, 2012 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

In affidavit, Summitt said she initially felt Vols forced her exit

Pat Summitt said in an affidavit that she initially felt she was being forced to step down as the Lady Vols' basketball coach by Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, who later told Summitt that she had misinterpreted his comments.

The signed affidavit was part of a lawsuit filed against the University of Tennessee by former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings. In it, Summitt said Hart told her at a March 14 meeting prior to the NCAA Tournament that she would have to step down at the end of the season. Summitt had revealed before the season that she was battling early-onset dementia.

"This was very surprising to me and very hurtful, as that was a decision I would have liked to have made on my own at the end of the season after consulting with my doctors, colleagues and friends and not be told this by Mr. Hart," Summitt said. "I felt this was wrong."

Summitt went on to say in the affidavit that Hart later told her that she had misinterpreted what he had said. The affidavit is included in an amended complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Jennings' lawsuit alleges that age and sex discrimination led to her forced retirement from the school where she had worked for 35 years.


UK SPORTS

IU ends Cats' unbeaten streak

Eriq Zavaleta had two goals and two assists to lead No. 11 Indiana to a 4-1 win over the host Kentucky men's soccer team, snapping the Wildcats' five-match unbeaten stretch.

Kentucky (5-5-1) had compiled its longest undefeated stretch since the 2009 season. Indiana used goals in the fourth, 45th, 67th and 80th minutes to build its lead, with UK getting a Tyler Riggs goal in the 86th frame.

Five additional Kentucky women's basketball games have been added to the television schedule. The UK IMG Sports Network, UK's local network, will broadcast the five games, which are home games vs. USC Upstate (Nov. 25), DePaul in Rupp Arena (Dec. 7), Middle Tennessee (Dec. 9), Marist (Dec. 30) and Texas A&M (Jan. 10).


HORSE RACING

Groupie Doll on a roll entering Keeneland

Multiple Grade I winner Groupie Doll — regarded as the leader of the female sprint division — was one of nine fillies and mares entered Wednesday for Saturday's Grade II, $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland. The 6-furlong race is one of five graded stakes set for Saturday's card. "I love to think about having the top female sprinter this year because I never thought I would be able to think that," said trainer and co-owner Buff Bradley. It was in Keene land's Grade I Vinery Madison last April that Groupie Doll showed her connections — who campaigned the Grade I-winning gelding Brass Hat — they had another homebred to brag about. Groupie Doll won the Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs in May and the Grade II Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes on Sept. 8.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL

MRI on Western Kentucky's Jakes is OK

An MRI on Western Kentucky senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes' knee showed no ligament damage. Jakes missed the second half of Saturday's 26-13 victory against Arkansas State.

Georgia is dealing with a big loss heading into its Southeastern Conference showdown against South Carolina. Michael Bennett, the No. 5 Bulldogs' leading receiver, tore up his right knee in practice and is out for the year, Coach Mark Richt announced.

Bennett injured the ACL while blocking on the last play of pratice Tuesday. He will undergo surgery. The sophomore leads Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) with 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns.


GOLF

Lawrie glad Chicago crowd got its due

Paul Lawrie wasn't just battling Brandt Snedeker as Europe won the Ryder Cup. He also had to contend with the Medinah crowd.

Lawrie, the oldest player on either team at 43, lost his opening fourballs match Saturday before beating Snedeker 5 and 3 in the biggest singles victory on Sunday. But the Scot was unhappy at the behavior of the Chicago gallery.

"You get comments like: 'Top it! Shank it! You're going to lose.' Stuff like that on every shot you play," Lawrie said Wednesday. "Every single shot you hit last week, that's what you get. Jose Maria (captain Olazabal) made it clear — don't even look at them, don't take them on. Certainly don't react. Don't make on as though it's hurting us. Just hit your shot and walk on. It's pretty tough when someone is screaming and blowing in your ear that you're a loser. ... Which makes it all the more satisfying on Sunday night when you're standing there with the Ryder Cup in front of you and they are not."


NFL

Bengals' linemen leading sack parade

The Bengals (3-1) lead the NFL with 17 sacks heading into their game Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium against the Miami Dolphins (1-3). They're getting the sacks thanks to a young and improving line.

Tackle Geno Atkins had a pair of sacks of Blaine Gabbert during a 27-10 win over Jacksonville last Sunday. He leads interior linemen in the NFL with five sacks. The Bengals have had six sacks in each of their last two games — the first time they've done that since 2001. Twelve of the 17 sacks have come from the linemen.

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes will miss the rest of this season with an injured left foot, leaving the Jets without their top offensive playmaker. Holmes will require surgery.

"Santonio's one of the top receivers in the game, and it is a big loss," Coach Rex Ryan said. Holmes leads the Jets with 20 catches for 272 yards and a touchdown this season.


NBA

Flopping to earn fines, maybe suspension

The NBA will penalize floppers this season, fining players for repeated violations of an act a league official said Wednesday has "no place in our game."

Those exaggerated falls to the floor may fool the referees and fans during the game, but officials at league headquarters plan to take a look for themselves afterward.

Players will get a warning the first time, then be fined $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 the fifth time. Six or more could lead to a suspension.

"Flops ... either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call," vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant hopes the penalties have an impact on the game. "Shameless flopping, that's a chump move," he said.

Rasheed Wallace picked up quite a few of his 308 technical fouls for arguing that he was called for a foul because a player flopped. He has come out of retirement to play for the New York Knicks. "Hey, you all thought I was crazy," he told reporters.

Cleveland's Anderson Varejao is a renowned flopper, but he said he's a changed man now. "I used to flop a little bit," he said.


The last word

The Oakland Athletics needed a sweep of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday and they delivered to win their first division crown in six years. Said ex-Red and current Athletic Jonny Gomes:

"It shows how important Game 162 is. I don't think it took 162 games to check the character of this ballclub."

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