Sports Briefs: Dec. 20

December 20, 2012 

High School football

Longtime Danville coach Harp leaving for Tennessee school

Sam Harp, who guided Danville to seven state football titles in 25 years, is leaving the Admirals to take over as coach at Lebanon High School in Tennessee.

"It's just time for me to make a move," Harp told the Nashville Tennessean.

Harp will draw his teacher's retirement from Kentucky, and earn a full salary at Lebanon. Another factor in his decision was family. His daughter Kila Sweeney and grandchildren live in nearby Hendersonville.

"Sure, it's tough, but family is more important to me and that's a huge reason for the move. I'm looking for a new challenge and I feel like I've done everything I can do at Danville and it's time to turn the page and move on."

Harp's 326 career victories rank fifth in state history. Most of those wins (276) came at Danville, including state championships in 1989, '91, '92, '94, 2000, '01 and '03.

Harp coached at Calloway County and Anderson County before going to Danville. Lebanon, a Class 3A school near Nashville, has had six losing seasons in a row.


NBA

Anthony scores 31 for Knicks in return

Carmelo Anthony, cleared to play Wednesday after sitting out two games with a sprained left ankle, poured in 31 points as the Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 at Madison Square Garden.

Paul Pierce scored 25 of his season-high 40 points in the second half, carrying the host Boston Celtics to a 103-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rajon Rondo added 20 points and eight assists.

Kevin Durant set a season high with 41 points, and Oklahoma City held off the Hawks in Atlanta 100-92 for their 12th straight win.

Dirk Nowitzki went through his first full practice with Dallas since having knee surgery that has forced the 11-time All-Star to miss every game this season. There is no timetable yet for a return.

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas will join NBA TV as a studio analyst. Thomas will make his debut Friday.


College Football

Andersen reportedly next Badgers coach

Gary Andersen publicly pledged his allegiance to Utah State not long ago. Now he's on the verge of becoming Wisconsin's coach.

Wisconsin reportedly will hire Andersen to replace Bret Bielema, who left the Badgers earlier this month to take the Arkansas job.

The news about Andersen broke Tuesday night and neither Utah State nor Wisconsin had anything official to announce. The delay is at least in part tied to laws in Wisconsin that require a state job to be posted for at least two weeks before it can be filled. The two-week posting was up at the end of business on Wednesday.

Texas was named college football's most valuable team for the second straight season, according to Chris Smith of Forbes.com.

The Longhorns program has a net worth of $133 million, up from $129 million last year, according to the website. Texas also generated $104 million in revenue and made a profit of $78 million.

Michigan hurdled Notre Dame this season to come in second with a value of $120 million. The Fighting Irish were third at $103 million. LSU ($102M) and Georgia ($99M) rounded out the top five.

Kansas State was ranked the best team for the money with the Wildcats spending $1.445 million per win over the past three seasons. Kansas was ranked the worst team for the money, spending $8 million-plus per win over the past three seasons. Forbes also ranked the most powerful coaches. Alabama's Nick Saban topped the list.

After two seasons as Notre Dame coach, Brian Kelly decided he wasn't spending enough time coaching players. He changed that in 2012, shuffling his staff and getting more in tune with his team. Notre Dame went from unranked to top-ranked, and Kelly was voted Associated Press Coach of the Year.

The Labor Day weekend show at Cowboys Stadium will include a top college football game through at least 2024. ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys have reached a lengthy extension for the Cowboys Classic. The announcement on Wednesday included unveiling the matchup for 2014: Oklahoma State versus Florida State.

Junior quarterback Will Grier, who threw for a national-record 837 yards and had 10 TD passes in a 104-80 North Carolina state playoff win last month, will be a Florida Gator. Grier threw for 3,785 yards and 49 touchdowns with 12 interceptions this season.


NFL

Dalton needs 'A' game against Steelers

Andy Dalton knows he needs to pick up his play if the Bengals are going to pull off a franchise rarity.

Dalton was indecisive and repeatedly missed throws during a 34-13 win in Philadelphia that was set up by the Eagles' fumbling. The Bengals (8-6) moved into playoff position with the win, and can clinch a spot by beating the Steelers (7-7) in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

It would be a breakthrough for Dalton and the Bengals, who are 0-6 against Pittsburgh and Baltimore over the last two seasons. A win also would give them back-to-back playoff berths for only the second time in the team's 45-year history.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has apologized to offensive coordinator Todd Haley for his comments following a 27-24 overtime loss to Dallas last Sunday. Roethlisberger took Haley to task over the team's inability to feature tight end Heath Miller in the second half and wondered why the Steelers didn't stay in the no-huddle offense. The quarterback says he was frustrated after Pittsburgh (7-7) lost for the fourth time in five games and that he was unable to keep his emotions under control.


Baseball

Dempster, Suzuki finalize 2-year deals

The Boston Red Sox have the reliable starter they sought, signing right-hander Ryan Dempster to a two-year contract. He's pitched at least 200 innings in four of the past five seasons.

The Yankees and Ichiro Suzuki finalized a $13 million, two-year contract that keeps the 10-time All-Star in the Bronx. The 39-year-old was obtained in a trade with Seattle on July 23 and quickly became a fan favorite. His batting average jumped from .261 with Seattle to .322 with the Yanks, with five homers, 27 RBI and 14 steals.

The Los Angeles Angels have traded power hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas.

The 29-year-old Morales became expendable after the Angels agreed to a deal with slugger Josh Hamilton. Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI last season.

horse racing

Captaintreacherous Pacer of the Year

Captaintreacherous has been voted Pacer of the Year after a campaign of eight wins in 10 races in 2012.

The pacer becomes the first 2-year-old in 25 years to win the award in balloting Wednesday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Among Captaintreacherous' victories were the Metro Pace and the Woodrow Wilson. The pacer earned $918,253.


The last word

Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is bracing for a foot of snow and he's trying to get his players ready, too. Said McCarthy:

"It's funny for some guys who are getting ready to go through it for the first time. They'll say, 'Don't worry I have a truck,' and I say, 'You're going to need more than a truck.'"

Like what?

"Make sure you have a lot of diesel gas for your snow thrower."

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