Sports briefs: May 15

May 15, 2013 

Tennessee Summitt Basketball

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, Tennessee head coach emeritus Pat Summitt smiles as a banner is raised in her honor before an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame in Knoxville, Tenn. Summitt will continue in her role as the Tennessee head coach emeritus on Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick's staff next season. The university announced Wednesday, May 1, 2013, that Summitt had agreed to a one-year contract that will pay her $85,000, less than a quarter of the $354,375 she received for the same role last year. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)


College basketball

Tennessee planning statue of Summitt

Tennessee plans to honor former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt by building an on-campus statue in her honor.

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirmed Tuesday morning what athletic director Dave Hart has been mentioning during the school's Big Orange Caravan statewide tour. Stanton said the statue would go up "hopefully as soon as in the fall."

Summitt led the Tennessee women's basketball program to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons before stepping down in April 2012, one year after she announced she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Summitt's 1,098 career victories make her the winnningest Division I men's or women's college basketball coach ever.

Summitt remains on Tennessee's staff as head coach emeritus.

College Football

Notre Dame 'chickening out,' Hoke jokes

Michigan Coach Brady Hoke has taken the Notre Dame rivalry up a notch. Hoke made a crowd chuckle on Monday at the West Michigan Sports Commission luncheon by saying the Fighting Irish are "chickening out" from the storied series.

Notre Dame exercised an option in its football-scheduling contract with Michigan last fall to cancel games from 2015-2017. Hoke lamented that the Irish will continue to play rivals Michigan State and Purdue, joking he knows why they made that decision.

A letter from Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon that opted out of the game was obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request. Swarbrick wrote then that the move was necessary because of commitments to the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Former Pro Bowler Muncie dies

Chuck Muncie, a Pro Bowl running back with the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, has died at age 60, the NFL clubs and a family spokesman said Tuesday. Muncie family spokesman Vintage Foster of AMF Media Group in San Ramon, Calif., said Muncie died at his Los Angeles-area home on Monday from heart failure.

Muncie was the Saints' first-round pick, third overall, out of California in 1976. He played 4½ seasons in New Orleans before being traded in 1980 to San Diego, where he finished his nine-year NFL career. In 1979, Muncie became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,198 and 11 touchdowns, and his 1,506 total yards from scrimmage earned him the first of his three Pro Bowl selections.

Saints owner Tom Benson said in a written statement that the Saints were mourning Muncie's "untimely passing," adding, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and other loved ones at this difficult time."

Muncie's accomplishments on the field came despite cocaine use, and in 1989, five years after his retirement from pro football, Muncie was sentenced to 18 months in prison for a cocaine distribution conviction. Thereafter, however, he began sharing his life story with at-risk youth, highlighting his struggles with drug abuse.

Harrison has first Bengals workout

James Harrison worked out with his new Cincinnati Bengals teammates on Tuesday. The 35-year-old linebacker said he is motivated in part by the way things ended in Pittsburgh, which let the former NFL defensive player of the year leave as part of its move to get under the salary cap.

"I understand it's a business, so it's not like I can really take it personally," Harrison said. "But to say that it doesn't motivate me in some sense would be a lie."

It won't be long before he gets a chance to get revenge in person. The Bengals' home opener is a Monday night game against the Steelers.

"He gives you that swagger and that seal," Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones said Tuesday, after working out at Paul Brown Stadium. "You know when you mail off the letter you make sure you put a stamp on it. Well, he's the stamp."

The Jacksonville Jaguars are down a quarterback for the rest of the off-season. Former Vanderbilt starter Jordan Rodgers, an undrafted rookie and the younger brother of Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers, had sports hernia surgery Tuesday and will be out until training camp in July. Rodgers injured his groin on the first day of rookie minicamp this month and hasn't practiced since.

Donovan McNabb says he will retire with the Philadelphia Eagles this fall. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback led the Eagles to four NFC championship games and a Super Bowl loss in 11 seasons before he was traded to Washington in 2010.

The Eagles signed former Cowboys running back Felix Jones to a one-year contract.

Minor-league baseball Legends shut down Intimidators

Miguel Almonte and Clayton Schulz combined to hold the Kannapolis Intimidators to three hits in the Lexington Legends' 6-1 victory at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night. Almonte (2-4) pitched seven innings and allowed one run and three walks. Schulz worked two perfect innings in relief. Jin-Ho Shin and Adrian Morales had RBI doubles for the Legends, and Ethan Chapman went 2-for-4 with a double. Chapman also stole his 17th base.


Wozniacki exits early again

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki was upset in the first round of the Italian Open by 48th-ranked Bojana Jovanovski 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) Tuesday. Wozniacki wasted a 5-2 lead in the third-set tiebreaker. The Dane has struggled on clay this season, losing to Yaroslava Shvedova in the first round of last week's Madrid Open and to Carla Suarez Navarro in her first match in Stuttgart, Germany, last month.

Messi could miss rest of season

Lionel Messi's Barcelona season may be over because of a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury that has slowed him for more than a month. Barcelona said Tuesday that the four-time FIFA player of the year will be sidelined for two to three weeks, which means he might not return in time for the season finale against Malaga on June 1. Messi has 60 goals in 50 games, down from a record-setting 73 goals in 60 matches last season.

Man dribbling ball to Brazil hit by car

A Seattle man trying to dribble a soccer ball 10,000 miles to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup has died after being hit by a pickup truck on the Oregon Coast. Police in Lincoln City say 42-year-old Richard Swanson was hit Tuesday morning while walking south along U.S. Highway 101 near the city limits. He was declared dead at a hospital. The driver has not been charged. Swanson set out on the trek to promote the One World Futbol Project, based in Berkley, Calif., which donates durable soccer balls to people in developing countries.

The last word

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper, via Twitter, the day after he was injured running into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium:

"I will keep playing this game hard for the rest of my life even if it kills me! I'll never stop!

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service