Sports: In brief

May 22, 2014 


Scott, Elliott lead HOF inductees

Wendell Scott earned a second NASCAR first on Wednesday: He became the first black driver to be elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The late driver from Virginia was among the latest group of five — all drivers, another first — voted in the hall on Wednesday. Scott joins popular NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, two-time series champ Joe Weatherly, 1960 champion Rex White and 26-time race winner Fred Lorenzen.

Scott competed in NASCAR's top series from 1961-73. He won his only race at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1963, taking the checkered flag in the 100-mile feature after starting 15th. Scott started 495 Sprint Cup events and had a 147 top-10 finishes.

Scott was the second-leading vote getter behind Elliott from a 54-member panel, including current Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

college basketball

Kansas adds Ukrainian forward to 2014 class

Highly touted forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has signed to play college basketball at Kansas, adding the talented swingman from Ukraine to what was already a top-10 recruiting class.

The school announced his signing in a statement Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 forward will be eligible to play this season, even though he won't turn 17 until June, because he has already completed high school in the Ukraine. But his age also means he will not be eligible for the NBA Draft for at least two years because of age requirement rules.

Mykhailiuk excelled at the under-16 European championships, averaging 25.2 points and eight rebounds. He also played for the world select team at the Nike Hoops Summit last month.

He joins Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre and Devonte Graham in this year's class.

■ Tennessee has added former Ohio signee Tariq Owens to its recruiting class.

Owens, a 6-foot-10 forward from Odenton, Md., signed with Ohio in November. He was granted a release from his letter of intent after Boston College hired away former Ohio coach Jim Christian.

Owens joins a recruiting class that also includes forwards Willie Carmichael and Jabari McGhee, guard Detrick Mostella and junior-college guards Devon Baulkman and Kevin Punter. Tennessee also has added two graduate transfers — former IUPUI guard Ian Chiles and former Florida Gulf Coast forward Eric McKnight.

■ Former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt is undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Summitt wrote on her Twitter account Wednesday, "Seeking Fierce Courage... will need it after facing knee replacement surgery today, followed by weeks of rehab." Adam Waller of the Pat Summitt Foundation confirmed that Summitt would be undergoing replacement surgery on her right knee in Knoxville and would remain in a hospital through the weekend as a precautionary measure to make sure her rehabilitation starts correctly.

■ Former Virginia Tech recruit TJ Lang has signed to play for Auburn. Tigers assistant coach Tony Jones announced Wednesday that the 6-foot-7 swingman signed a financial agreement. Lang, from Mobile, is the first signee under new coach Bruce Pearl.

Lang averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists for McGill-Toolen High School as a senior.

He initially signed with Virginia Tech in November under then-coach James Johnson and was granted a release from his scholarship. Lang is the son of former Duke player Antonio Lang.

■ Michigan State guard Russell Byrd is transferring from the program.

The Spartans confirmed Wednesday that the 6-foot-7 Byrd is transferring to the Master's College, an NAIA school in the Los Angeles area. Byrd averaged 7.3 minutes last season.

high school basketball

AP names Boley, Snider Ky. players of the year

Erin Boley and Quentin Snider realized that leadership was part of their on-court development, a discovery that was critical to deep postseason runs for their teams.

Boley, a sophomore guard-forward for Elizabethtown, is the Kentucky girls' player of the year while Snider, a senior point guard for Ballard, was named the top boys' player in voting by members of The Associated Press.

Boley averaged 20.5 points and 9.6 rebounds for the Panthers, who reached the Girls Sweet 16 final.

After helping Ballard reach last year's Boys Sweet 16 championship, Snider's 21.3-point average led the Bruins' run to the Region 7 final.

Covington Catholic's Scott Ruthsatz and Butler's Larry Just were named coaches of the year after guiding their teams to boys' and girls' state titles, respectively.


Ravita falls in first round of NCAA singles

University of Kentucky women's tennis player Nadia Ravita was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship by Clemson's Romy Koelzer Wednesday morning in Athens, Ga. Ravita, ranked 47th nationally, fell 3-6, 6-3, 3-6 to No. 33 Koelzer.

Seniors CeCe Witten and Caitlin McGraw will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships Thursday against Northwestern's Alicia Barnett and Veronica Corning.


Slive: Power leagues want more autonomy

Autonomy will be the hot topic when Southeastern Conference officials, coaches and athletic directors gather for spring meetings.

Commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday during an interview with The Associated Press the SEC wants to ensure that the five biggest football conferences can decide how their own legislative process works in many areas affecting their athletes. The NCAA board of directors is expected to vote on a restructuring in August.

The current proposal would require a two-thirds vote by the 65 schools at those power leagues to pass legislation. Slive said that threshold and the interpretation of that legislation are concerns for the SEC, but didn't discuss specific changes.

The SEC's spring meetings are next week in Destin, Fla., and convene without hot-button issues like expansion and football scheduling to worry about. That leaves plenty of time for the bid for autonomy by the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

■ Lexington has a new all-sports radio station.

Clear Channel-owned WWTF-AM 1580 changed its 24/7 Comedy format to Fox Sports Radio within the past week.

While several Lexington stations offer game coverage and sports talk radio shows, the only station previously providing round-the-clock sports was WLXG-AM 1300, which combines national content from ESPN with local programming.

The new Fox Sports 1580 launched with a mostly national lineup that includes shows by Dan Patrick (9 a.m. to noon) and Jay Mohr (Noon-3 p.m.).

Local programming initially will include afternoon replays of morning shows on 1580's sister station, WLAP-AM 630.

Tom Leach's Leach Report will air from 3-4 p.m. Kentucky Sports Radio with Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond goes from 4-6 p.m.

The last word

The WNBA is kicking off a campaign to market specifically to the LGBT community, a shift that makes it the first pro league to specifically recruit gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered fans to its games. Brittney Griner, who is one of a handful of WNBA athletes who have publicly identified themselves as lesbian, was happy the league was embracing the community. Said Griner:

"We'll pave the way and show it's fine and there's nothing wrong with it. More sports need to do it. It's 2014, it's about time."

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