SEC penalties get tougherfor complaining coaches
After three Southeastern Conference coaches in two weeks received reprimands for ripping officials, the conference has decided that future punishment for similar antics will be fines and suspensions. A memorandum was sent by the league office on Friday to every school making them aware of the change, which is effective immediately.
Commissioner Mike Slive was given full discretion by the league's athletics directors and presidents to hand out the punishment. He will determine the amount of fines and lengths of suspensions on a case-by-case basis.
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"On rare occasions over the last seven years there were several private reprimands and that took care of the matter," Slive told the AP in a telephone interview. "On occasion there were public reprimands and that took care of it. It became clear to me after last week that I was no longer interested in reprimands. ... We will go right to suspensions and fines."
When Tennessee's Lane Kiffin complained about the officials after a 12-10 loss at Alabama on Sunday, he made it clear that he was not worried about getting a reprimand for his comments: "I'm sure we'll get one of those letters that really means nothing as Bobby (Petrino) got last week, but Florida and Alabama live on."
Goodell to testify about suspensions
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is returning to Capitol Hill next week, this time to testify about the case of two professional football players whose suspensions for violating the league's anti-doping policy were blocked by the courts. Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFL players union, are among the witnesses scheduled before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee next Tuesday, according to a witness list obtained by The Associated Press Friday.
The NFL had attempted to suspend Minnesota Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for four games, but the players sued the league in state court, arguing the testing violated Minnesota workplace laws. The case, which has expanded to include the suspensions of two New Orleans Saints players, has been making its way through state and federal court systems. All four players tested positive after taking a supplement called StarCaps.
Next week's congressional hearing is titled, "The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports' Anti-Doping Programs At A Legal Crossroads?" Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is concerned that the legal issues raised in the case "could result in weaker performance-enhancing drugs policies for professional sports," the committee said in a statement.
■ The Minnesota Vikings will be without Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield when they face the Green Bay Packers in a pivotal NFC North game on Sunday. Winfield also missed last week's game against Pittsburgh because of an injured right foot.
■ Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (strained groin) and defensive end Dwight Freeney (knee) both took part in Friday's practice and are expected to play Sunday against the 49ers. Former Wildcats tight end Jacob Tamme (hamstring) is listed as questionable. Quarterback Peyton Manning saw limited work on Friday but will start.
■ The Panthers will be without starting receiver Muhsin Muhammad and free safety Charles Godfrey for Sunday's game at Arizona. Muhammad missed practice this week because of a sprained knee and will likely be replaced by Dwayne Jarrett.
■ Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz says it will be game-day decisions on whether quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson play against the St. Louis Rams.
■ Larry Johnson remained a member of the Kansas City Chiefs late Friday afternoon, but no one could say how much longer that might be the case. Johnson's agent said there had been no progress in discussions over the future of the suspended running back.
Waltrip parked for violation in practice
NASCAR has pulled Michael Waltrip off the track for aggressive driving at Talladega Superspeedway. Waltrip was warned to give Jimmie Johnson some space during Friday's final practice session as he bump-drafted behind Johnson's car. When Waltrip didn't let up, he was black-flagged for the final 30 minutes of practice. NASCAR is keeping a close eye on bump-drafting this weekend, in large part because of the fallout over the harrowing accident involving Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski on the final lap of April's race at Talladega.
■ AJ Allmendinger has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation through the 2010 season by Richard Petty Motorsports following his arrest on a charge of drunken driving. Allmendinger was also required to take a breath test before Friday's practice at Talladega Superspeedway. He said he had no problem when officials asked him to take the test.
■ Lance McGrew had the interim tag removed from his crew chief title Friday when Hendrick Motorsports said he'll stay with Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season. McGrew replaced Tony Eury Jr. in late May in an effort to save Earnhardt's sinking season.
■ Dover Motorsports Inc. is ceasing operations at Memphis Motorsports Park after a deal to sell the track to another investor fell through. The 0.75-mile track has hosted a NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series event for the last decade.
W.Va. player to miss 20 games
The NCAA has benched West Virginia freshman forward Deniz Kilicli for the first 20 games of the season after determining he violated an amateurism rule. West Virginia said Friday that the NCAA determined Kilicli, a native of Istanbul, played on a Turkish team during the 2007-08 season that included a professional player, which isn't allowed under NCAA rules.
Volleyball wins at Arkansas
Four Kentucky players reached double-figures in kills as the Wildcats beat host Arkansas 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 25-15) Friday night. Junior Sarah Mendoza led the way with 16 kills. Sophomore Becky Pavan added 13 and junior Lauren Rapp and sophomore Gretchen Giesler each totaled 10. Senior Sarah Rumely had 49 assists and added a pair of kills of her own. Defensively, senior BriAnne Sauer had a match-high 19 digs in the back row.
■ In a driving rain, the UK women's soccer team wrapped up its season with a 2-0 loss at Vanderbilt. After an evenly played first half, the Commodores scored twice in the second half.
Kim makes Match Play semifinals
Anthony Kim advanced to the Volvo World Match Play Championship semifinals Friday despite losing to Scott Strange by three holes in his final round-round match at Finca Cortesin in Spain. Strange needed to beat Kim by at least four holes to advance and was 4-up going to the par-5 18th, but Kim took the hole after hitting his second shot within 4 feet. Kim will face undefeated Robert Allenby in the semifinals, and Angel Cabrera will face Ross Fisher in the other semifinal.
■ PGA Tour officials postponed the Viking Classic until at least Sunday and will evaluate the course Saturday before making a decision on when or if the tournament in Madison, Miss., will be held.
■ Sweden's Daniel Chopra shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the lead with England's Ian Poulter and Taiwan's Chan Yih-shin in the rainy Singapore Open.
The last word
New Cubs owner Tom Ricketts assured Chicago's long-suffering fans Friday that a championship is possible. Ricketts said:
"There is no curse. There is no curse. If anybody on our team thinks he's cursed, we will move him to a lesser-cursed team."