Former UK wideout Brownto call plays at Texas Tech
Former Boyle County standout and Kentucky receiver Neal Brown was hired Tuesday as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under new coach Tommy Tuberville.
Troy University spokesman Ricky Hazel said Tuesday that Brown, 29, whose Trojans had the nation's third-best offense last season, will take over play calling for the Red Raiders. The Danville native became the youngest offensive coordinator in the Football Bowl Subdivision when Troy promoted him in 2006. He'll be taking over for fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who was the pass-heavy coordinator until his dismissal last month amid allegations he mistreated a player who had a concussion. Leach denies the claims.
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Brown, who just finished his fourth season at Troy, had the Alabama school averaging 485.7 yards of offense per game. Brown was a wide receiver at Kentucky from 1998 to 2000 before transferring to Massachusetts and was an original member of the Lexington Horsemen indoor football team in 2003.
■ Texas Tech on Tuesday asked a judge to throw out fired coach Mike Leach's lawsuit, saying state law gives the university immunity from legal action. The university contended that Leach is barred from suing it without a waiver of sovereign immunity from the Texas Legislature. Attorneys for Leach also filed additional claims Tuesday, including that the school violated the Texas Whistleblower Act in dismissing the coach.
Central Michigan hires Spartans assistant
Michigan State running backs coach Dan Enos is the new head coach at Central Michigan, the university announced Tuesday. The 41-year-old has been the Spartans' running backs coach the past three seasons after coaching the quarterbacks in 2006. He played quarterback at Michigan State 1987-90. Enos succeeds former Chippewas head coach Butch Jones, who was hired in December as Cincinnati's new coach. Jones replaced Brian Kelly, who came from Central Michigan three years ago and left for Notre Dame. Central Michigan (12-2) finished the season ranked No. 23 after defeating Troy 44-41 in the GMAC Bowl.
Notre Dame adds much-needed QB
Notre Dame added a quarterback and four other players Tuesday after being in danger of having no scholarship quarterbacks ready to go full speed for spring practice. Tommy Rees of Lake Forest, Ill., was one of five high school players to enroll early as spring semester classes began. Rees probably will get plenty of work at quarterback with Dayne Crist, the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster, expected to be limited as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee sustained Oct. 31 against Washington State. With Jimmy Clausen heading to the NFL a year early, Crist is expected to be the starting quarterback when the Irish open the season Sept. 4 at home against Purdue. Walk-on quarterback Nate Montana also is back. The son of former Notre Dame standout Joe Montana had transferred to Pasadena City College (Calif.) before the start of last season to get more experience.
■ Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin has been cleared of all charges after being accused of groping a female student on a campus bus. An Allegheny County judge on Monday acquitted Baldwin of indecent assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. A campus police officer testified during Baldwin's nonjury trial that the player admitted smacking the student's buttocks on the shuttle bus. A Pitt spokesman said Baldwin was disciplined by the school. The sophomore Baldwin had 1,111 receiving yards and eight touchdowns for the Panthers last season.
Ex-F1 driver Piquet to try stock cars
Former Renault Formula One driver Nelson Piquet Jr., who last year triggered a scandal by revealing he deliberately crashed his car to help a teammate, is moving to NASCAR in 2010. Piquet said Tuesday on his Web site his "first 18 months in F1 did not go as planned. I have decided to focus on something different and have chosen to take a route in America." Piquet hasn't raced since being fired by Renault in August after 28 races in which his best finish was second at the 2008 German GP. He did not reveal which team he would race for but said more details will come soon. The 24-year-old Brazilian driver, the son of three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet, admitted crashing his car at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix on team orders to help Fernando Alonso win the race. He retired from 11 races and constantly accused the French team of favoring teammate Alonso.
Astros, Myers agree to $5 million deal
Pitcher Brett Myers and the Astros finalized a one-year contract Tuesday that guarantees him $5.1 million. Myers gets $3.1 million this year, and the deal includes an $8 million mutual option for 2011 with a $2 million buyout. He also can earn additional performance bonuses. The 29-year-old right-hander had spent all eight of his major-league seasons with the Phillies, going 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA in 10 starts and eight relief appearances last year, when he made $12 million. Myers tore the labrum in his right hip in May and underwent surgery in June.
■ The 20-year-old son of former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor charges related to a fight with his mother. Nikolai Bonds was accompanied by his father when he appeared at San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday. Police say Nikolai Bonds threw a doorknob at his mother, Sun Bonds, 45, and spit in her face during a Dec. 5 confrontation in Menlo Park, in the San Francisco Bay area. The court commissioner granted a restraining order to bar him from contacting his mother or coming within 100 yards of her. Barry and Sun Bonds divorced in 1994.
■ The perennially frugal Marlins have reached an agreement with the players' union to increase spending in the wake of complaints that the team payroll has been so small as to violate baseball's revenue sharing provisions. The deal was announced Tuesday in a joint statement by the Marlins, the union and Major League Baseball. The parties did not comment beyond the statement, and it was unclear how much the Marlins' payroll might increase. The agreement runs through 2012, when the Marlins' new ballpark is scheduled to open.
■ Outfielder Ryan Church reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday with the Pirates on a $1.5 million, one-year guaranteed contract that could pay him an additional $1.32 million in performance bonuses. Church, 31, was bothered by a sore back while hitting .273 with four home runs and 40 RBI in 111 games with the Braves and Mets last season. He also has had multiple concussions.
■ The Lexington Legends will hold tryouts for National Anthem singers at Fayette Mall on Feb. 20 and 21 in the wing of the mall near Dick's Sporting Goods. Each participant will sing or play the anthem, and those selected will perform the anthem before a Legends' home game during the 2010 season. The tryouts will run from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Goalie Joseph retires after 19 years
Goaltender Curtis Joseph retired Tuesday, ending a 19-year career in the NHL in which he was No. 4 on the career victory list. The 42-year-old is the winningest goalie to have never won the Stanley Cup. He had 454 victories, trailing only Martin Brodeur (585), Patrick Roy (551) and Ed Belfour (484).
The last word
Herschel Walker's mixed martial arts debut was finalized Tuesday when Greg Nagy was announced as his opponent for the Strikeforce card to be contested Jan. 30 at the Florida Panthers' arena in Sunrise, Fla. But he said his mother apparently isn't too keen on her son's latest competitive venture:
"She's been praying that they wouldn't find an opponent for me."