Ex-Vols coach Pearl takes job as marketing VP in Knoxville
Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl accepted a job as vice president of marketing with a Knoxville-based wholesale grocery company, bypassing the chance to coach the Texas Legends of the NBA's developmental league.
Pearl will begin working at H.T. Hackney on Thursday. The company is led by chairman and CEO Bill Sansom, a former University of Tennessee trustee.
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"It's really an answer to prayer," Pearl said. "This is where my family is. This is where I want to be. Everybody looks at me as a coach, but I'm a father and a husband, and I've got to provide for my family."
Pearl was fired in March after six seasons at Tennessee in the wake of a two-year NCAA investigation that culminated Wednesday with a three-year show-cause penalty against the coach. The sanction makes it nearly impossible for another school to hire him during that time. He had considered an offer to coach the Legends of the NBA's developmental league, but he said he wanted to remain in Knoxville. His two oldest children live and work in Knoxville, while his youngest two children are in high school. His wife, Brandy, is from nearby Sevierville, Tenn.
Hopson to play in Greek league
Former University of Tennessee and University Heights standout shooting guard Scotty Hopson signed with Kolossos Rhodes, a team in Greece's HEBA A-1 League. Al Ebanks, Hopson's agent, did not disclose the terms of the one-year deal but said his client is scheduled to arrive in the team's camp by Sunday.
Ebanks said Hopson has been in New Jersey training since he was bypassed in the NBA Draft in June. "Scotty is in great shape," Ebanks said, "and now it's time to play ball."
EKU Hall of Famer Baechtold dies
Former Eastern Kentucky University men's basketball coach Jim Baechtold passed away Tuesday afternoon in Richmond from multiple myeloma.
Mr. Baechtold, a member of the EKU Hall of Fame, was head coach from 1962 to 1967 and led the Colonels to the 1965 NCAA Tournament. He also played at EKU, scoring 1,137 points and grabbing 933 rebounds during his career.
Mr. Baechtold, originally from Moon Township, Pa., was the second pick in the first round of the 1952 NBA Draft and played for the Baltimore Bullets (1952-53) and New York Knicks (1953-57). Mr. Baechtold averaged 9.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over five seasons.
Havre de Grace gets work in after all
With the Delaware Park track finally reopened in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, trainer Larry Jones was able to squeeze in a work for Grade I winner Havre de Grace on Tuesday in preparation for her start against males in Saturday's Grade I Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. Jones contemplated galloping Havre de Grace up to the race after he was forced to cancel the Monday work he had planned for her when the track was closed due to the storm. The 4-year-old daughter of Saint Liam ran 3 furlongs in :35.60, not the distance Jones initially wanted but better than nothing.
"It was important," owner Rick Porter said of being able to get the work in. "The track had some problems with the equipment in getting the track ready but they finally got it good enough for Larry to work her. We got off schedule but ... the only thing that is different is the day of the work and he had to work her less distance today."
Havre de Grace comes into the Woodward off a runner-up finish to Blind Luck in the Delaware Handicap. Among the horses she is expected to face in the Woodward are Grade II New Orleans Handicap winner Mission Impazible, Birdstone Stakes winner Rule, Grade II Suburban Handicap winner and Grade I Whitney runner-up Flat Out and Grade I Donn Handicap winner Giant Oak.
Track and field
Robles blames DQ on his nationality
Cuban athlete Dayron Robles said he wouldn't have been disqualified from the 110-meter hurdles at the world championships if he came from a more powerful country. Robles was stripped of his first-place finish in the hurdles in South Korea after judges upheld an appeal claiming he held back Chinese runner Liu Xiang. The ruling meant the gold medal was handed to American Jason Richardson, with Liu second. "If I were from another country that had more power, that wouldn't have happened," Robles said. "It's very controversial that these things happen in an athletics world championships, lamentably it was my turn to lose out."
■ A memorable meeting — marked by a late surge and a stumble — could be the start of a robust rivalry between Grenada's Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt. James leaned across the line Tuesday to win the gold medal in the 400 meters at the world championships, upstaging the reigning titleholder, who had grab the back of the teenager's jersey to prevent himself from falling.
The surprise finish put Merritt on notice: There's a new kid in the blocks, and he's pretty good. He's even drawing comparisons to Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt. "I don't want to be the next Usain Bolt," said James, who turns 19 on Thursday. "I'm happy in my own skin. I'm on the right track to great things."
Merritt was a little rusty. This was his first major meet since serving a 21-month suspension for using a banned substance that his lawyer said was the result of a male-enhancement product. He lost steam with about 10 meters to go, opening the door for James.
Keselowski won't skip Nationwide race
Brad Keselowski will return to the Nationwide Series this week at Atlanta after missing the last five races with a broken ankle. Keselowski, the defending Nationwide champion, has not raced in that series since breaking his ankle in a crash during a test session earlier this month at Road Atlanta. He did not miss any Sprint Cup Series events during the stretch. Since the injury, Keselowski has two wins, a second and a third in four Cup races. He's charged through the series standings, too. Keselowski's victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night moved him to 11th in the standings.
Big weekend puts men's soccer in top 25
A pair of wins on opening weekend, including a 2-1 comeback victory over No. 9 Michigan, pushed the Kentucky men's soccer team into the National Soccer Coaches Association's top-25 poll. Kentucky (2-0-0), ranked 21st, opened the season with a 2-0 victory against Dayton. The Wildcats' next match is at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Wright State in the University of Kentucky Invitational at the UK Soccer Complex.
The last word
Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen said that he'd like to return to the club in 2012 and that he'd do so only if given a contract extension. Guillen, who has one year left on his contract beyond this season, addressed his future during his pre-game news conference from the White Sox dugout on Tuesday:
"There's one thing I know for sure, they have to pay me in 2012. That's what I know for sure. Somebody has to pay me for 2012, whether I work or not. ... . Very cocky and arrogant. There's a lot of worse guys out there than me. I have (a lot) of confidence in myself. I know what I can do. People can think what they want. If they don't think I'm a good manager, be careful what you wish for."