LSU quarterback's charges reduced, suspension lifted
A grand jury reduced charges against Jordan Jefferson to a misdemeanor for his involvement in a bar fight and the LSU quarterback's suspension from the top-ranked Tigers was lifted soon after Wednesday night.
Jefferson, who testified before the grand jury, is now charged with simple battery and faces maximum penalties, if convicted, of up to six months in jail and fines up to $500.
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His attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said his client "will never be convicted" if the case goes to trial. "There's no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to even think about it," Unglesby said.
Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns were initially booked with felony second-degree battery in the Aug. 19 fight. The grand jury decided Wednesday there was not enough evidence to bring any charges against Johns. Four men sought treatment at hospitals after the brawl.
LSU Coach Les Miles said both players would be welcomed back at practice Thursday, but that he was unsure if Jefferson would be ready to play Saturday against Kentucky.
Miles stressed that Jarrett Lee, who has started in LSU's first four games — all double-digit victories — will remain the starter for the foreseeable future. However, the coach added that he envisions Jefferson seeing action in most of the remaining games because of his ability to scramble and run the option.
"Just like a year ago when Lee played in every game, there would be that opportunity that Jordan Jefferson would play in every game as well," Miles said. "We're better at quarterback (with Jefferson back on the roster) than we've ever been and I think that's an advantage to us as we go forward throughout the rest of the schedule."
Two Georgia players plan to transfer
Georgia Coach Mark Richt says cornerback Derek Owens and running back Ken Malcome have left the team and plan to transfer. Owens, a sophomore, had two tackles in three games this season. Richt said Malcome, a redshirt freshman, said before Wednesday's practice he has fallen behind in the competition at tailback and wants a fresh start at another school. Freshman Isaiah Crowell rushed for 147 yards on 30 carries in Georgia's 27-13 win at Mississippi last week.
Big East presidents to meet Sunday
The presidents of the Big East member schools will discuss the future of the conference at a meeting this weekend, UConn President Susan Herbst said Wednesday. Herbst, in an email to The Associated Press, said the meeting in Washington on Sunday is a confidential gathering for conference presidents only and will not involve other university officials. "We have to talk about the future and how to go forward as a strong Big East," she wrote. Last week, Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they are leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
MRI confirms Stricker's neck injury
Tests have confirmed that Steve Stricker has a herniated disk in his neck. The next step for the highest-ranked American golfer is figuring out what to do about it. Stricker's agent at IMG, Jon Heaton, said Wednesday that an MRI confirmed the neck injury. He says Stricker is not feeling any pain, although he is weak in his left arm. Still to be decided is whether Stricker is fit enough to play Nov. 17-20 in the Presidents Cup. U.S. captain Fred Couples has said if Stricker can't play, he would be replaced by PGA champion Keegan Bradley.
Softball assistant makes USA team
Assistant coach and former All-American shortstop Molly Johnson was named to USA Softball's 17-member Pan American Games roster Wednesday. The softball competition is scheduled for Oct. 17-23 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
■ Match times for the NCAA Volleyball Lexington Regional were announced Wednesday. The semifinal matchups at Memorial Coliseum will be played at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. The finals are Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. It will be the first time Lexington hosts an NCAA volleyball regional. Tickets are now on sale through the UK Ticket Office.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Man charged in banana throw
Ontario police have charged a 26-year-old man for throwing a banana on the ice toward Philadelphia Flyers player Wayne Simmonds during an NHL pre-season game. Chris Moorhouse of London, Ontario, was served a summons for engaging in a prohibited activity under the provincial trespassing act. If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $2,000. London Police Chief Brad Duncan said at a news conference Wednesday the offense did not meet the threshold of a hate crime or mischief
Concussed players sue NCAA
Two more former college football players have sued the NCAA, saying it failed to protect them from concussions. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and it seeks class-action status. The plaintiffs are former Central Arkansas wide receiver Derek Owens and former Northwestern offensive lineman Alex Rucks. Both claim they have suffered preventable brain trauma. Attorneys for the players say the NCAA failed to establish a head injury screening system and hasn't enforced safety measures introduced in the 1970s. The lawsuit seeks to have the NCAA institute a medical monitoring program.
Ex-Dodger Bradley arrested
Police say former Los Angeles Dodger Milton Bradley has been arrested for investigation of felony battery. Police say the outfielder, released by the Seattle Mariners this year, was arrested Tuesday at a San Fernando Valley home. Details of the incident were not available. Bradley posted bail and is due in court Oct. 18.
The last word
Fox's Terry Bradshaw, on the backlash after his Week 1 criticism of Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton:
"I've been ridiculed, insulted, I've been made fun of to the point I actually feel I'm still married."