Spurrier pushes for more money for NCAA athletes
The NCAA hasn't approved giving athletes an additional $2,000, and Steve Spurrier already is angling for more.
While the $2,000 the NCAA plans to add to the value of an athletics scholarship remains stuck in committees trying to figure out how to implement the plan, Spurrier proposed in Destin, Fla. on Wednesday that SEC schools give football players between $3,500 and $4,000 each year above the value of their current scholarship.
"It's the Spurrier Plan," South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman said with a chuckle.
"It's not a lot considering how much they bring in," Spurrier said. "We'll see if it goes anywhere."
Linebacker Graham Stewart, who returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against Ohio State in last season's Gator Bowl, has transferred from Florida to Connecticut. UConn says the 6-foot-1, 227-pound Stewart, a native of Durham, Conn., has already enrolled in summer school. He will have to sit out next season under NCAA rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Detroit's Lidstrom retires at 42
Nicklas Lidstrom retired Thursday after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, ending one of the best careers in NHL history.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's best defenseman fought back tears as he made the announcement.
"My drive and motivation are not where they to need to be to play at this level," Lidstrom said.
The 42-year-old Swede set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He had put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts.
Lidstrom had 34 points and a plus-21 rating that ranked among the league leaders last season. He had 264 career goals with 1,142 points and a 450-plus rating.
"A couple weeks after the season is over, you start working out. Once I started doing that I didn't have the push I need and I can't cheat myself," Lidstrom said. "Retiring today allows me to walk away with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me."
Bob Hartley has returned to the NHL as coach of the Calgary Flames. He succeeds Brent Sutter, who left the team in April after three seasons. Hartley coached Colorado for five seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001
Anze Kopitar scored a spectacular goal on a breakaway with 11:47 left in overtime Wednesday night and the Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Kopitar faked a backhand shot, put the puck on his forehand and beat a prone Martin Brodeur.
Los Angeles has won all nine of its road games in the playoffs, an NHL record. The Kings are now one win shy of tying the NHL record for post-season road victories.
It's UCLA vs. Indiana St. in Pauley debut
UCLA will play its first basketball game in the renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State on Nov. 9 in a nod to the roots of late Bruins coaching great John Wooden. Indiana State was the only other university where Wooden served as a head coach. He had a 44-15 record in two seasons in Terre Haute before leaving for Los Angeles. Wooden was a native of Martinsville, Ind. He died in 2010 at 99. The arena is undergoing a $136 million renovation to bring it up to date.
Clemson has hired Steve Smith as an assistant men's basketball coach, ending a nearly two-month search since Rick Ray left to become Mississippi State's head coach.
Coach Brad Brownell hired longtime Virginia Tech assistant James Johnson for Ray's spot in April. But Johnson returned to the Hokies as their head coach shortly after Seth Greenberg was fired.
Swimmer avoiding Twitter
Two-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Rebecca Adlington says she will stay away from Twitter during the London Games because of the nasty comments she has received about her looks.
Adlington says she's fed up with the "awful" abuse on Twitter and other social networks. Winner of the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events at the 2008 Beijing Games, Adlington says "even if there are 10 nice comments, you get one idiot. I've now given up."
Brees expected to rejoin Saints
Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt says he has talked to Drew Brees about preparations for training camp and expects the star quarterback to be back with the team by then.
When asked why he's confident Brees will be back, Vitt says, "what else is he going to do? He can't sing or dance."
Brees is holding out for a new long-term contract. Vitt says everyone knows the type of deal Brees wants can be complicated and take time to complete.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is confident that bounty hunting will no longer be an issue in the NFL because of the severe penalties handed out in the wake of the New Orleans Saints scandal.
Goodell said the actions taken by the league "speak very loudly."
"I heard that from our clubs, from our personnel," he said during a news conference in Chicago on Thursday. "They recognize it's not part of the game. It doesn't need to be part of the game. And I don't think it's going to be an issue going forward."
Track and field
Bolt's latest time best of the season
World record-holder Usain Bolt responded to his poor showing in the Czech Republic with a season's best 9.76 seconds in the 100 meters at the Golden Gala on Thursday. Bolt ran a relatively slow 10.04 in Ostrava last week, raising questions about his Olympic preparations. His previous season best of 9.82 was set at home in Jamaica this month.
California rallies past LSU in first round
Frani Echavarria got her third RBI of the game during a three-run sixth inning for California, helping the top-seeded Golden Bears rally past LSU 5-3 on Thursday in the opening round of the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
LSU (39-24) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Cal (57-5) cut the deficit in half in the third. Echavarria then tied it 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
In the sixth, Jamia Reid drove in the go-ahead run.
Cal will take on Oklahoma on Friday night after the fourth-seeded Sooners beat South Florida 5-1 earlier Thursday. LSU will play USF in an elimination game on Saturday.
Lauren Chamberlain hit a two-run home run and Keilani Ricketts struck out 11 to lead the Sooners. Ricketts, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, struck out 10 or more for the 23rd time this season for Oklahoma (51-8).
The last word
Celtics Coach Doc Rivers wasn't happy with the 47 to 29 disparity in free-throw attempts Wednesday in Miami's 115-111 victory over Boston. Said Rivers to a reporter who said the calls were "50-50":
"Can you come up with another percentage for me? LeBron James took 24 free throws and our team took 29."