Other Sports

Sports Briefs: Sept. 22

High schools

Coach cleared in player's death to resume teaching at PRP

A former Kentucky high school football coach acquitted last week in the death of a player was cleared Monday to return to the classroom as a technical teacher and to apply for coaching positions.

David Jason Stinson, 37, can resume teaching at Pleasure Ridge Park High School on Thursday, Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said.

Roberts said Stinson met Monday with school district officials, including Superintendent Sheldon Berman. After that, officials decided to allow Stinson to return to the school where he was teaching and coaching when he was indicted. Stinson also received a letter saying he could apply for coaching jobs.

"You are welcome to apply for positions of your choosing," employee relations director Caroline Meredith wrote in the letter released Monday. "We wish you well as you continue your career."

A jury last week deliberated less than 90 minutes before finding Stinson not guilty of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment charges stemming from the collapse and death of 15-year-old sophomore offensive lineman Max Gilpin.

Gilpin became ill and fell at the end of practice on Aug. 20, 2008. He died three days later at a Louisville hospital of heat stroke, sepsis and multiple organ failure.

Auto racing

NASCAR asks judge to order evaluations for Mayfield

NASCAR asked a federal judge Monday to order a mental and physical examination of suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield to determine if he has a substance-abuse problem and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The filing in U.S. District Court includes three affidavits and one deposition from four different people who claim to have witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines multiple times since 1999.

The deposition is from former brother-in-law David Keith, who testified he witnessed Mayfield snort methamphetamine in his house, garage and car from 1998 through 2000. The deposition was taken Aug. 19, with attorneys for NASCAR and Mayfield in attendance, and Keith testified the drivers' drug use escalated to daily usage.

NASCAR suspended Mayfield for failing a random drug test collected May 1 and said he twice tested positive for methamphetamines. Mayfield has denied using the illegal drug. He is now suing NASCAR, alleging his positive test result from May 1 came from the mix of the prescription drug Adderall for ADHD and the allergy medication Claritin-D.

Mayfield did not immediately respond to a request for a comment about NASCAR's request.

F1's Renault gets suspended ban

Nelson Piquet Jr. wishes every day he had refused orders to deliberately crash at a race. The fallout from that incident hit Monday, when Formula One spared his former team severe punishment but indefinitely banned the disgraced official who called for the crash.

Renault received a suspended ban; the team would be permanently disqualified from the sport if it breaks the FIA's rules within the next two years. Flavio Briatore, who quit as team principal last week, was banned indefinitely from F1 activities by the World Motor Sport Council. Engineering executive director Pat Symonds, who also left Renault last week, was banned for five years after expressing his "eternal regret and shame" that he participated in the conspiracy.

"We gave them a suspended sentence because Renault demonstrated that the team had no responsibility and the company even less," FIA president Max Mosley said.

Piquet, who received immunity from FIA, was ordered to crash at last year's Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win.

"I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given," Piquet said in a statement. "I wish every day that I had not done it. I don't know how far my explanation will go to making people understand because for many being a racing driver is an amazing privilege, as it was for me."


Report: Henin returning to sport

Former top-ranked player Justine Henin will announce her return to competitive tennis Tuesday, according to two top Belgian newspapers.

Last year, Henin shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement while still ranked No. 1. As recently as May, she complained that the sport had left her with so many physical ailments that a return was unthinkable.

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Thailand Open because of an injury sustained at the U.S. Open earlier this month. Nadal was advised by his doctor to withdraw from the Sept. 26-Oct. 4 tournament to recover from a stomach muscle problem.

Herschel Walker is starting a new career in mixed martial arts. The 47-year-old former NFL running back said Monday that he has signed a multi-fight contract with promoter Strikeforce. Walker will begin a 12-week training camp next month in San Jose, Calif. The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner already holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

■ Former welterweight and super-welterweight world boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga will venture into mixed martial arts. In a news conference Monday, Mayorga said he anticipates his first MMA fight early next year.

The last word

Sunday's game was another rags to riches story for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. A week ago he was over the hill, a graybeard quarterback finally showing his age. Seven days later, the 38-year-old was nearly perfect, completing 24 of 26 passes in a 31-17 victory at Jacksonville. Said Warner:

"I've been benched by different teams, I've been booed at different stadiums. It happens. You just keep fighting and you do what you do. I think I'm a pretty good quarterback and, at the end of the day, I'm going to continue to resurface and we'll be all right."