Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 22

NFL

Browns owner: Holmgren will be team's president

The Cleveland Browns said Mike Holmgren has agreed to become their president. Browns owner Randy Lerner said the two sides reached a deal on Monday. Lerner says details still need to be worked out and a formal announcement will be made by next week.

On Saturday, the 61-year-old Holmgren had turned down a front-office position to return to the Seattle Seahawks, sparking speculation that he was headed to Cleveland.

Holmgren said he was intrigued by the Cleveland opportunity because of the absence of "layers" between him and Lerner.

The Browns improved to 3-11 on Sunday under first-year coach Eric Mangini with a 41-34 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brohm may get shot to start for Buffalo

With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards hobbling, the Bills may be forced to see what they have in third-stringer Brian Brohm. Both Fitzpatrick and Edwards had ankle injuries in Buffalo's 17-10 loss to New England on Sunday.

"It's too early to answer that," interim coach Perry Fewell said on Monday when asked if Brohm, who starred at the University of Louisville and Trinity High School, will start this week. "We have until Wednesday and Thursday, so we'll just wait and see."

■ Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye will miss the rest of the season because of a fracture in his lower left leg.

■ Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck has a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season while outside linebacker David Thornton will have season-ending shoulder surgery later this week.

■ Baltimore Ravens rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his right knee.

golf

Blackwelder earns spot on European Tour

Former Woodford County and University of Kentucky golfer Mallory Blackwelder earned exempt status on the Ladies European Tour by finishing tied for 16th at the final qualifier at La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain, on Monday. Blackwelder, who shot a 1-under 291, needed to finish in the top 30 to earn the exemption.

"I am very proud that she hung in there and shot 3 under today to secure her spot on the 2010 tour," said Mallory's mother, Myra Blackwelder, who played on the LPGA for 12 years. "Earning full exempt status on the LET was a primary goal that she set last summer."

College football

Murray State's names Hatcher its coach

Murray State named former Kentucky assistant Chris Hatcher as the Racers' new football coach. Hatcher was the head coach at Georgia Southern. He was fired last month after a 5-6 season and an 18-15 record in three years. Hatcher was the Kentucky quarterbacks coach under Hal Mumme, working with All-America quarterback and eventual No. 1 NFL draft pick Tim Couch. Hatcher replaces Matt Griffin, who was fired after the Racers finished 3-8.

■ Florida's Brandon James, who leads the team in all-purpose yards, will not play in the Sugar Bowl after having surgery on his right foot. ... Mississippi State running back Anthony Dixon will play in Senior Bowl on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Ala. Dixon rushed for 1,391 yards this season to lead the Southeastern Conference.

NBA

Bucks' Bogut scores career-high 31 in win

Andrew Bogut scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to an 84-81 victory over the host Indiana Pacers. Rookie guard Brandon Jennings had 16 points and six assists and Michael Redd scored 14 for the Bucks.

J.J. Redick had 20 points, Rashard Lewis scored 18 and the Orlando Magic blew past the visiting Utah Jazz 104-99.

Etc.

NASCAR star named Athlete of Year

There was little recognition outside the racing world when Jimmie Johnson won his first NASCAR championship. Same with his second, and again with his third. But four straight championships? That's a different story. Johnson, the first driver in NASCAR history to win four consecutive titles, earned mainstream recognition Monday when he was honored as the Male Athlete of the Year by members of The Associated Press. Johnson received 42 votes from editors at U.S. newspapers which are members of the AP. Tennis star Roger Federer (30 votes) and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt (29) were the only other athletes with totals in the double- digits. Although Tiger Woods was named Athlete of the Decade, the golfer received only nine votes for Athlete of the Year. He was tied with NBA star Kobe Bryant and slugger Albert Pujols.

■ NASCAR's Nationwide series will stay in Wisconsin next year, shifting its race next year to Road America from the financially troubled Milwaukee Mile.

■ Winning came with a hefty price for the New York Yankees. The World Series champions were hit with a luxury tax of nearly $25.69 million Monday, the penalty for once again crossing the payroll threshold in baseball's collective bargaining agreement. New York is the only team to pay a tax for this season and has crossed the threshold in all seven years since the tax started.

The last word

Rex Ryan woke up Monday morning with a new outlook on the New York Jets' playoff chances. After his team's 10-7 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, Ryan said the Jets (7-7) were "obviously out of the playoffs," not taking into account the many head-spinning scenarios that still give them a slim shot. Said Ryan:

"I was dead wrong. You would think the head coach of the team would know the situations, know the playoff scenarios, all that. The only thing that I knew is, in my opinion, I thought we had to win out."

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