Other Sports

Sports briefs: Feb. 2


McCarron stays on offensive concerning use of Ping wedges

Scott McCarron didn't back down on Monday from his accusation that Phil Mickelson and other players are cheating if they use the Ping-Eye 2 wedges with square grooves.

McCarron issued a statement in which he wanted to clarify that while he says "it's cheating" for Mickelson and anyone else to use the Ping wedges, "I never called Phil Mickelson a cheater."

"That being said, I want my fans, sponsors and most importantly, my fellow players, to know that I will not be silenced and I will continue my efforts to get the groove issue resolved," McCarron said.

Mickelson said over the weekend that he was "publicly slandered," and he hinted at legal action if the PGA Tour does not discipline McCarron for his choice of words.

Square grooves no longer are allowed on the PGA Tour because of a new USGA policy effective this year that requires grooves in irons to be more a more shallow V-shape, which generate less spin.

However, the Ping-Eye 2 wedges made before April 1, 1990, are approved for competition because of a lawsuit that Ping settled with the PGA Tour and USGA some 20 years ago.

It has not been proven whether the grooves of a 20-year-old golf club — Mickelson played them in college at Arizona State and found this wedge in his garage — spin more than V-shaped grooves made with today's technology.

John Daly and Dean Wilson were the first players to use the Ping wedges this year, at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Mickelson, who finished 19th at the Farmers Insurance Open, said he was not sure the Ping wedge was more effective than his new wedges from Callaway.

Mickelson, however, has been angry with the USGA since the groove policy was announced. He claims he submitted wedges under the new rules that the USGA did not approve, yet he was allowed to use a Ping wedge with square grooves that are not conforming.

"I understand black and white," Mickelson said Friday. "And I think that myself or any other player is allowed to play those clubs because they're approved — end of story."


Reds send Taveras to A's, add Cabrera

A trade that saved some money made the Cincinnati Reds' next shortstop affordable. The Reds sent center fielder Willy Taveras to the Oakland Athletics on Monday as part of a four-player deal, then agreed to a $3.02 million, one-year deal with Orlando Cabrera to become their starting shortstop. Both teams made a series of moves that changed the looks of their rosters.

Along with Taveras, the Reds sent infielder Adam Rosales to the A's for infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named.

"I think we've been able to do some things to improve our club where we weren't too sure we would be in position to do that," Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty said. "A lot of it was being patient and waiting for the market to drop to our level, where we could afford to do some things."

Several teams were interested in Cabrera as a second baseman, making the Reds a more attractive destination because he could play his natural position.

"A little bit," Cabrera said. "But I think the challenge of the Reds is better for me."

The 35-year-old shortstop played for Oakland and Minnesota last season, batting a combined .284 with 36 doubles, nine homers and 77 RBI in 160 games. Cincinnati expects to bat him second, with 25-year-old Drew Stubbs in line to bat leadoff now that Taveras is gone.

College basketball

Campbellsville women win in a rout

The Campbellsville women, ranked eighth in NAIA, rolled to their 21st victory in 22 games this season 112-52 against visiting St. Catherine. Melly Heaton led the Tigers with 17 points, followed by 14 points, nine rebounds and five blocks by Whitney Ballinger.

Campbellsville shot 61 percent in the first half and finished the game 23-of-45 (55.8 percent). The Tigers out-rebounded the Lady Patriots 61-28.

Ballinger was named Mid-South Conference women's player of the week for the sixth time this season. In her lone game during the week, the Carroll County graduate scored 30 points and grabbed 28 rebounds — tying a school record — in a 68-65 overtime victory against Cumberlands.

Marshall's Pitts suspended again

Marshall guard Damier Pitts was suspended indefinitely, the second time this season he's been disciplined by Coach Donnie Jones. Jones announced the sophomore's suspension Monday for an unspecified violation of team rules. Last month Jones suspended Pitts for one game. Pitts has started 16 games for Marshall (15-6). He leads the team with four assists per game, is the top free throw shooter and is fourth in scoring at 10.5 points per game.


Federer, Serena hold on to top rankings

Australian Open champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams maintained their No. 1 rankings.

Federer beat Britain's Andy Murray in the Australian Open men's final in straight sets Sunday. He begins his 268th week as the ATP's No. 1 and ties Jimmy Connors for third place in total number of weeks with the top ranking. Pete Sampras tops the list with 286 weeks at No. 1 , followed by Ivan Lendl with 270. Novak Djokovic takes over at No. 2, followed by Murray and Rafael Nadal.

On the women's side, Williams extends her current run at No. 1 to 15 weeks as she begins her 88th week with the top ranking. Dinara Safina is No. 2, followed by Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams.


U.S. hockey's Martin to miss Games

New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul Martin won't play for the United States in the Vancouver Olympics because of a slow-healing broken left forearm. The defenseman was injured on Oct. 24 in a game at Pittsburgh when he was hit by Bill Guerin's shot. Martin had a setback in his recovery in December when surgery had to be done because the fracture didn't heal at the rate doctors wanted. A replacement will likely be picked by the end of this week, USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said.


UK to host volleyball regional in 2011

Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum was selected to host one of the four sites for an NCAA Volleyball Regional in 2011. It will be the first time in school history that Kentucky will host an NCAA Regional for volleyball. The other host sites for 2011 are the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota, the Stephen C. O'Connell Center at the University of Florida and the Honolulu/Stan Sherriff Center at the University of Hawaii. The dates of the matches will take place on Dec. 9-10, 2011.

■ The Louisville baseball team was ranked No. 19 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association pre-season poll. The Cardinals were ranked 13th by Baseball America.

The last word

Reflecting back to his first Australian Open win in 2004, Roger Federer, 28, said he feels fitter now and despite aging feels free of the post-Grand Slam aches and pains he got as a younger player:

"As time goes by and I get a bit older, I start to understand my body a bit more. I remember in the beginning here in 2004 when I won the first time I couldn't move the next day. I was so tired. It's very different now. I'm like wow, it's over. Perfect. What's next?"