Other Sports

Sports briefs: March 3

College football

Ex-UK coach Morriss caught in paper caper

Former Kentucky football coach Guy Morriss, now the head man at Texas A&M-Commerce, admitted to police this week that his team was responsible for removing student newspapers from campus that included an article about two of his players being arrested on drug charges. According to the student newspaper, The East Texan, Morriss told police, "I am proud of my players for doing that. This was the best team-building exercise we have ever done."

Morriss said he did not agree with the act being classified as theft because it is a free newspaper. According to The East Texan, the players' actions were illegal because the paper is free for the first issue and 25 cents after the first copy. The paper said Morriss met with the school president Monday to discuss the incident. Morriss's first team at Commerce won five of its final six games to finish 5-5 in 2009. Morriss coached UK in 2001 and 2002 before leaving for Baylor.

UK sports

Softball breaks into ESPN's top 25

The Kentucky softball team cracked the ESPN.com poll for the first time in school history Tuesday, coming in at No. 23. The Cats are 11-3 this season and are coming off their first-ever NCAA post-season appearance in 2009. Coach Rachel Lawson got back her entire starting lineup and full pitching rotation from last year, and UK knocked off No. 5 Arizona State on its home field to open the season. Next up for the Cats is the Buzz Classic at Georgia Tech. UK starts with a doubleheader Friday against Jacksonville State and Georgia Tech. The home opener is March 10 at home against No. 17 Louisville.

High school Football

Iowa coach's shooter found guilty of murder

Mark Becker stood passively Tuesday as a jury found him guilty of murder in the shooting of nationally known Iowa high school football coach Ed Thomas — known for his winning record and town leadership. Becker, 24, had explained to psychiatrists that after months of torment, he shot Thomas at least six times in the Aplington-Parkersburg weight room, then kicked his body before walking away. Jurors deliberated more than 24 hours over four days before convicting Becker of first-degree murder, rejecting his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The guilty verdict carries a mandatory life sentence.


LeBron files paperwork to change number

LeBron James has filed paperwork with the NBA to change his uniform number next season to No. 6 from No. 23, the league confirmed Tuesday. James said earlier this season he would be willing to give up No. 23 in an effort to have the NBA retire it in honor of Michael Jordan. Paperwork had to be filed this week to request a number change for next season.

"All it does is back up LeBron's beliefs," Cavs Coach Mike Brown said. "He's a loyalty guy. When he believes in something, he sticks to his guns and he believes wholeheartedly in what he's doing."

James wore No. 6 with the U.S. Olympic team and wears it every day in practice.

Heat 110, Warriors 106: Dwyane Wade had 35 points and 12 assists, and host Miami snapped a four-game slide. Quentin Richardson scored 15, including two big three-pointers in the final minutes, for the Heat, who moved a half-game ahead of Charlotte in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat also got within two games of Toronto for the No. 5 seed.

Celtics 105, Pistons 100: Nate Robinson scored 14 points in 16 minutes, Rajon Rondo added 15 points and 11 assists, and Boston won on the road, playing for the first time since a humiliating home loss to the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets on Saturday.

Allen Iverson's second stint with the team he once led to the NBA Finals ended with a whimper Tuesday when the Sixers announced he would not return for the rest of the season. Iverson has mostly been absent from the team for a month, returning to Atlanta to be with his family as they deal with an undisclosed illness of his 4-year-old daughter, Messiah. Iverson, who returned to Philadelphia as a free agent in December, has not played since Feb. 20.

■ Warriors leading scorer Monta Ellis underwent an MRI exam on his injured back that revealed a strain, and he isn't expected to join the team at all during its five-game road trip.

■ The struggling Nets have come up with another gimmick to sell tickets during a season in which they've won only six games. This time, they're giving fans a different return on their money — a tax return. The Nets (6-53) have combined with Roni Deutch Tax Center to offer a free New Jersey income tax return to state residents 18 years and older who attend their game against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.


Daly's PGA file is 456 pages long

John Daly has been suspended five times and cited 21 times for not giving his best effort, according to a 456-page rap sheet kept by the PGA Tour that is now public record because of a libel lawsuit Daly failed to win. The Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday on Daly's disciplinary file, which the tour had to give Morris Publishing Co. during Daly's libel lawsuit against a columnist who once worked for the newspaper. The Times-Union is part of the Morris group. The lawsuit was dismissed March 29. The disciplinary file grew to 456 pages over 18 years of Daly's career, starting in April 1991 when the tour said Daly cursed a playing partner and ending in the fall of 2008, when Daly was suspended for six months.


Beltran talks to investigators

Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran said Tuesday that he talked to federal investigators last week about a Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug. Beltran said he went to Toronto to consult with Dr. Anthony Galea while he was sidelined last summer with a painful bone bruise on his right knee. He said he's not worried about the investigation because he didn't do anything wrong.

Luke Hochevar, the overall No. 1 pick of the 2006 amateur draft, agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with the Royals that will pay him $1.76 million in the major leagues. Hochevar was 7-13 in 25 starts for Kansas City last year with an ERA of 6.55. The 26-year-old right-hander did have a few encouraging bright spots, including an 80-pitch, complete-game victory over Cincinnati.

Hawaii Pro Bowl to come before Super Bowl

The Pro Bowl will be played before the Super Bowl when it returns to Honolulu next year. The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the NFL announced Tuesday that the game will be at Aloha Stadium on Jan. 30, the Sunday before the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas. The Pro Bowl had historically been played in Honolulu the week after the Super Bowl, but was changed when the all-star game moved to Miami this year.

Keeneland offering Spring-Fall passes

Keeneland announced Tuesday that fans may purchase season passes for the Spring and Fall meets for $50. The pass is good for general admission each day of both meets and entitles fans to receive discounts at www.keenelandshop.com, free admission to the Equestrian Room during simulcasting and free admission to the track on Kentucky Derby day. General admission in the spring (April 2-23) and fall (Oct. 8-30) is $5. There is a $5 processing fee for each pass.

The last word

Portland, Maine, hockey player Oliver Wahlstrom, 9, told SI.com he wasn't sure whether he'd consider autograph requests after his trick-shot goal became a YouTube sensation:

"I don't know. I'm still printing."