Morehead hires youngest Division I women's head coach
Tom Hodges, a 27-year-old Shelbyville, Tenn., native who has spent the past five years on the women's basketball staff at Middle Tennessee State, was named head coach at Morehead State on Monday. He became the youngest head coach in Division I.
"It's the opportunity of a lifetime to be a head coach at the Division I level at an institution like Morehead State University," Hodges said. "Expectations are high and that is right where they should be."
Morehead State is coming off the best two-year period in school history with 39 wins, including a school record 22 this past season. The Eagles get back last season's Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, Chynna Bozeman.
"I think Tom's one of the brightest, sharpest young coaches in the business," Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Insell said. "The success we've had at Middle Tennessee in the last five years — he's been part of it as much as anyone else."
UT's Negedu transferring to New Mexico
Tennessee men's basketball forward Emmanuel Negedu said he is transferring to New Mexico less than a year after he suffered sudden cardiac arrest. He is still waiting to find out if he will receive an NCAA waiver that will allow him to play in the 2010-11 season. Negedu, who averaged 7.2 minutes, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 points in 33 games as a freshman in 2008-09, sat out last season after being treated for a heart condition.
■ Aaron Morris, a former Madison Central star who played the past two seasons at North Dakota State College of Science, will be transferring to Georgetown College for his junior season. Morris, a 6-foot-6 forward, averaged a team-high 15.4 points per game and was second with 6.7 rebounds last season.
■ Texas A&M recruit Tobi Oyedeji (oh-yee-day-jee) died from injuries he suffered in a car accident early Sunday. The 6-foot-9 Oyedeji, a power forward from Houston, was ranked 85th overall by Rivals.com.
■ LSU Coach Trent Johnson named Lynn Nance as an assistant coach for the program. Nance replaces Keith Richard, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Louisiana-Monroe. Johnson served under Nance when Nance was the head coach at Washington. Nance, who was an assistant at Kentucky under Joe B. Hall from 1974-76, has also led programs at Iowa State, Missouri, Central Missouri, St. Mary's College and Southwest Baptist.
Germany's Ballack to miss World Cup
Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss the World Cup because of torn ligaments in his right ankle, a serious blow to the three-time champions less than a month before the tournament.
The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder was hurt during his club's 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth on Saturday. Ballack's ankle is in a cast, and the German soccer federation said Monday he won't be able to train for at least eight weeks.
"It's football and you have to live with it. ... I am angry, clearly," Ballack told German television, standing with crutches.
The injury probably robs Ballack, Germany's three-time player of the year, of his final chance to win the World Cup after reaching the 2002 finals and the 2006 semifinals. Germany opens World Cup play against Australia and then plays Serbia and Ghana in Group D.
Iraq says it uncovered al-Qaida plot
Iraqi security forces have detained Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani, an al-Qaida militant who is suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security services, said al-Qahtani was an officer in the Saudi army. Al-Qahtani entered Iraq in 2004 and is suspected in several attacks in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
Singh out of top 50 for 1st time since '92
The world golf ranking does not have Vijay Singh among the top 50 for the first time in nearly 18 years. Singh slipped to No. 51 after he failed to qualify for the final 36 holes at the Texas Open. It was his fifth straight tournament without earning ranking points. Singh is the only other player besides Tiger Woods to be No. 1 in the world during the past decade, reaching the top for the first time in 2004.
The timing could not have been worse. Singh has one week to get back into the top 50 or he will have to qualify for the U.S. Open.
■ Tiger Woods has added the British Open to his summer schedule. Woods has a chance to become the first player in the 150-year history of the British Open to win three times at St. Andrews, where golf's oldest championship will be held July 15-18. Woods, who withdrew from the final round of The Players Championship on May 9 with a neck injury, also has the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the AT&T National at Aronimink in Newtown Square, Pa., on his schedule. He has yet to enter the Memorial, where he is the defending champion.
Even Federer not immune to poor shots
Take heart, tennis hackers: Roger Federer has shown that even the best can look pretty bad on a shot. An important shot, at that.
One point from losing the Madrid Masters finals to Rafael Nadal, Federer prepared to hit a forehand off a ball that bounced a few feet in front of him. Instead of flying back over the net, the ball kept sailing and landed behind the 16-time major champion, giving Nadal a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory.
A quick look appears to show Federer whiffing entirely. Replays — various clips were available Monday on YouTube — make it appear possible that Federer's racket tipped the ball.
Either way, Federer managed to laugh at himself, saying after Sunday's loss: "Well, I've had more beautiful match points. ... I decided to take a chance, and it didn't pay off."
■ David Nalbandian pulled out of the French Open with a left hamstring injury. Nalbandian, a former No. 3-ranked player with 10 titles, reached the French Open semifinals in 2004 and 2006.
Rain keeps drivers off track at Indy
Rain washed out the third day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. The official announcement came 2½ hours after cars were supposed to take the track and 3½ hours before practice was scheduled to end. None of the 38 cars turned a lap.
■ Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson wants a new contract. The Pro Bowl wideout skipped the team's first voluntary practice of the off-season Monday. He has five years left on an eight-year contract worth $60 million that included $15 million in guarantees.
■ Nicklas Backstrom's contract is another long-term investment for the Washington Capitals: 10 years, $67 million. The Capitals announced their new deal with the Swedish center Monday, a reward after a season in which he set career-highs with 33 goals and 68 assists. The 101 points ranked fourth in the NHL. Backstrom's contract means the Capitals have locked up two of the league's young stars for many years to come. Alex Ovechkin is about to enter the third year of a $124 million, 13-year deal.
The last word
FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal recently wrote a column that said Chicago Cubs Manager Lou Piniella should be fired if his team doesn't end its slump soon. After Cubs GM Jim Hendry said Piniella's job is safe for the rest of the season, Piniella had this to say about Rosenthal, with whom he used to work on Fox baseball broadcasts:
"Thank God that the guy likes me. If he didn't like me, he'd want me put in jail or something."