Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 5

College football

Source: Rodriguez, Michigan to continue talks Wednesday

Michigan and Rich Rodriguez will meet again Wednesday to discuss the embattled football coach's future, The Associated Press reported. A person familiar with the situation told the AP that Michigan Athletics Director Dave Brandon has not decided whether to fire Rodriguez, who's 15-22 with college football's winningest program. Defensive back James Rogers said a Tuesday night players meeting was postponed until Wednesday afternoon; Rodriguez traditionally holds the meeting the night before classes resume each semester.

Michigan officials declined comment amid reports that Rodriguez had already been fired.

"The definitive voice on this matter is Dave Brandon, and he has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made," associate athletics director Dave Ablauf said in a statement.

If Rodriguez is fired, Michigan would owe him $2.5 million to buy out the final three years of his contract.

Andrew Luck threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns Monday night to lead No. 5 Stanford past No. 12 Virginia Tech 40-12 in the Orange Bowl in Miami. The blowout was the latest success for a school that went 1-11 just four years ago before hiring Jim Harbaugh as coach. Afterward, Luck and Harbaugh deflected questions about whether the game might have been their last at Stanford.

Golf

Woods' video game to feature Augusta

The Masters is about to let anyone play Augusta National — at least in a video game. In another step toward reaching a younger audience, the Masters will be featured in EA Sports' next edition of the popular "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12" golf game franchise.

The game is to go on sale March 29, a week before the Masters, and will be available on Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation consoles. It will be the first time Augusta National has allowed its fabled golf course to be used for a video game.

Features in the Masters edition will include a chance to beat each of Woods' four scores when he won the green jacket and advice from an Augusta caddie. It also will include announcing from Jim Nantz and David Feherty of CBS Sports.

Club chairman Billy Payne also announced the creation of the Masters Tournament Foundation, a charity arm that will allow Augusta National to invest in developmental programs around the world. Payne said all of Augusta Nationals' proceeds from the EA Sports game would go into the new foundation.

Baseball

Reds sign Hermida to minor-league deal

Outfielder Jeremy Hermida agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. The team announced that the 26-year-old player will be invited to spring training, where he'll have a chance to win a roster spot. Hermida played in 52 games last season for Boston, batting .203 with five homers and 27 RBI before getting designated for assignment. He went to Oakland and batted .250 in 21 games with a homer and five RBI.

■ Reliever Octavio Dotel agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Blue Jays. Dotel, a 37-year-old right-hander, was 3-4 with a 4.08 ERA last year for Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado, averaging 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He held opponents to a .218 batting average.

NBA

Mavs' Butler likely out rest of season

Mavericks forward Caron Butler had surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right knee, likely sidelining him for the rest of the season. It's a big blow for Dallas and Butler, who is eligible for free agency this summer. The Mavericks were second in the Western Conference at 25-8 entering Tuesday night's game against Portland. Butler is Dallas' third-leading scorer, averaging 14 points and 4.1 rebounds in almost 30 minutes per game.

Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 31 points, and the New York Knicks overwhelmed the visiting San Antonio Spurs with a sensational offensive performance, cooling off the NBA leaders with a 128-115 victory Tuesday night. Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton added 28 apiece for the Knicks, who snapped the Spurs' four-game winning streak and dropped them to 29-5. New York rang up the highest point total San Antonio has allowed this season, shooting 55 percent and leading most of the way in its second straight victory.

Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James added 25 points and nine assists, and the sizzling Miami Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 101-89 for their 19th win in 20 games. Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who trailed most of the third quarter before putting together a 32-13 run.

Tennis

UK men ranked 12th in pre-season poll

After a run in the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 last season and the return of talented juniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek and seniors Brad Cox and Alberto Gonzalez, Kentucky's men's tennis team was ranked 12th in Intercollegiate Tennis Association' pre-season poll. Quigley will begin the spring season ranked second nationally in singles. Musialek was ranked 39th and Gonzalez was 72nd.

Roger Federer added to his repertoire of through-the-legs winners on his way to beating Dutch qualifier Thomas Schoorel 7-6 (3), 6-3 at the Qatar Open in his first official match of the season. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal also advanced, beating Karol Beck 6-3, 6-0.

After a sluggish first set, the No. 2-ranked Federer hit his stride in the second. Leading 5-2 and faced with a ball that changed direction after clipping the top of the net, Federer flicked it through his legs for a clean winner into the corner. "It's one of the best shots again of my career, one I'm going to look back on and smile, of course," Federer said. "It was quite fantastic." Federer pulled off the shot — also known as a "tweener" — at the previous two U.S. Opens, at last year's Shanghai Masters and at the 2007 Dubai Open.

Hockey

Crosby tops NHL All-Star fan voting

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was the top vote-getter for the NHL All-Star Game. The league also announced leading vote-getters Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The rest of the 42 All-Stars will be revealed on Jan. 11. They will nominate captains and alternates, who will then choose teams in a draft on Jan. 28. The All-Star game is Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C. The Penguins' Crosby received 635,509 total votes, Toews got 407,676 and Malkin received 376,887. Letang, a write-in candidate, was the top defenseman with 477,960 votes. Teammate Marc-Andre Fleury led goalies with 426,305.

■ ESPN fired announcer Ron Franklin after he reportedly berated a female colleague. The network had pulled him from its radio coverage of Saturday's Fiesta Bowl, and Franklin issued a public apology Monday. Sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards wrote in an e-mail to USA Today in response to Internet reports Monday that Franklin called her "sweet baby" in a condescending tone Friday. When she objected, he used a derogatory term. Edwards said a colleague reported the incident to ESPN officials. ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said Tuesday that "based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him." Franklin had worked for ESPN since 1987, calling primarily college football and basketball.

The last word

Golfer Rocco Mediate on playing with Tiger Woods:

"I would like to play with him every Sunday afternoon in the last group for the rest of my life. I guarantee I'm going to beat him every once in a while. Guarantee it."

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