Report: UK had $253,396 deficit for Birmingham bowl
The Birmingham (Ala.) News reported on its Web site Thursday that the University of Kentucky ran a deficit of $253,396 in Birmingham for the BBVA Compass Bowl against Pittsburgh. That's due in large part to 5,540 unsold tickets, according to the school's bowl expense report.
Kentucky received an expense allowance of $1,005,400 from the SEC and spent $1,258,796. The school absorbed $276,740 in unsold tickets, split nearly equally by Kentucky and the SEC, according to the al.com report.
Kentucky reported selling 4,460 tickets from a 7,000-ticket commitment, resulting in a loss of $126,740.
The amount lost on unsold tickets far exceeds the $63,960 that South Carolina lost a year earlier in Birmingham when the Gamecocks sold 8,593 tickets.
Kentucky spent $153,712 for players and staff on meals and lodging over five nights in Birmingham.
Oregon says it paid for recruiting services
School officials have confirmed that Oregon paid about $28,000 to a pair of recruiting services, but claim the payments and services were within NCAA rules. Yahoo! Sports reported that Oregon paid $25,000 to Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services in Houston. Lyles has a mentoring relationship with Ducks running back Lache Seastrunk. ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported the NCAA is probing Seastrunk's recruitment. The Yahoo report also said Oregon paid $3,745 to Baron Flenory of New Level Athletics.
Magic rally from 24 down to beat Heat
Jason Richardson scored 24 points, 11 of them to kick-start what became a wild 40-9 run, and the visiting Orlando Magic rallied from 24 points down in the second half to stun the Miami Heat 99-96 on Thursday night. Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic, who trailed 73-49 after a dunk by LeBron James with 8:57 left in the third quarter.
Ryan Anderson scored 15 and Gilbert Arenas added 11, including a pair of big three-pointers in the fourth.
James scored 29 and Dwyane Wade had 28 for Miami, which trailed 97-96 with 9.6 seconds left. J.J. Redick pushed the lead to three with a pair of free throws, and Chris Bosh and James missed three-point attempts in the final seconds.
Celtics' Davis could be out a week
Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis has patellar tendinitis in his left knee and could be out a week. The team said an MRI on Thursday showed no major structural damage after Davis hurt the knee going up for a dunk with 49 seconds left in Wednesday's victory over the Suns. "Nothing serious but he may be out for three, four or five days," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said.
■ The Mavericks signed forward Corey Brewer, the seventh overall pick in 2007 who was waived Tuesday by the Knicks.
■ The Warriors signed free-agent forward Al Thornton after he was released by the Wizards earlier this week.
■ NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant was held out of practice Thursday with a sprained left ankle, and Thunder Coach Scott Brooks said it's doubtful he will play Friday night at Atlanta.
Levin leads windy Honda Classic by 1
Flagsticks rattled, putters shook and scores soared Thursday as the PGA Tour began its Florida swing in breezes that were more than balmy. Spencer Levin handled the conditions best, shooting a 3-under 67 for a 1-shot lead over five others at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. The round was suspended because of darkness with a handful of players still on the course.
Even by the standards of the Sunshine State, where wind is par for the course, the gusts of more than 20 mph were unusual. Only eight of 144 players broke par.
No. 2-ranked Lee Westwood shot a 70, as did 1994 winner Nick Price, playing his first PGA Tour event since 2008. No. 3 Luke Donald had a 73. Tiger Woods and new No. 1 Martin Kaymer skipped the tournament.
The toughest hole was the 186-yard, par-3 17th, where more than a dozen tee shots into the wind landed in the lake fronting the green. At least three players waded in to hit their second shot barefoot.
Dutrow could lose New York license
New York racing authorities have ordered Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. to show why he should not be suspended, lose his license and be kicked off state tracks for various infractions. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board suspended Dutrow twice last month. The suspensions totaled 90 days for hypodermic needles in his barn and for a winning horse's positive test for a banned painkiller at Aqueduct last year. Dutrow has appealed and the board scheduled hearings for March 30-31.
■ Aqueduct canceled Thursday's card after workers building the track's new casino accidentally cut a cable that carries betting information and video feeds. The New York Racing Association says it hopes the damage can be repaired in time for Friday's races.
■ Nick Zito-trained Dialed In, winner of the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes, was among five horses entered in a 11⁄8-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park this Sunday.
Sports in the courts
Dukes accused of slapping pregnant ex
Former major-league outfielder Elijah Dukes was in a Florida jail on Thursday after his pregnant ex-girlfriend accused him of slapping her in the face during an argument, authorities said. According to a Hillsborough County sheriff's office report, Mountrail Mounshay Mack told deputies she and Dukes, 26, had been staying in motels for days. She said the two were arguing Wednesday when Dukes slapped her several times in the face. Dukes began his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2008. He was released before the 2010 season.
The last word
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Dontrelle Willis, on his comeback:
"I never left. I was just terrible."