Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 7

Sports in the courts

Former UK star Walker gets probation in Vegas casino case

Former NBA star Antoine Walker was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and ordered to pay $770,050 in restitution to three Las Vegas casinos after pleading guilty to failing to repay gambling debts.

Walker and his lawyer declined to comment after his brief appearance before Clark County District Court Judge Valorie Vega.

Walker has repaid some of his Las Vegas casino debts since his arrest in July 2009 in Lake Tahoe, where he planned to play in a celebrity golf tournament. The felony charge could be dismissed if Walker fully repays the remaining debts incurred in 2008 and 2009 at the Planet Hollywood, Red Rock Casino Resort and Caesars Palace casinos, prosecutor Samuel Bateman said. Walker faces a year in prison if he violates probation.

Walker, 35, starred on Kentucky's 1996 NCAA national title team and was a three-time All-Star with the Boston Celtics before winning a 2006 NBA championship with the Miami Heat. He also played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008.

Walker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in 2010. He played last year with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.

Another Sandusky accuser steps forward

A 19-year-old man filed a complaint with state police alleging he was sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky after the former coach gave him liquor on the Penn State campus in 2004, the accuser's lawyer said Tuesday. Charles Schmidt said the client, whom he did not identify, came to his law firm about three weeks ago, after Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight children over a 15-year period.

"He suffered one incident of abuse, to use the legal term — involuntary deviate sexual intercourse — allegedly at the hands of Mr. Sandusky," Schmidt said. "That occurred on the Penn State campus, we believe in the area of the football facilities."

Joseph Amendola, Sandusky's lawyer, said he was not familiar with the allegations Schmidt was making.

The new claim came the same day a lawyer for a different young man who accused Sandusky of sexual abuse said he expects his client and at least five other alleged victims to testify at a preliminary hearing next week.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse and prosecutors allege he met his victims through The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk children. Sandusky, 67, denies being a pedophile and has vowed to fight the charges. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he has said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them.

NBA

Shortened NBA schedule announced

The Los Angeles Lakers will play games on the first three nights of the NBA season, the first of 42 back-to-back-to-back sets teams will face during this lockout-shortened season.

The NBA announced the compacted, 66-game schedule on Tuesday night, one that will require every team to play on three consecutive nights at least once. And it will force every team to navigate demanding stretches that are never seen during a full season, such as the nine games in 12 nights the Atlanta Hawks face starting with their Dec. 27 opener.

The league's 66th season begins with five games on Christmas, including the Lakers hosting the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles then visits Sacramento the next night before returning home to host Utah on Dec. 27.

Teams will play 48 conference games and 18 against the opposing conference, meaning they play only three nonconference opponents home and away.

Volleyball

UK, WKU players on All-Region squad

Kentucky players Christine Hartmann, Stephanie Klefot and Whitney Billings and Coach Craig Skinner were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's All-South Region team.Skinner has led the Wildcats to a 28-5 overall record and a Sweet 16 appearance for the second time in three years. Kentucky will host its quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded Texas at 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

■ Western Kentucky's Melanie Stutsman and Jordyn Skinner were also named to the All-South Region squad.

Hockey

Realignment approved for NHL

Forced into realignment following Atlanta's move to Winnipeg last summer, the NHL opted for a dramatic change rather than a simple one. League officials approved a radical realignment plan that will give the league four conferences instead of six divisions and guarantee home-and-home series among all teams.

The new look has two conferences with seven teams all based in the Eastern time zone: New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina in one and Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay in the other.

The third conference consists of eight teams in the Eastern and Central time zones: Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg. The fourth conference has eight teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado.

Etc.

Hearns tops new boxing Hall class

Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, the first man to win titles in four divisions, tops a list of 13 people elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum. Hearns, who won five titles altogether, compiled a 155-8 amateur record and was 61-5-1 with 48 knockouts as a pro. Others selected included Mark Johnson, a two-division champion; ring announcer Michael Buffer; trainer Freddie Roach; broadcaster Al Bernstein and journalist Michael Katz.

■ The Baseball Writers' Association of America award announcements will be televised for the first time in 2012. The BBWAA voted Tuesday at the winter meetings to have the results of voting for Most Valuable Players, Cy Young Awards, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year broadcast on the MLB Network. Three finalists for each Cy Young, Rookie and Manager and five finalists for each MVP will be announced beforehand.

■ A source told The Associated Press that the New York Mets agreed to a one-year contract with reliever Jon Rauch. A 33-year-old right-hander who starred at Oldham County and Morehead State, Rauch was 5-4 with 11 saves in 16 chances and a 4.85 ERA last season for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 85 career saves.

■ Joe Gibbs Racing will make a crew chief change for Denny Hamlin. Crew chief Mike Ford told The Associated Press the team informed him Tuesday he won't be back with Hamlin next season.

The last word

Golfer Matt Kuchar never saw this perk coming after he and Gary Woodland won the World Cup a couple of weekends ago. Kuchar and his wife did not have a flight to California until the next night, so the World Cup Chinese hosts treated them to a spa treatment at Mission Hills until their flight. It included Kuchar's first facial:

"I don't know exactly what a real facial entails, but they put ... whatever, the mask on and cream and goop and gel and all the stuff. I didn't love all the stuff on my face. I enjoy the massaging part, but all the extra stuff I could have done without. ... I did feel like I looked completely refreshed afterward. I felt like I had a real shine to my face."

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