Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 21

College football

Buckeyes get 1-year bowl ban

Urban Meyer's first Ohio State team won't be bowl-bound. The NCAA hit Ohio State with a one-year bowl ban and other penalties on Tuesday for a scandal that involved eight players taking a total of $14,000 in cash and tattoos in exchange for jerseys, rings and other Buckeyes memorabilia. Tipped to the violations, then-coach Jim Tressel failed to speak up. The university had previously offered to vacate the 2010 season, return bowl money, go on two years of NCAA probation and use five fewer football scholarships over the next three years. But the NCAA countered with a bowl ban in Meyer's first year as head coach in 2012, further reduced the number of scholarships and tacked on a year of probation.

■ Now within one more victory of an unbeaten season and a BCS national title, Louisiana State Coach Les Miles was voted The Associated Press Coach of the Year Tuesday. Thirty of 56 votes cast went to Miles. Bill Snyder of Kansas State was second with 16, Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State had six, Brady Hoke of Michigan got three, and Lane Kiffin of Southern California had one.

Ellis Johnson, 59, is taking over the Southern Mississippi football program, and the veteran defensive coordinator has big goals for the Golden Eagles: Lead them to a BCS game. Johnson was introduced Tuesday. He has spent the past four years as defensive coordinator at South Carolina and has worked as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State and Southern Miss. Johnson replaces Larry Fedora, who took the North Carolina job after four seasons with Southern Miss, coming off their first 10-win season since 1988.

■ For the second year in a row, Iowa has suspended its top running back for the Insight Bowl. Hawkeyes sophomore star Marcus Coker was suspended Tuesday for the Dec. 30 Insight Bowl against Oklahoma after violating the school's student-athlete code of conduct. Coker's breakout game came in the 2010 Insight Bowl when he got the start for the suspended Adam Robinson.

■ Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chow wouldn't confirm reports that he's accepted the job as Hawaii's new head coach Tuesday. "I don't know what the reports are saying, but there's nothing been finalized," Chow said after practice. Utah will play in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on Dec. 31.

■ Texas Christian (10-2) takes on Louisiana Tech (8-4) Wednesday in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. The winner of this showdown between the Mountain West Conference champion Horned Frogs and Western Athletic Conference Champion Bulldogs will carry an eight-game winning streak into 2012.

Ray Perkins, who followed Paul "Bear" Bryant as head coach at the University of Alabama and also served as head coach of the NFL's New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was named the new coach at Jones County Junior College. Perkins, 70, had been retired for 11 years.


League to require trainers in press box

The NFL will require teams to place certified athletic trainers in the press box to help monitor head injuries, a change prompted by the Browns' failure to test quarterback Colt McCoy for a concussion. League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that memos are being sent to all 32 clubs Tuesday or Wednesday to explain the new protocol, which is expected to begin with this week's games. McCoy remains sidelined with the concussion sustained Dec. 8 when he was laid out on a helmet-to-face-mask hit by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison. Although he was flattened by Harrison's hit, the second-year QB was not tested for a concussion, and the Browns sent him back in the game after two plays. McCoy has not yet been cleared to practice by Browns doctors. Coach Pat Shurmur said Seneca Wallace will "likely" make his second straight start at Baltimore.

■ The Super Bowl will be streamed online and to cellphones in the United States for the first time, the NFL said Tuesday. NBC's broadcasts of wild-card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will be available on the league's and network's Web sites and through Verizon's NFL Mobile app. The service will include additional camera angles, in-game highlights and live stats — and replays of ads.

■ Bengals receiver A.J. Green said Tuesday he felt improvement in his sprained right shoulder, an indication he'll be ready for Saturday's game versus Arizona.

■ The utility that supplies power to Candlestick Park said Tuesday that investigators don't know what caused the nationally televised power failure that twice delayed the Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and the Steelers. PG&E spokesman Jason King said he "spoke too soon" when he said investigators determined that a San Francisco-owned piece of equipment was responsible for the first of two blackouts.

■ Cowboys running back Felix Jones missed practice Tuesday because of hamstring tightness.

■ Texans star receiver Andre Johnson will sit out Thursday night's game against the Colts because of a strained left hamstring, his ninth missed game this season.

Chris Johnson said Tuesday he originally feared he had hurt his right ankle badly but added that he expects to be able to play Saturday as Tennessee (7-7) tries to keep its faint playoff hopes alive against the Jaguars.

■ Two days after four-time league MVP Peyton Manning was ruled out of the Colts' final two games, Coach Jim Caldwell said Tuesday that Manning won't practice with the team before the season-finale Jan. 1.

■ Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was a full participant in practice Tuesday, as expected, despite a neck injury that he said was "similar" to the one that landed him on the injury report a few weeks ago.

■ The Patriots placed defensive end Andre Carter on injured reserve Tuesday, ending the season for the team's leader in sacks with 10.


Report: Rose OKs five-year, $94M deal

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday night that reigning MVP Derrick Rose has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Bulls worth about $94 million. The Tribune cited anonymous sources, which also said the new deal will start in the 2012-13 season, when Rose is eligible to make about $16 million.

■ The Nets waived former Louisville guard Jerry Smith Tuesday.


Texas wins right to negotiate for Darvish

The Rangers have won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes and the chance to negotiate a contract with Japan's top pitcher. Major League Baseball announced Monday night that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan's Pacific League informed the U.S. commissioner's office that they have accepted the highest bid for Darvish. The Rangers have 30 days to sign Darvish to a deal. A person familiar with the details said the winning bid was $51.7 million The fee will be paid only if a contract agreement is reached with Darvish's agents. If no deal is finalized, Darvish returns to the Fighters for another season.

Abby Wambach's header in the closing seconds of the World Cup semifinals that tied the game and led to a U.S. win made her the clear choice for the 2011 Female Athlete of the Year in the United States, selected by members of The Associated Press Tuesday.

■ The two-day Lafayette Classic wrestling tournament starts Wednesday at Lafayette. Matches start at 10 a.m. each day; tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students.

■ Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. will plead guilty in Las Vegas to reduced charges in a plea deal settling felony allegations that he battered his ex-girlfriend and a misdemeanor charge that he poked a security guard, the Clark County district attorney's office said Tuesday.

The last word: Jorts edition

Former UK center Josh Harrellson cracked plenty of jokes in a New York Post profile posted on Monday. Now a Knick, the player known as Jorts because of his penchant for jean shorts said he wants to bring that country style to the Big Apple and his new team's biggest fan:

"If Spike Lee gets into Jorts, I'll do a back flip. I can't do a back flip but, if he gets into them, I'll do one."

Harrellson's oversized personality was on full display throughout:

"I'm not really ever shy. I need my own reality TV show. Mine will be better than the Kardashians and Jersey Shore . I'm a never-ending waterfall of fun."