Other Sports

Sports briefs: May 5

NFL

Chargers: Seau's brain will be donated for research

Junior Seau's brain will be donated by his family for research into football-related head injuries. San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said he didn't know where the brain will be sent.

"The Seau family really has, almost like Junior, a philanthropic approach, where they always desire to help others," Mitchell said in a phone interview Friday. "The purpose is not initially to discover anything about their son and what led to these tragic circumstances, but rather the betterment of other people and athletes down the road through anything that can be learned through the study."

He said the family was not speculating as to whether concussions were a factor in Seau's suicide.

Garrett Webster, the administrator and player liaison for the Brain Injury Research Institute, said his group has requested that the family donate the brain but hasn't heard back.

"I don't want this to sound too crass, but we've sort of made our pitch," said Webster, the son of the late Hall of Fame center Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "We hope the family chooses us, but the important thing is somebody's going to get it and it's going to get looked into. Junior Seau was a wonderful man and we're all aware of his work with charities. I wish it never happened. The important thing is, in some way, this will continue his legacy on giving back to the community and helping people."

Officials at Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment Friday on whether researchers there had reached out to the Seau family. The Boston University center has analyzed the brains of dozens of former athletes, including that of former Chicago player Dave Duerson, who shot himself in the chest last year.

Seau, who played for his hometown Chargers for 13 seasons, was found dead Wednesday at his Oceanside home. An autopsy concluded he shot himself in the chest. There's been no medical evidence that brain injuries from football may have played a role in his death.

Seau's ex-wife, Gina, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he sustained concussions during his 20-year NFL career, during which he also played for Miami and New England.

Union files grievance in bounty case

The NFL players union has challenged Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to suspend players who participated in the New Orleans Saints' pay-for-pain scandal and wants him removed from hearing appeals. The union filed a grievance late Thursday, one day after Goodell suspended four players who participated in bounties from 2009-11. The complaint says Goodell is prohibited from punishing players for any aspect of the case occurring before the new collective bargaining agreement was signed last August. It argues that a CBA system arbitrator, and not Goodell, has the right to decide player punishment under such circumstances, as well as rule on any appeals. In a document obtained by The Associated Press, the union told the league Goodell "released all players from conduct engaged in prior to execution of the CBA."

Luck impresses in first NFL workout

No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck was anxious and nervous during his first workout with the Indianapolis Colts, but it didn't show. "He's the same Andrew, as brilliant as ever," said tight end Coby Fleener, Indy's second-round pick and one of Luck's college teammates at Stanford. "He went out and was calling plays that were probably 30 words long off the top of his head. He's amazing." Television and still cameras were scattered around the back side of the team complex, and some of the team's front-office personnel even came outside to catch their first real glimpse of the new franchise quarterback. Most were impressed with what they saw in the first workout of this weekend's rookie mini-camp. "He's unflappable, mature beyond his years," new coach Chuck Pagano said.

UK Sports

Softball Cats rally to beat LSU

Alice O'Brien's line drive to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning was misplayed by LSU left fielder Ashley Langoni, and Ashleigh Gustafson scored the winning run in Kentucky's 4-3 victory at the UK Softball Complex. Brittany Cervantes went 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Cats, including a solo home run that tied the game at 3 in the seventh inning.

Sports in the courts

Clemson star arrested on drug charges

Clemson All-America receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and a controlled substance on Friday. Watkins and soccer player Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia were stopped by university police after an officer saw the car scrape a curb and the temporary license tag was not lit. The police report said an officer smelled marijuana in the car and a subsequent search found two pills for which Watkins did not have a prescription. Dia was charged with marijuana possession. Watkins apologized and said he'd accept any penalties from Tigers Coach Dabo Swinney or the university.

Schlichter sentenced to 10-plus years

The painful saga of ex-Ohio State and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter came to a close Friday when a federal judge sentenced him to nearly 11 years in prison for scamming participants in what authorities called a million-dollar sports ticket scheme. Schlichter, 52, had been down this road before, spending time in prison in Indiana related to his gambling addiction, which he claimed to have overcome. But he continued to struggle, by his own admission, and his stumbles included testing positive for cocaine use while on house arrest following his guilty plea in the ticket case.

College basketball

UConn gets player, loses one to WKU

Connecticut received a verbal commitment from a 6-foot-10 forward, just as another officially transferred from the school. Phil Nolan, a recruit from Milwaukee, gave UConn a verbal commitment on Thursday. He expects to compete immediately for playing time on a UConn team that has lost four big men in the last month. Western Kentucky confirmed Friday that it received the transfer papers of 6-10 redshirt freshman Michael Bradley.

Hockey

Coyotes take 3-1 lead in series

Shane Doan scored in the first period, Mike Smith made 25 saves and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 on Friday night to grab a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. The Predators played with forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn benched for a second straight game, this time the decision by Coach Barry Trotz to stick with the lineup that won 2-0 on Wednesday night. When Radulov and Kostitsyn were announced as scratches, some fans cheered. They sorely missed their offense, though Nashville thought it tied it with 7:12 remaining. But officials waved off the power-play goal because a whistle blew before the puck crossed the line.

The last word

Chicago Cubs left-hander James Russell, a candidate for the closer's job, has relief pitching in his blood. His father, Jeff, had 186 saves over a 14-year career in the majors.

"I like to think closers are a little screwy in the head so maybe he passed that down to me. It'll be fun. I think you've got to have a little bit of, I don't know, something wrong with you to be a closer."

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