Tennessee's star receiver Rogers suspended indefinitely
Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, a first-team all-Southeastern Conference receiver last year, was suspended indefinitely Thursday for a violation of team rules. Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley said he doesn't expect Rogers to rejoin the team this season, though he didn't completely rule out the possibility.
"When you get into the coaching profession, you quickly learn that probably the No. 1 professional hazard is the behavior of 18- to 22-year-olds," Dooley said. "I can assure you guys this, that there's not one player, there's not really one member in the whole organization that we're not prepared to go play without."
Rogers had 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Dooley wouldn't say what it would take for Rogers to rejoin the Volunteers this season.
"I don't want to get into specifics on that," Dooley said. "I think the assumption is he's not with us, and it's very unlikely he will be."
Tennessee was counting on the combination of quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Rogers to form one of the SEC's most dynamic passing attacks. The Volunteers are attempting to bounce back from consecutive losing seasons. They lost to Kentucky last season for the first time since 1984.
■ Tyrann Mathieu's father said the former LSU star will not play football this season. Tyrone Mathieu told ESPN his son is focused on working out his personal problems with former NBA coach and player John Lucas at the Right Step recovery center in Houston. Tyrone Mathieu told ESPN on Thursday that "Tyrann is working on discipline, maturity and character. He's making life adjustments."
■ Auburn named sophomore Kiehl Frazier the starting quarterback for the season opener against Clemson. Coach Gene Chizik said Frazier, used almost exclusively as a wildcat quarterback last season, won the battle with Clint Moseley that started in the spring.
■ Mississippi State says it is working with the NCAA because of a "potential recruiting irregularity" in the football program. The school said the examination has lasted several months and that it is close to being finished.
Kentucky Classic starts volleyball season
The 13th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team will open the season Friday night against North Carolina at 7 p.m. in the Kentucky Classic in Memorial Coliseum. The two-day, round-robin event also includes Lipscomb and Long Beach State. All four teams made the NCAA Tournament last season. UK returns nine letter-winners from a team that went 28-6.
■ The UK women's soccer team, looking to start 2-0 for the fourth consecutive season, plays host to Eastern Kentucky (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday night. Kentucky beat Coastal Carolina 2-0 in the season opener last week.
Bayne to drive Summitt-themed car
Knoxville native Trevor Bayne will drive an orange, Pat Summitt-themed car in the Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night. Summitt, who said she'd never been to a NASCAR race, will be the grand marshal. A year ago this week Summitt revealed her diagnosis of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Last April the longtime Tennessee women's basketball coach turned over the reins of the program to Holly Warlick and accepted coach emeritus status. "I've been a big Pat Summitt fan pretty much my whole life," Bayne said. "Growing up here, we could always depend on the Lady Vols, if nothing else."
Game on Dude favored in Pacific Classic
Game On Dude is the early 5-2 favorite for the $1 million Pacific Classic this weekend at Del Mar. The 5-year-old gelding trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert drew the No. 9 post for Sunday's 11/4-mile race and will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland. Baffert also will saddle Jaycito in pursuit of his fourth Classic. The race drew 10 entries on Wednesday. Sutherland has won five major stakes aboard Game On Dude, and will try to become the first female rider to sweep the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and the Classic. Two-time Classic winner Richard's Kid was the 7-2 second choice.
■ Effective Sept. 4, two days before the start of the Turfway Park meeting, only Furosemide — the anti-bleeder medication commonly known as Lasix or Salix — will be permitted in horses for race-day use in Kentucky. In a memo released Thursday by Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the use of adjunct bleeder medications like Amicar, Tranex, Estrone, and Kentucky Red will no longer be permitted to be administered within 24 hours of a race.
Eagles great Van Buren dies at 91
Steve Van Buren, the square-jawed Hall of Fame running back who led the Philadelphia Eagles to NFL titles in 1948 and 1949, has died. He was 91. The Eagles said Van Buren died Thursday in Lancaster, Pa., of pneumonia. The former LSU star, nicknamed "Wham-Bam" for his quick and punishing running style, joined the Eagles in 1944 as a first-round pick. He led the NFL in rushing four times and finished his eight-year career with 5,860 yards rushing and 77 TDs. The five-time All-Pro player was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994, and was the first Eagles player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I've seen them all — Jim Thorpe, Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski," Greasy Neale, Van Buren's coach with the Eagles, told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1957, "but he's the greatest." The 6-foot-1, 200-pound back sustained a leg injury in training camp before the 1952 season and retired as the NFL's career rushing leader. The Eagles later retired his No. 15. "On the field and off, as a player, a leader and a man, Steve Van Buren embodied the finest characteristics of our city and our sport," said Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles' chairman and CEO. "He was a friend and an inspiration to generations of fans, and the model of what an Eagle should be." Van Buren set the Eagles' single-game rushing record with 205 yards against Pittsburgh in 1949, and is second in team history with his 77 touchdowns.
Tseng leads Canadian Women's Open
Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Canadian Women's Open. Emerging from a midseason slump, Tseng had eight birdies and a double bogey at The Vancouver Golf Club. The Taiwanese star opened the season with victories in three of her first five events, then had a series of missed cuts and poor finishes before tying for 11th last week in Oregon in the Safeway Classic. "If I miss a couple shots, I don't worry about it, not like I did before, so I feel that this is the way I used to play," Tseng said. She won a Canadian Women's Tour event in 2007 on the tree-lined course. "I wish I didn't finish today," Tseng said. "I wish I could keep going — keep playing. But 18 holes are finished. (Friday) is a new day, but I'll try to keep that momentum going and try to do the best I can." U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi was second.
The last word
Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, on the national debate over his impending shutdown:
"It's funny. Nobody talks to me personally about it. Obviously, I can either scour the Internet or watch all the stuff being said on TV, or I can just keep pitching and watch the Golf Channel."