Other Sports

Sports briefs: Sept. 27

NFL

Ex-Bears QB McMahon says he wishes he'd played baseball

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who is suffering from early-stage dementia, has told a Chicago television station that while he appreciates what football has done for him, if he could do it over, he would play baseball.

In an interview with Fox affiliate WFLD-TV, aired Wednesday, the 53-year-old McMahon says he knows where he's going when in an airport. But when he meets people, "I'm asking two minutes later, 'Who was that?'"

Knowing what he now does about the effects of the punishment he received in his 14-year NFL career, McMahon said, he would have chosen a different career.

"That was my first love, was baseball, and had I had a scholarship to play baseball. I probably would have played just baseball," he said. "But football paid for everything, it still does."

McMahon led the Bears to the 1986 Super Bowl victory over New England. He is now among the retired players suing the NFL for concussion-related dementia and brain trauma.

Casino offers Packers-Seahawks refunds

A Las Vegas casino took an unusual step Wednesday and offered refunds to gamblers who lost money when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial touchdown at the end of Monday night's game. Derek Stevens, owner of The D Las Vegas, seized on the attention being paid to the much-derided decision by replacement officials handling the NFL game and became the only casino in Las Vegas to offer refunds.

The Seahawks won 14-12 after a Packers defender and Seahawks receiver fought for the ball on a final "Hail Mary" pass play. Officials missed an offensive pass interference call and then decided there had been a simultaneous catch by the two players. Under NFL rules, that gave Seattle the touchdown and the win.

Patriots' Belichick fined $50,000

The NFL fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick $50,000 and Washington Redskins assistant Kyle Shanahan $25,000 on Wednesday for their conduct toward replacement officials.

Belichick grabbed an official's arm at the end of Sunday night's game after the Ravens kicked a winning field goal. Shanahan was cited by the league for "abuse of officials" in Washington's loss to Cincinnati. Shanahan, the son of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for berating officials in the final seconds of the Redskins' 38-31 loss. He also confronted an official in a stadium tunnel after the game.

The Arizona Cardinals have placed running back Beanie Wells on the NFL's new injured reserve designated for return list, meaning he won't be able to play in a game until Nov. 25. Wells was injured in Sunday's 27-6 win over Philadelphia. The Cardinals re-signed running back Alfonso Smith (Kentucky), a backup for Arizona last season who was released in the team's final roster cuts on Aug. 31.

Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi will miss Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens with an injured hamstring.

The San Diego Chargers signed receiver Malcom Floyd to a three-year contract extension Wednesday through 2015. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Floyd has 13 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown in three games this season.


UK BASKETBALL

Scrimmage tickets go on sale Oct. 4

Tickets for the Kentucky men's basketball Blue-White scrimmage go on sale Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. The annual event is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Rupp Arena. The cost of the tickets will be $10 (lower level) and $5 (upper level). All seating is reserved and no general admission eRUPPtion Zone tickets will be available for this event.

Tickets will be available online through Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting a Ticketmaster outlet. For outlet locations, go to Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will also be available at the UK Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling 1-800-928-2287, and the Rupp Arena Box Office, (859) 233-3535.


UK VOLLEYBALL

Cats upset No. 25 Volunteers in sweep

Kentucky swept the No. 25 Tennessee Lady Volunteers 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-20) for the first time since 1995 in front of 1,726 fans at Memorial Coliseum and a national television audience on ESPNU.

"The one thing I knew is we needed to step up and play at the level we're capable of playing to beat that team (Tennessee) because it's a very talented team," UK Coach Craig Skinner said.

With the win, UK improved to 8-6 overall, while holding a 2-2 record within Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee dropped to 8-6 and 2-3 in league action.

UK was led by juniors Whitney Billings and Alexandra Morgan. The two combined for 19 kills without committing a single error. Billings also registered team highs in digs (16) and blocks (4). Sophomore Lauren O'Conner notched a team-best 11 kills, with freshman Sara Schwarzwalder contributing six.


NBA

Coach: Time for Wall to take next step

Washington Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said point guard John Wall needs to progress in his NBA development. "This is a big year for him," Wittman said. "It's time to take that next step."

Wall, entering his third season after the Wizards picked him No. 1 overall in 2010, averaged 16.3 points, 8.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds last year — all slightly down from his rookie season.

Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur will be out up to six weeks after breaking his left fibula preparing for training camp.


WNBA

Mercury win lottery for Brittney Griner

The Phoenix Mercury won the WNBA draft lottery Wednesday night and earned the right to choose Brittney Griner with the top pick next year. The Mercury (7-27) had the second-worst record in the league and a 28 percent chance of getting the No. 1 choice.

The 6-foot-8 center Griner, The Associated Press women's college basketball player of the year, guided Baylor to a national championship and 40-0 record.


COLLEGE SPORTS

Arkansas A.D. stands behind Smith

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says he is "steadfastly" committed to coach John L. Smith for this season, despite the program's difficult start. Long, speaking to a group of reporters following an appearance at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club, said Wednesday he is also committed to the rest of the Arkansas coaching staff, which remained intact after former coach Bobby Petrino's firing in April. Long says he expects to hire a long-term coach after the end of the season. The Razorbacks (1-3) lost their third straight game last week, a 35-26 setback to No. 23 Rutgers.

  Tom Osborne, the 75-year-old former head coach at Nebraska, announced Wednesday that he will retire Jan. 1 after five years on the job as the school's athletic director.


The last word

Davis Love III, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, looked to keep the pressure off his players this week as they prepare to face Europe this weekend at Medinah Country Club. Love noted that Bob Rotella, the famous sports psychologist, cited the way John Calipari coaches the Kentucky basketball team, by making practices fun and often stress-free.

"We've got unbelievably fast thoroughbreds here. If you don't ever let them out on the pasture to kick their heels up and eat some grass and keep them in the stall and make them run hard all the time, they're never going to run."

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