Bettencourt breathing easier with share of lead at Texas
Matt Bettencourt has spent the last year searching for answers to his severe asthma problem. The journeyman PGA golfer finally found that answer last week, in the form of the right medication.
His comfort showed on the golf course Thursday in San Antonio as he shot a 5-under par 67 to earn a share of the lead with Peter Tomasulo after the first round of the Texas Open.
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Minus the jitters and shakes he's become so accustomed to because of inhalers, Bettencourt needed only 25 putts to hold off a group of four players — including former British Open and PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington — at 4 under.
Rory McIlroy, who entered the tournament as a final opportunity to prep for next week's Masters, opened with an even-par 72 and is tied for 45th.
■ Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Finishing before the temperature climbed into the low 90s, Pettersen and Choi had bogey-free rounds of 4-under 68 at Mission Hills. Ewart Shadoff matched them late in the afternoon in more difficult conditions.
Emmert gets testy in defense of record
NCAA President Mark Emmert defended his record Thursday in Atlanta amid complaints about the way the organization has investigated wayward schools, as well as a newspaper report that questioned his leadership in previous jobs.
Emmert held a news conference that turned contentious. His parting shot at a reporter: "I know you're disappointed, but I'm still here."
The NCAA has come under fire for violating its own policies while investigating the scandal involving a Miami booster. Emmert says the NCAA acknowledged its mistakes and made changes.
Emmert dismissed a USA Today story that accuses him of shirking responsibility during his professional stops at Connecticut, LSU and Montana State.
■ Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs says the school is reviewing allegations of NCAA rules violations in the football program during its 2010 national title season but doesn't believe they're credible.
Jacobs issued a statement Thursday in response to a report a day earlier by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts that was posted on www.roopstigo.com. The story quoted former Auburn players Mike McNeil and Darvin Adams alleging they received or were offered money from coaches. McNeil said he had a grade changed to stay eligible. McNeil is scheduled to go on trial Monday for armed robbery charges.
Minor League Baseball
Legends' season opener rained out
The Lexington Legends' season-opening baseball game in Augusta, Ga., against the GreenJackets was rained out Thursday night. The two teams will play Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Thursday's game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday. The first of two seven-inning games will begin at 5:05 p.m. The Legends open their home season Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Whitaker Bank Ballpark against the Asheville Tourists.
Cameras to go where they haven't before
The NFL has ordered all teams to have cameras in their locker rooms next season, with video shown only on stadium scoreboards. It's part of Commissioner Roger Goodell's initiative for "enhancing the fan experience in our stadiums."
The videos will be available on team apps as well.
Each team will operate the cameras and determine what is shown on the video boards and apps. "We will be offering unique content, as we already are doing with the video replays involving referees," said Eric Grubman, NFL vice president of business operations. "I can see cameras in locker rooms or tunnels or coaches' facilities before games. Fans want it, and clubs can do it."
■ Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu was sentenced Thursday to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and drunken driving stemming from a series of crashes and a police chase last fall. "I was a rookie and I was scared. I was a Steeler and I was drunk driving," Ta'amu told the judge. "I wrecked my car and I panicked."
No. 7 baseball Cats play at No. 2 LSU
Winners of its first three series to open Southeastern Conference play, No. 7 Kentucky travels to No. 2 LSU for a three-game, top-10 showdown. Friday's opener begins at 8 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (22-6, 6-3 SEC) is coming off series wins over Florida, No. 14 Mississippi State and Georgia. LSU enters the series sporting a 20-1 record at home, winners of nine consecutive games and leading the SEC race by two games.
■ Fifth-year head coach Jon Lipsitz unveiled the women's soccer team's 2013 fall schedule, which will feature eight non-conference games, 11 SEC games, 10 home matches at the newly renovated UK Soccer Complex, and six matches against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. Kentucky is coming off its most successful season as it earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win over UT Martin in overtime in the opening round. Kentucky returns its top four leading scorers from a year ago in Arin Gilliland, Courtney Raetzman, Kelli Hubly and Caitlin Landis.
■ Women's golfer Megan Moir has been named the 2012-13 Brad Davis SEC Female Community Service Leader of the Year. Moir is the second Wildcat to win the award, joining former football player Antoine Huffman in 2006. Moir, a two-time Academic All-American, has been inducted into UK's Frank G. Ham Society of Character.
Jewels worth $340,000 stolen from Bosh
While Miami Heat star Chris Bosh was out celebrating his birthday at a Morocco-themed party complete with live camels, police said Thursday that thieves made off with about $340,000 in jewelry from the player's nearby home.
Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said there was no sign of forced entry at the waterfront, 12,368-square-foot home, which Bosh purchased in 2010 for $12.3 million. Easily traceable items such as Bosh's Heat title ring from last year's NBA title weren't taken. "We think it was probably an inside job," Hernandez said.
■ Lance Armstrong's doping past got him kicked out of the pool. Armstrong was forced to withdraw Thursday from the Masters South Central Zone Championships in Austin, Texas, this weekend after swimming's international federation raised objections to his participation. Armstrong has been banned for life from sanctioned Olympic sport competition by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because of his performance-enhancing drug use during his professional cycling career. He had entered three distance events for the meet at the University of Texas and had been cleared by U.S. Masters Swimming officials to compete.
The last word
The Big East will occupy five of the eight available spots in the men's and women's Final Fours, but none of the schools will be part of the conference that will take the name into 2013-14 and beyond. Said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus about it:
"I think it's a fitting end," he said, referring to Louisville and Syracuse in the men's Final Four. Then, mindful that CBS will continue on with the newly renamed American Athletic Conference, he added, "The Big East isn't ending. The Big East as we know it is ending. I think it's a nice cap to what has been a terrific conference and one that will live on, albeit in a different form."