Stoops gets 2014 commitment from Georgia defensive back
Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops picked up another commitment for the class of 2014 on Wednesday.
Jared Tucker, a three-star defensive back from Stone Mountain, Ga., became the ninth player from 2014 to give his pledge to Stoops and the Wildcats. Rivals.com ranks Tucker as the No. 44 safety in the class and the No. 41 prospect in the state of Georgia.
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Scout.com and 24/7 Sports also have Tucker ranked as a three-star prospect. Tucker, a 5-foot-11, 160-pounder, also had offers from Miami, Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville and several other major programs. With the addition of Tucker, Rivals.com moved Kentucky to No. 10 in the team rankings for 2014. The Cats are rated higher than such blue-blood football programs as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.
■ Sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons has been suspended for Georgia's season-opening game at Clemson Aug. 31. He was not arrested, but no further details were released by the school. Harvey-Clemons, a projected starter, appeared in 14 games as a freshman in 2012. He had 14 tackles and broke up one pass.
Browns welcome back Jim Brown
Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who was estranged for years from the Cleveland Browns, the NFL team where he starred in the 1950s and '60s, was welcomed back on Wednesday by new owner Jimmy Haslam. Brown, still going strong at 77, will serve as a "special adviser," focusing on community work, interacting with fans and helping mentor players.
Haslam called Brown's return a "very special and significant day in Cleveland Browns history."
"He's not only the most famous Cleveland Brown of all time," Haslam said, "and best player that's ever played here — one of the reasons the Browns remain so popular is when a lot of us were growing up, they followed 32 and he was their hero. So to have 32 back ,,, being part of not just the Browns but the Cleveland community is tremendously important."
Brown, who retired in 1965 at the peak of his playing career to become an actor, said, "I've been through many ups and downs here. I like the new ownership ... and I will be doing everything in my power to help the Cleveland Browns be successful."
Wrestling gets second shot at Games
Three months after wrestling got kicked out of the 2020 Olympics, the ancient sport is back in the frame and will compete against baseball-softball and squash for a spot in the games.
"We had the opportunity to have a second chance to compete," international wrestling federation head Nenad Lalovic said Wednesday after the three sports made the IOC short list. Of eight sports competing for a place on the 2020 program, five were eliminated — karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.
Despite a tradition dating to the Olympics of ancient Greece, wrestling was cut from the list of core sports by the IOC board in February. The decision caused an international uproar.
Federer might get test in third round
After a pair of straight-set victories at the French Open against qualifiers ranked outside the top 150, 17-time major champion Roger Federer will face a seeded player, France's Julien Benneteau, who not only has beat Federer once this year but also came within two points of upsetting him at Wimbledon in 2012.
Federer, the 2009 French Open champion, beat two-time NCAA singles champion Somdev Devvarman on Wednesday 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.
Then again, the 30th-seeded Benneteau dealt with thigh pain Wednesday during a topsy-turvy 7-6 (9), 7-5, 5-7, 0-6, 6-4 win against Tobias Kamke of Germany. Ahead by two sets and at 5-all in the third, Benneteau dropped 10 games in a row before righting himself.
Serena Williams extended her career-high win streak to 26 matches by defeating French wild-card entry Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-2.
■ Serena and Venus Williams have pulled out of doubles at the French Open before playing a match. Venus said she was bothered by back pain during a three-set loss in singles Sunday.
Legends shut out on five hits
Jake Cose and Stew Brase teamed up for a five-hit shutout as the Kannapolis Intimidators blanked the Lexington Legends 1-0 Wednesday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Cose (4-3) lowered his earned run average to 1.72, third best in the South Atlantic League. He allowed four hits, walked two batters and struck out four. Brase picked up his second save.
Kannapolis scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning. Micah Johnson led off with a walk, stole his league-leading 46th base of the season, moved to third on a groundout by Michael Johnson, and scored on a wild pitch. Legends starter Daniel Stumpf (3-3) took the loss.
Hawks need OT in Game 7 to clip Wings
Brent Seabrook sent a wrist shot past goalie Jimmy Howard's glove 3:35 into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks, who had the best record in the NHL regular season, rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to reach the Western Conference finals.
Seabrook's shot appeared to hit Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall's leg before it sailed into the left side of the net for the Chicago defenseman's first goal of the post-season.
■ The Rangers fired Coach John Tortorella, who led New York to the Eastern Conference finals last year and into the second round this year before being eliminated in five games by the Boston Bruins.
English, Irish tie in first game in 18 years
England tied Ireland 1-1 in a scrappy but peaceful soccer friendly on Wednesday in London, the rivals' first encounter since hooliganism forced the abandonment of a game between them 18 years ago.
England fans, who rioted during the 1995 game in Dublin, heeded the warning of England manager Roy Hodgson by largely refraining from anti-Irish chanting at Wembley Stadium. The potential for provocation was avoided during the national anthems as the music was turned up to full volume, leaving some speakers crackling.
The 1995 match lasted just 28 minutes before the referee ordered players off the field. England fans rampaged inside the Dublin stadium, tearing up wooden benches and throwing them at opposing fans, before battling it out with Irish police. More than 20 people required hospital treatment and more than 40 were arrested.
■ Justin Thomas (St. Xavier) shot a 2-under-par 68 but Alabama slipped to fourth in the NCAA Championships, three shots back of leader and host Georgia Tech.
The last word
Football coaches at the SEC's annual spring meetings are reining in the rivalry rhetoric and opting to err on the side of caution. Said Georgia's Mark Richt:
"You say something at the grocery store and somebody tweets it, that becomes national news. So you've got to be careful what you say, which in some ways is real good, is healthy. In some ways, it takes a lot of fun out of these events."