Other Sports

Sports briefs: July 13

UK football

RB Clemons injures leg

Late on Friday night, Kentucky officials confirmed various reports that sophomore running back Josh Clemons injured his leg in workouts earlier in the day.

Clemons, who sat out last season nursing a surgically repaired knee, will have an MRI and coaches expect to know more about the extent of the leg injury on Monday, spokesman Tony Neely said Friday night.

Neely said he did not know the exact nature of the injury, nor which leg Clemons had hurt, only saying that Coach Mark Stoops confirmed there was an injury.

Many believed that the sophomore running back, who showed signs of being an elite level player early his freshman season before tearing his meniscus at South Carolina, had turned a corner and his knee was back to full strength.

When Clemons was asked about the knee this spring, he said he felt close to 100 percent again: "It's feeling good. It's the best it's felt."

If Clemons is sidelined again, a spot where UK was thought to have considerable depth will be much less so.

SPORTs in the Courts

Penn State's board authorizes Sandusky settlements

Penn State could soon be paying out millions of dollars to victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky after disclosing Friday it had tentative agreements with some of the young men who say he sexually abused them.

The school does not plan to comment on specifics until the deals are made final, which could happen in the coming weeks. University president Rodney Erickson called getting approval for settlement offers "another important step toward the resolution of claims from Sandusky's victims."

Sandusky, 69, was convicted a year ago of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including violent attacks on boys inside school facilities. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term and maintains he was wrongfully convicted. He is pursuing appeals.

More than 30 claimants have come forward with sexual abuse allegations involving the longtime assistant to late coach Joe Paterno. The deals will be limited to a range of dollar values and subject to final approval by a committee empowered by the board to handle the claims. A university spokesman said the school plans to release the total amount it pays to settle lawsuit but will not provide amounts for individual cases.

 Suspended LSU running back Jeremy Hill has pleaded guilty to simple battery in connection with a bar fight in April. Hill entered the plea Friday in state district court in Baton Rouge. He will not have to go to jail for the fight, but his future remains in question. He faces the possible revocation of the probation he was granted following a January 2012 guilty plea to a misdemeanor stemming from his sexual relationship with a then-14-year-old girl at his high school.

 Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and accused of drunk driving Thursday in Nebraska while on probation for assaulting a police officer. Dennard's arrest in Lincoln, Neb., came 15 days after Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder and three days after Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the club will "be looking at our procedures and auditing how we do things" with regard to character reviews.

 A Durham police spokeswoman says there are no plans to file additional charges from the June traffic stop that resulted in the drug arrest of North Carolina basketball leading scorer P.J. Hairston. Hairston was arrested June 5 and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.


Tour teams shake up status quo

Wily Tour de France riders who used the wind and worked together to trap their rivals turned a trek across the flats of central France into a thriller on Friday, as exciting and, for the most unfortunate, as decisive as any spectacular day in the mountains.

Yellow jersey holder Chris Froome lost a chunk of his race lead but not enough to gravely endanger the Briton heading toward what is shaping up to be an intriguing finale in the Alps. The team of Alberto Contador dealt the former two-time champion back into the game, putting him close enough to Froome to make the last week interesting. A rear-wheel failure at the worst time dropped Alejandro Valverde from second place to nowhere. And Mark Cavendish got a 25th stage win to lift the British sprinter to a third-place tie on the all-time list of cycling's premier race.

All this on a Stage 13 that, on paper, looked beforehand as though it might be a dud. Much of Friday's mischief was cooked up by two teams — Belkin and Omega Pharma-QuickStep — that simply happened to share the same hotel the night before. With two-thirds of the stage left to race, a time when the pack often prefers to take things easy and let breakaway riders speed ahead for a while, Omega powered as a group to the front and rode like furies.

They soon got additional support from Belkin. Their sudden acceleration and sustained high speed caught dozens of other riders off guard. The pack split into three groups. The breeze blowing across the long, undulating straights made it impossible for stragglers to catch up. Among them was Marcel Kittel, winner of three stages at this Tour.


Pierce, Garnette head to Brooklyn

Feeling he was close to a deal for Paul Pierce, a thought crossed Billy King's mind.

"I asked, 'What about KG?'" the Nets general manager said.

Yes, Brooklyn is also getting Kevin Garnett — and a real shot at contending for a championship. And it's the close of a championship chapter in the Celtics' storied history.

Boston's blockbuster breakup is complete. Pierce and Garnett are Brooklyn-bound, and it's the Nets who are thinking big as they head into their second season in their new home.

It's a nine-player, three-draft-pick swap agreed to on draft night and centered on the two aging champions who won a title in Boston in 2008. The Nets also got Jason Terry and D.J. White from Boston, while sending Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, and ex-Cat Keith Bogans to the rebuilding Celtics as part of the deal.

 The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed guard Kyle Korver, allowing the team to keep one of the league's top three-point shooters. The four-year, $24 million deal, first reported last week, was signed on Friday. Korver averaged 10.9 points and made 45.7 percent of his three-point shots last season to rank second in the NBA.

 The Minnesota Timberwolves have finalized contracts for three small forwards: Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and rookie Shabazz Muhammad. The deals were done on Friday. Budinger agreed to terms last week on a three-year, $16 million contract. Brewer agreed to on a three-year, $15 million deal on Wednesday.

 The Miami Heat are plotting ways to win again next season, regardless of the cost. Heat President Pat Riley says that the team is not currently planning to exercise its amnesty option, a move that if utilized could save the team millions in upcoming luxury-tax payments. Riley says he and Heat managing general partner Micky Arison rarely talk about the looming tax bills and are instead focusing on ways to make the roster better.

The last word

The New York Jets' Mark Sanchez holds a get-together with his receivers two weeks in advance of training camp. Said new tight end Kellen Winslow of the quarterback:

"He handles himself like a coach in meetings. I'm really impressed with him. He knows what everybody is doing."