Monday's Sports In Brief

Monday's Sports In Brief
December 3, 2013, 3:56 am
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) Steve Sarkisian was hired as the coach at Southern California on Monday, leaving Washington to return to the Trojans' storied football program for another run at national titles.

Two days after USC's regular season ended with a home loss to UCLA, Trojans athletic director Pat Haden replaced interim coach Ed Orgeron with yet another assistant coach from Pete Carroll's championship-winning era at the school.

The 39-year-old Sarkisian is a Los Angeles-area native who went 34-29 in five seasons at Washington, rebuilding a decimated program into a bowl contender. He is the permanent replacement for Lane Kiffin, his former co-offensive coordinator at USC under Carroll.

Sarkisian will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

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Bo Pelini will have to pay for his latest rant.

The Big Ten Conference issued a public reprimand of the Cornhuskers' head coach and fined the university $10,000 for Pelini's comments about the officiating in a loss to Iowa last week.

University spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the money will come out of Pelini's compensation.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend's Iron Bowl football game was angry that the victim and others didn't seem upset over the Crimson Tide's loss to archrival Auburn, said the sister of the slain woman.

Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, was charged Monday with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd.

Hoover police Capt. Jim Coker said both Birmingham women were Alabama fans and at the same party for the annual game between intrastate rivals.

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BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - On a night usually dominated by news of players let loose, the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics filled pitching needs with trades.

Washington obtained right-hander Doug Fister from Detroit for infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Robbie Ray and Ian Krol. Oakland acquired closer Jim Johnson from Baltimore for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named.

Meanwhile, 43 players became free agents at midnight EST when their teams failed to offer 2014 contracts, a group that included 2009 NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan (Miami) and St. Louis reliever John Axford.

PRO FOOTBALL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Denver Broncos coach John Fox returned to work from what he called ''the longest bye week in history.''

''Really, the hardest part was watching the team play and not being there,'' Fox said upon his return four weeks after having open-heart surgery in North Carolina.

Fox had hoped to put off aortic valve replacement surgery until after the Super Bowl but fell ill while golfing with friends near his offseason home in Charlotte on Nov. 2 during the Broncos' bye. He underwent surgery 48 hours later.

NEW YORK (AP) - Redskins coach Mike Shanahan spoke with the NFL's director of officiating after the league said Sunday night's crew made an error on Washington's final drive.

The league said officials should have stopped play and eliminated confusion about the down and distance at the end of the Giants' 24-17 victory at Washington.

''I talked to Dean earlier today, he gave me a call and just went over the scenario,'' Shanahan said, referring to Dean Blandino, who oversees NFL officiating. ''Obviously they made a mistake and you live with it.''

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The NFL is still deciding how to discipline Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin for his not-so-fancy footwork. New video shows Tomlin inching closer to the field before Baltimore kickoff returner Jacoby Jones nearly collided with him in Thursday's 22-20 win by the Ravens.

KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh released video Monday indicating Tomlin took a sizable step toward the field as Jones broke into the open, and didn't move until Jones was nearly on top of him. Tomlin actually put his right foot on green grass as part of a stutter step move out of harm's way. It wasn't early enough to stop Jones from moving to his right just before being tackled by Pittsburgh's Cortez Allen after a 73-yard return.

Tomlin was not penalized, though he is facing disciplinary action. Tomlin said following the game he was watching the play unfold on one of the scoreboards and lost his ''placement'' on the field.

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston defensive end Antonio Smith apologized for using the word ''spying'' about New England, but didn't exactly back down from the accusations he made after the Texans' loss to the Patriots.

On Sunday after Houston's 34-31 loss, Smith told reporters that the Texans had some new wrinkles in their defense and it was ''miraculous'' how the Patriots changed their offense to key on the defense.

He then said: ''Either teams are spying on us or scouting us. I don't know what it is.''

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Geno Smith is staying put as the New York Jets' starting quarterback.

Though the rookie's hold on the job is tenuous at best, coach Rex Ryan confirmed that he's sticking with Smith despite his struggles in the last several games.

SEATTLE (AP) - Seahawks fans set a new noise record for loudest outdoor sports stadium, taking back a mark they achieved earlier this season.

An official from Guinness World Records recorded the crowd noise at 137.6 decibels during the second quarter of the Seahawks' 34-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

Seahawks fans had set a record of 136.6 in a win over San Francisco in September. The mark was topped by Kansas City fans in October with 137.5 decibels.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan State stays No. 1 for a third straight week in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, receiving all but two of the first-place votes.

Arizona moved from fourth to second, drawing the other No. 1 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Kentucky remains third while Syracuse jumps from eighth to fourth. Ohio State moves up two spots to fifth and is followed by Kansas, which had been second. Completing the top 10 are Louisville, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Duke, which drops four spots after losing to Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

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PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Paul Pierce will be out two to four weeks with a broken bone in his right hand, the biggest loss yet for the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets.

Pierce was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the third metacarpal of his right, shooting hand, the team said Monday. He was hurt Friday in the first half of a loss at Houston.

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HOCKEY

DETROIT (AP) - Doug Weight recalled his father putting him on skates at the age of 2 because he could barely walk due to a childhood condition that relegated him to wearing braces on his legs.

''He started putting me on the ice to strengthen them at the suggestion from a doctor,'' Weight said.

Four decades later, Weight was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time NHL All-Star was honored along with former teammate Bill Guerin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time All-Star.

Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, former college coach Ron Mason and Cindy Curley, one of the pioneers in women's hockey, also were inducted.

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Johnson briefly exited Sunday's game against the Bills in the fourth quarter. He said after the game that he was "fine," but felt a "pop" in the ankle. ...
Oct 1 3:41PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Foster is likely going to miss plenty of practice reps this week before being a game-time decision against the Cowboys on Sunday. Foster said he wasn't 100 percent in Week...
Oct 1 3:38PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (meniscus) has resumed jogging, and hopes to return in a "few... Sidelined since September 7, Clowney was given a 4-6 week timetable upon going down. That makes a "few weeks" attainable, but not ahead of schedule. The Clowney...
Sep 30 3:18PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Texans coach Bill O'Brien referred to Arian Foster (hamstring) on Monday as "day to... Foster himself acknowledged he wasn't 100 percent in Sunday's win over the Bills, managing six yards on eight carries. He'll likely continue to be limited in practice all...
Sep 29 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Following Sunday's win over the Bills, Arian Foster (hamstring) admitted he "just wasn't... Foster rushed eight times for six yards while playing on just 54.1 percent of the snaps, but did salvage his box score a bit with seven catches for 55 yards. The good news...
Sep 29 8:42AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson said the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him Sunday is "fine." "I was more scared than anything because I felt a pop, so I went in and got checked," Johnson said. We never like to hear about pops, but Johnson did come back...
Sep 28 5:37PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught three passes for 28 yards in Week 4 against the Bills. He was targeted five times. Graham is on pace for just 36 catches and 380 yards this season, but should be more involved going forward now that he's healthy. He was used in...
Sep 28 5:25PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue had nine carries for nine yards in Week 4 against the Bills. With Arian Foster playing through a hamstring injury, Blue was used in a committee and finished with more carries. He added two catches for 16 yards on three targets. Blue...
Sep 28 5:22PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 win over... Hopkins beat Corey Graham for a 35-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. He finished with just six targets despite Andre Johnson missing time with an ankle injury....
Sep 28 5:03PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster totaled 61 yards on 15 touches in Sunday's Week 4 win over Buffalo. Foster was held to six yards on eight carries, but was targeted 10 times by checkdown artist Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was clearly running at half-speed and looked sluggish...
Sep 28 4:07PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions... Fitzpatrick's only notable play was a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the first half. He managed the Texans to a win without any help from Arian Foster or...
Sep 28 3:55PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson left Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills with an ankle injury. Johnson came up lame on a pass in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room. He was able to jog off under his own power and later returned to the game. Johnson...
Sep 28 3:01PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Arian Foster (hamstring) is moving with a slight limp... Per Breer, the Texans will "monitor his hamstring early in the game, determine his workload from there." It's similar to what was reported by beat writer Tania...
Sep 28 11:40AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) is active for Week 4 against the Bills. Foster will be available for a full workload after sitting out last week. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 running back against the Bills' top-five run defense. Inactive for the...
Sep 28 10:33AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to the Houston Chronicle, Arian Foster will "definitely" play in Sunday's... The chronic hamstring issue Foster has been battling for two months is good to go. "Foster would't be active if he wasn't 100 percent. That means he'll get a full...
Sep 28 10:03AM Read More