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
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More

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