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  • 01/28/13--19:19: Sports in brief
  • Times wires
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    X GAMES

    RIDER MOORE IN CRITICAL CONDITION

    Snowmobile rider Caleb Moore remained in critical condition Monday, three days after being injured doing a trick at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo. Moore, 25, was at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., and his grandfather told the Denver Post: "Caleb is not doing good at all." Charles Moore told the Post on Monday afternoon that, "The prognosis is not good at all. It's almost certain he's not going to make it." Moore was attempting a backflip Thursday during the snowmobile freestyle contest when the skis on his sled caught the lip on the landing. Moore's 450-pound snowmobile slammed him as he tumbled down the landing ramp, knocking him unconscious. He had emergency heart surgery Friday but had "a secondary complication involving his brain," his family said.

    COLLEGES

    Big East eventually wants 12th member

    Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said "we probably at some point will add a 12th team" but that the league will stay at 10 teams for this football season, espn.com reported. According to the website, Aresco also said the league, which includes USF and will welcome UCF as one of its new full members in the fall, is working on a television package but could not pin down a date.

    FOOTBALL: Two Pennsylvania congressmen, Reps. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson, wrote a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert asking the NCAA to restore scholarships taken away from Penn State in the wake of Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse scandal.

    SOCCER

    U.S. faces Canada in exhibition tonight

    The U.S. national team plays its only warmup game before World Cup qualifying when it meets Canada tonight in an exhibition in Houston (9 p.m., ESPN2). Regulars such as Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley remained with their European clubs for games this weekend and will meet up with the national team Sunday in Miami for training. The Americans begin the 10-game final round of World Cup qualifying Feb. 6 at Honduras.

    DROGBA ON MOVE: Ivory Coast striker and former Chelsea star Didier Drogba joined Turkish club Galatasaray on an 18-month deal, cutting short his stint in China with Shanghai Shenhua.

    ET CETERA

    AUTOS: IndyCar veteran Mike Conway signed a one-race deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the April 21 race in Long Beach, Calif. Conway's only series win came at Long Beach in 2011.

    CYCLING: The Netherlands suspended coach Grischa Niermann, a former rider from Germany, for six months after he admitted using EPO from 2000-03. … Johan Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong's former team leader, won't appear at a hearing today to discuss his role in the doping scandal. Belgian federation prosecutor Jaak Fransen said he will consider pursuing the case without Bruyneel. … The International Cycling Union disbanded an independent panel put together to review any involvement the cycling governing body had in the Armstrong scandal, saying it will go ahead with a "truth and reconciliation commission" instead.

    TENNIS: American Christina McHale broke Pauline Parmentier's serve four times in a 6-4, 6-1 win in the first round of the Open GDF Suez in Paris.

    Times wires


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    By Gary Shelton, Sports Columnist
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS

    Long ago, when the world was young, there was a way to get from here to there. By zeppelin. It was all the rage.

    Earlier, the preferred way to go was by stagecoach. Or by burrow. Or, if you could avoid the icebergs, by ocean liner.

    Also, back in the day, there was another way to move.

    It was called "by running back."

    In an earlier NFL, this was how teams chose to move downfield. It was bloodier, and it was more brutal, but the teams of the day were kind of fond of it. It allowed stronger teams to physically push around weaker teams, and it made stars out of the men who endured collisions along the way.

    Then all the rules were changed to value the passers, and the world fell out of love with running backs, and the NFL looked more like fireworks than wagon trains. And doesn't everyone prefer to fly than to drive?

    That is, until you run into a couple of old-school guys who just ran their teams all the way to the Super Bowl.

    Along the way, Ray Rice and Frank Gore reminded everyone that running backs are still important, after all.

    "Look at the way the game is played," Rice said. "I think the running back is as valued as ever, especially after what (Minnesota's) Adrian Peterson did this year (making a run at the single-season record).

    Maybe in Minnesota. Maybe in Baltimore. Maybe in San Francisco. But over the years, some teams have all but abandoned the running game. For instance, the Giants won last year's Super Bowl despite having the NFL's lowest-ranked running game. Over the past 10 Super Bowls, five teams have won despite being among the worst 10 running offenses in the league.

    Instead, the quarterbacks have taken over. Consider this: From 1986-90, the NFL draft featured 5.4 running backs taken in the first round. The past 10 years, however, that number has dropped to 2.8. Some teams no longer consider running back a premier position.

    The Ravens do. Rice has become the energy of the Baltimore offense. The 49ers do. Gore has become the soul of San Francisco.

    Start with Gore, 29, the back with the battered body. He has had surgery on both shoulders, on both knees and on his hip. And still he runs. For six of the past seven years, he has had more than 1,000 yards, and he still envisions himself playing another four or five years.

    And why not? He has run so long, he has gone from a bad team to a good one.

    Gore will tell you how the bad years ripped him up. He had played at the University of Miami, and now he was losing, and it bothered him that it didn't seem to bother other players. No wonder he admires Jim Harbaugh, his coach, for changing things.

    Gore shrugs when asked about the game moving away from the running back. Whatever it takes, he said.

    "He's a bull," Rice said of Gore. "He gets downhill on you very fast. He's more elusive than people think he is. If you watch Frank Gore, he doesn't take the hits; he delivers them because of his low center of gravity. To be through what he's been through, the guy is a warrior."

    Gore, too, is a fan of Rice. He said he started watching Rice when Rice was at Rutgers, playing for Greg Schiano — and was impressed from the start. Four straight 1,000-yard seasons later, he still thinks so.

    "He's a great back," Gore said. "Tough. Block. Run. Catch. He can do it all. I love his game. He's probably shifter than I am. He's not a small back. He's tough, and if you're tough, you can play this game."

    This year, Gore rushed for 1,214 yards, and added 234 on receptions. Rice rushed for 1,143 and added 478 on receptions.

    Yeah, they helped.

    They know, however. Once the game begins, most of the chatter will about the quarterbacks. About Joe Flacco of the Ravens. About Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers. That's the way TV is. That's the way the NFL is.

    "I have to tell you," Rice said. "The quarterback is the cream position. If I was in charge, they would still be in the headlines."

    Maybe. But these are old-school runners, too. Before Sunday is over, they may make you remember the way Marcus Allen looked in the Super Bowl, and Tim Smith, and John Riggins, and Larry Csonka.

    Put a goal line in front of them, and Gore and Rice are pretty good.

    For the best running back, that never changes.

    Listen to Gary Shelton weekdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on 98.7-FM the Fan.


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  • 01/28/13--20:03: Late goal keeps Bruins hot
  • Times wires
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Dougie Hamilton figured he'd already shot — and missed — enough.

    So with the game on the line and the puck on his stick, the rookie defenseman deferred to one of the Bruins' veterans.

    David Krejci scored the tiebreaking goal off a pass from Hamilton with 1:50 left to help the Bruins beat the Hurricanes 5-3 on Monday night.

    "I figured I'd already taken enough shots where I didn't score, so I saw (Krejci) open backdoor and I just put it over to him," Hamilton said. "And he put it home."

    Zdeno Chara had a power-play goal and two assists, Nathan Horton had a goal and an assist.

    The Northeast Division leaders remained unbeaten in regulation and opened the season by earning points in five straight games for the first time since 1990-91.

    "We're ready to go. We know it's a short season (and) it's really important to get points early in the season," Krejci said.

    Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and he and Jeff Skinner scored 50 seconds apart late in the second to help the Hurricanes erase a two-goal deficit.

    The Bruins "are a veteran team that's gone through these type of games and they came out hard and they gave us a lesson on playing 60 minutes solid," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said.

    GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Former Lightning forward Vinny Prospal scored from a hard angle at 1:22 of the third and Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves as the host Blue Jackets ended a four-game skid, beating the Stars 2-1. Jamie Benn saw his first action of the season and had an assist for Dallas; he signed a five-year, $26.5 million deal last week after missing five games during negotiations. … Chad Johnson, called up last week from AHL Portland after former Lightning goalie Mike Smith was hurt, earned his first NHL shutout in his Phoenix debut as the host Coyotes beat the Predators 4-0. Johnson had 22 saves.

    AROUND THE LEAGUE: Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban re-signed for two years, $5.75 million. Subban, 23, missed training camp and the first four games while negotiating.

    AHL ALL-STAR GAME: Lightning prospect Radko Gudas, a defenseman with Syracuse, had two assists for the Eastern Conference in a 7-6 loss to the West in Providence, R.I. Three other Lightning prospects played and had one assist each: Center Tyler Johnson, defenseman Mark Barberio and wing Richard Panik.

    Bruins 2 1 2 5
    at Hurricanes 1 2 0 3

    First1, Boston, Marchand 3 (Chara, Bergeron), 3:16 (sh). 2, Boston, Chara 2 (Krejci, Seguin), 6:15 (pp). 3, Carolina, McBain 1 (E.Staal, Semin), 14:50. PenaltiesKhudobin, Bos, served by Lucic (delay of game), 1:40; Dwyer, Car (interference), 5:28; Harrison, Car (hooking), 9:06; Lucic, Bos, major (fighting), 11:06; Gleason, Car, major (fighting), 11:06; Marchand, Bos (hooking), 11:25.

    Second4, Boston, Horton 2 (Chara, J.Boychuk), 15:52. 5, Carolina, Skinner 5 (J.Staal), 17:55. 6, Carolina, E.Staal 4 (Semin), 18:45. PenaltiesBoston bench, served by Seguin (too many men), 1:04; Bergeron, Bos (hooking), 2:48; Johnson, Bos (cross-checking), 8:52.

    Third7, Boston, Krejci 1 (Hamilton, Horton), 18:10. 8, Boston, Seguin 1, 19:52 (en-pp). PenaltiesHarrison, Car (hooking), 4:43; Bourque, Bos (tripping), 6:23; E.Staal, Car (slashing), 18:29; Bergeron, Bos (roughing), 19:52; Skinner, Car (roughing), 19:52. Shots on GoalBoston 11-9-18—38. Carolina 11-13-8—32. Power-play opportunitiesBoston 2 of 4; Carolina 0 of 6. GoaliesBoston, Khudobin 1-0-0 (32 shots-29 saves). Carolina, Ward 1-3-0 (37-33). A17,190 (18,680). T2:24. Referees—Frederick L'Ecuyer, Dan O'Rourke. LinesmenPierre Racicot, Bryan Pancich.

    at Blue Jackets 0 1 1 2
    Stars 0 1 0 1

    FirstNone. PenaltiesLarsen, Dal (boarding), 3:03; Dubinsky, Clm (delay of game), 11:22; Nystrom, Dal (interference), 16:06; Jo.Benn, Dal (high-sticking), 18:29.

    Second1, Dallas, Larsen 1 (Goligoski, Ja.Benn), 4:13 (pp). 2, Columbus, Dorsett 1 (Tyutin, Anisimov), 17:47. PenaltiesAnisimov, Clm (hooking), 2:41; Fiddler, Dal (hooking, high-sticking), 8:44; Wandell, Dal (closing hand on puck), 9:26; Nikitin, Clm (cross-checking), 18:46.

    Third3, Columbus, Prospal 2 (Wisniewski, Johnson), 1:22. PenaltiesNikitin, Clm (holding), 10:31; Ja.Benn, Dal (boarding, roughing), 19:55; Nikitin, Clm (roughing), 19:55. Shots on GoalDallas 9-5-11—25. Columbus 3-17-7—27. Power-play opportunitiesDallas 1 of 4; Columbus 0 of 7. GoaliesDallas, Lehtonen 2-1-1 (27 shots-25 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 2-1-1 (25-24). A10,475 (18,144). T2:28. Referees—Brian Pochmara, Justin St. Pierre. LinesmenJohn Grandt, Brian Murphy.

    at Coyotes 1 1 2 4
    Predators 0 0 0 0

    First1, Phoenix, Vermette 3 (N.Johnson, Yandle), 3:00. PenaltiesPhoenix bench, served by Sullivan (too many men), 7:29; Clune, Nas, major (fighting), 15:12; Chipchura, Pho, major (fighting), 15:12; Korpikoski, Pho (holding), 18:54.

    Second2, Phoenix, Korpikoski 3 (Gordon), 16:48. PenaltiesC.Smith, Nas (hooking), 6:28; Halischuk, Nas (interference), 11:03.

    Third3, Phoenix, N.Johnson 1 (Yandle, Morris), 11:34. 4, Phoenix, Yandle 1 (Ekman-Larsson, Vrbata), 15:02 (pp). PenaltiesErat, Nas (roughing), 5:24; Yandle, Pho (roughing), 5:24; Nashville bench, served by Wilson (too many men), 8:08; Bourque, Nas (tripping), 13:15. Shots on GoalNashville 3-7-12—22. Phoenix 5-9-11—25. Power-play opportunitiesNashville 0 of 2; Phoenix 1 of 4. GoaliesNashville, Rinne 0-2-3 (25 shots-21 saves). Phoenix, C.Johnson 1-0-0 (22-22). A8,581 (17,125). T2:22. Referees—Paul Devorski, Jean Hebert. LinesmenMike Cvik, Mark Shewchyk.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Times wires
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    HONOLULU — At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: commissioner Roger Goodell.

    Goodell said Monday during a one-hour question and answer session on the social network Reddit that he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii.

    "I watched the game and noticed the improved quality of the game," Goodell said.

    The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but quickly became lopsided.

    Goodell interacted with fans during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, a popular message-board style website. He answered 14 questions.

    The league has said it plans to decide on the future of the Pro Bowl by April. Pro Bowl players immediately defended their play after the game.

    "I think he got what he asked for," said Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who set a Pro Bowl record with 10 catches.

    COWBOY TWICE LIMIT: Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit the night he was arrested after a car accident, said police in Grapevine, Texas. His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.16 percent; Texas presumes impairment at 0.08.

    FORMER NINER ARRESTED: Former 49er Kwame Harris was been charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges from an August beating involving a former boyfriend, said a prosecutor and defense lawyer in San Mateo, Calif. Defense lawyer Alin Cintean said Harris identifies as gay, but "is not very public about it." A county judge set a late April trial date for Harris, a former offensive tackle.

    FREENEY CASE: Michael Stern of Miami pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in Los Angeles in connection with swindling about $2.3 million from Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. Stern faces up to 10 years in prison; he's scheduled to be sentenced May 6.

    BRONCOS: Left tackle Ryan Clady needs surgery after injuring his right shoulder in the regular-season finale, the Denver Post reported.

    LIONS: Ex-Broncos general manager Brian Xanders was named senior personnel executive.

    PANTHERS: Former Miami All-American quarterback Ken Dorsey was named quarterbacks coach. Jim Skipper (running backs) and Al Holcomb (linebackers) were also named assistants.


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    Times wires
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Losing three straight games the hard way made it somewhat fitting that No. 12 Louisville took the same route to beat Pittsburgh on Monday night.

    Guard Russ Smith and center Gorgui Dieng didn't care how it looked, as both focused solely on the outcome.

    Smith and Dieng combined for 34 points and sealed the win with four free throws in the final 12 seconds as Louisville (17-4, 5-3 Big East) ended its skid with a 64-61 victory over the stubborn Panthers, who erased an 11-point second-half deficit to trail 60-58 with 13 seconds left.

    "This is a good win for us because Pitt is a good team," said Dieng, who finished with 14 points, 12 points, five blocks and four assists. His two free throws with 12.7 seconds left gave Louisville a 62-58 lead.

    "I think this win will help us a lot, move our confidence up a little bit, too. We take each game as very important. We are playing for a seed so we just bring it every night."

    Dieng finished with his fifth double double this season.

    Smith set the pace with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting, adding five rebounds. But the junior's biggest points were his two free throws with 4.2 seconds left for a 64-58 lead.

    Those shots loomed large as Panthers guard Tray Woodall hit two 3-pointers in the final 13 seconds, one with a second left.

    "We were able to grind it out, play hard and come out with a victory," Smith said. "The last few games we had to dig in and we did that tonight. We just came out with a victory."

    NO. 3 KANSAS 61, W. VA. 56: Travis Releford and Jeff Withey scored 15 each for the visiting Jayhawks (19-1, 7-0 Big 12), who nearly relinquished a double-digit lead before holding on for their 18th straight win.

    B-CU 58, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 57: Ricky Johnson had 11 points, including a go-ahead free throw with 2 seconds left to lift host Bethune-Cookman (8-14, 3-4 MEAC).

    DELAWARE ST. 57, FAMU 48: Tahj Tate had 16 points for the visiting Hornets, who forced 17 turnovers by the Rattlers (6-15, 3-4 MEAC).

    NO. 6 SYRACUSE: Starting freshman forward Dajuan Coleman will have a surgical procedure on his left knee today and is expected to miss four weeks.

    SERIES TO RESUME: North Carolina said it will resume its series with Kentucky next season in Chapel Hill. The teams played for 12 straight seasons but did not meet this year.

    Women

    NO. 2 NOTRE DAME 77, NO. 9 TENN. 67: Skylar Diggins scored a career-high 33 for the visiting Fighting Irish (19-1), who built a 19-point second-half lead before withstanding a late rally by the Vols (16-4), who hung a banner in honor of former coach Pat Summitt before the game.

    AP POLL: Baylor remained No. 1 for a fourth straight week. Iowa entered at No. 24, its first appearance since 2011, and Delaware returned at No. 25. Michigan and Michigan State dropped out.


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  • 01/28/13--20:19: Super Bowl news and notes
  • Times wires
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS — Unlike several players at the Super Bowl, Ravens S Ed Reed agrees with President Barack Obama that football needs to be made safer. Reed wants to be part of the solution, too.

    The 11-year veteran and one of the league's most respected players said Monday at the Super Bowl that Obama's comments questioning the safety of the game are on target. Reed added he'd like "to help work it out."

    "I am with Obama," Reed said after learning of the president's concerns about parents allowing their sons to play football. "I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it … I can't make decisions for him. All I can do is say, 'Son, I played it so you don't have to.' "

    Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowl pick, believes football's medical system is broken.

    "We've got some leaks in it that need to be worked out," he said. "Every medical training room should be upgraded; training rooms can be a lot better.

    "When you've got the president talking about it, you got something."

    In a recent interview with the New Republic, Obama said if he had a son, he would have to "think long and hard" before letting him step on the gridiron.

    Reed's opinion was far from the majority among Ravens and 49ers asked about Obama's comments as they prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco said no one forced football on him or anyone else in the NFL.

    "This is something we chose to do," Flacco said. "When you talk about little kids doing it, they are not having the collisions we have in the NFL."

    All-Pro LB Aldon Smith was among several San Francisco players who doesn't see anything wrong with their kids playing football.

    "It's not like we signed up and thought we were going to play tennis," Smith said. "It's a physical game. Everybody plays hard. …We all signed up for it."

    G Alex Boone was adamant that football has to be "physical," while adding he believed the league and the players association were attempting to make the game safer.

    "If he wants to play, he can play. He can do whatever he wants," Boone said of having a son pursue football. "With little kids, you don't really have to worry about them that much. But as you get older, you have to understand the game better."

    MARCHING IN MORE OFTEN: A 20-story-high mural of the Lombardi Trophy, affixed to the glass exterior of a bustling hotel that was once a shattered symbol of Hurricane Katrina's devastation, rises like a beacon above the expansive white roof of the Superdome.

    The Super Bowl is in the Big Easy, finally, after 11 years, giving New Orleans a spotlight of global proportion to showcase how far it has come since Katrina left the city on its knees and under water in August 2005.

    "The story is much, much bigger than the Super Bowl," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Monday. "This is a story about the resurrection and redemption of a great American city.

    "The Super Bowl gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we've been and where we're going."

    From 1970 to 2002, New Orleans was a regular host of the Super Bowl and hopes to become one again. This Sunday, the Crescent City will host the NFL's marquee game for the 10th time, tying Miami for the most of any city. If all goes well, it hopes to get back in the rotation more frequently.

    Jay Cicero, president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, said his group will ask the league for permission to bid for the 2018 Super Bowl, coinciding with the city's celebration of its 300th anniversary.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Andrew Wagner, Special to the Times
    Monday, January 28, 2013

    MILWAUKEE — The Big East struggles continued for USF in a 63-50 loss Monday night at No. 25 Marquette.

    The Bulls shot just 27.3 percent from the floor (15-of-55) and couldn't contain Marquette's speed, especially junior guard Vander Blue, who finished with a career-best 30 points.

    The 6-foot-4 junior hit 13 of 20 shots and grabbed six rebounds. He paced an offense that made just 2 of 15 3-pointers but still shot 55 percent from the field and dominated in the paint, where Marquette outscored the Bulls 38-14 and took advantage of USF's shooting woes to push the ball up the court.

    "He was sensational," Bulls coach Stan Heath said. "Their team speed is what makes them so good. We had to figure out something. We were missing a lot of shots and not shooting well, so we had to pick our poison and focus on grabbing the offensive rebound … the counter of that was they got too many transition baskets and out hustled us down the floor. And Blue really took advantage of that."

    Javontae Hawkins had 14 points, Victor Rudd 13 and Zach LeDay 10 for the Bulls (10-10, 1-7), who lost their third in a row and seventh in their past eight games.

    The game was played two days after a wayward bat in the Bradley Center disrupted the Golden Eagles' 81-71 win over Providence by dive-bombing the court for several minutes. Center officials flushed the bat out Monday afternoon by recreating tipoff conditions with lights and music.

    The Bulls trailed 28-24 at the half but gave up the first eight points of the second. By the first media timeout of the half, Marquette's run was up to 12-1, and the Golden Eagles led 40-25.

    "I thought we just had a slow start," Heath said. "They really jumped us out of the gates, and that was the separation the rest of the way. We fought back pretty good and had a chance when we cut it to eight. (Jawanza) Poland had an open 3 — it was a good look. If we could have got that, cut it to five and put a little pressure on them, who knows what could have happened."

    Heath thought the Bulls might have caught a break when Marquette's leading post player, Davante Gardner, was forced out by a flagrant-2 foul with 13:46 left. Gardner hit LeDay in the head with an elbow while they battled for the ball.

    USF cut the deficit to 10 after Anthony Collins made two free throws and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick hit a 3-pointer with 13:06 left, but the Bulls couldn't get any closer than eight.

    The victory pushed the Golden Eagles (15-4, 6-1), who returned to the top 25 after a one-week hiatus, into a first-place tie with idle Syracuse for the league lead.


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    By Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS

    On the silliest day in sports, the football coach stands on the sideline, and the huge crowd mills around him, and in some ways, he must feel as if he has been thrown into a cartoon.

    There are football players and reporters, and clowns and superheroes, and just behind him, there is a woman wearing a construction hat for no apparent reason. There are loud voices and strange costumes and questions asked for the sheer stupidity they bring with them.

    Jim Leavitt, a coach reborn, smiles as he looks around.

    And who would have believed this?

    He has seen some things over the years. Once, Leavitt stood in front of a trailer and envisioned a football program. Once, he stood in front of the USF fans and raised his arms in triumph. Once, he saw his team ranked briefly as No. 2 in the nation.

    He has never seen anything like this, however. Jim Leavitt is in the Super Bowl. And, yeah, maybe things do happen for a purpose.

    "Surreal," is the first word that Leavitt says, glancing up toward the ticking clock on the Superdome scoreboard.

    "I'm at peace. I'm happy."

    Who wouldn't be? At 56, Leavitt has endured the controversy that cost him his previous job as the USF coach. He is the linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers these days. Considering that his players include Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, you might consider it one of the most envied coaching jobs in the NFL.

    That said, his old job never seems very far away from Leavitt. The old stories come easily, about this player or that one, about this game or that one. He does not seem bitter. He does not seem angry. Even when the scandal comes up — the one where the administrators decided they believed that he struck a student during halftime — his voice never rises.

    And if you are wondering, he still denies the incident.

    "I didn't do anything wrong," Leavitt said. "The only thing that was painful for me was when I saw seven assistants get fired two days later. I was in tears over that. But when you're in it this long, you have a pretty thick skin. I wanted the truth to come out, but I was okay with what happened with me."

    You ask him if there were dark days after that, if he wondered if he might not coach again. He shakes his head.

    "I was just thinking about 'what's next,' " he said. "I thought something good was going to happen. Obviously, I didn't know it would be this.

    "I don't want to sound religious. I'm not doing that. But I always believed God is in control. Tampa was not where I was supposed to be. I think I'm where I'm supposed to be."

    You ask him if he thinks that USF believed that he was guilty of the allegations.

    '"I don't see how they could," he said. "Not with that kind of settlement ($2.75 million). You don't give that kind of settlement money if you believe it. Especially not at USF."

    So what happened? If it wasn't about a player being struck, why would USF fire its only coach?

    "You'll have to ask them," he said. "Maybe it was about control. Maybe it was about not winning enough. It was their prerogative to fire me. I just didn't like the way it happened.

    "After I was fired, I wasn't even allowed back on campus. I had to have former players get my things for me. The athletic director never asked me what happened. Not once."

    Through a spokesman, USF officials declined comment Tuesday.

    Whatever you believe, the months following Leavitt's dismissal were hard ones for him. But Leavitt knew Jim Harbaugh through his dad, former Western Kentucky coach Jack Harbaugh. It was enough of a connection that Harbaugh hired Leavitt when he went to the 49ers.

    "He's intense," Harbaugh said. "He has good football knowledge, and he's done a great job with our linebackers without a lot of fanfare."

    Said Bowman: "I love Jim Leavitt. He reminds me of my high school coach in a way. He never lets you have a day off. Even if you aren't feeling good, he finds a way to make you smile."

    Leavitt is grinning a lot, too. Eighteen years ago, Vince Tobin offered him a job coaching linebackers for the Cardinals. Instead, he took a $20,000 pay cut to go to USF. He won 95 games there.

    In case you are wondering, Leavitt likes the hire of new USF coach Willie Taggart.

    "I've known him for a long time," Leavitt said. "He would text me almost every week for two years before he was hired. I know he'll be successful because he has the same kind of passion about where he grew up. I really like him. I like his heart. I like who he is.

    "I told him: 'Don't back off of anybody. Go after everybody.' "

    Life changes. Had Leavitt stayed, he believes he would have won a Big East title. He believes quarterback B.J. Daniels would have flourished in the spread offense he had planned.

    Still, it shows you this. Sometimes, coaches land on their feet.

    "I believe in rainbows," he said. "I believe in the little pot of gold at the end of rainbows. You know what I'm saying. Sometimes, you need storms so the flowers can grow."

    He is no longer a head coach. Leavitt says he's fine with that, too. He talks about being a student, about learning the 3-4 defense, about getting the cutting edge of defense. He likes having a few players and working closely with them.

    "If I ran a restaurant, where do you think I would be," he said. "I'd be in the kitchen, or out wiping down tables. That's who I am."

    Leavitt says two Division I-A teams have talked to him about head coaching jobs. If the right one came along, he says he would consider it.

    For now, he is happy. He likes his job, he likes his players, and he likes being in the Super Bowl.

    After all, when a man believes in rainbows, the rest takes care of itself.

    Listen to Gary Shelton weekdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on 98.7-FM the Fan.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    TAMPA — USF softball coach Ken Eriksen was a confident guy before his team made it to the College World Series in Oklahoma City last summer, so with that dominant pitching staff back this spring, he has very high expectations for 2013.

    How high? The Bulls were picked by league coaches as the Big East's preseason champs and are ranked as high as No. 10 in national preseason polls, yet USF still enters the season motivated to show it's better than expected.

    "I think we still have a chip on our shoulder. We hear that aspect of people saying, 'They overachieved last year.' 'You got lucky' is what they're saying. That comes from ignorance and fear, actually, and not enough respect," Eriksen said before practice Tuesday. "One of our administrators came running down the hall and said, 'You're ranked 12th!' I was like … I can understand that situation. We lost five seniors. When they stop talking about you, that's when you've got trouble."

    USF went 50-14 last season, with the nation's No. 2 staff ERA, 1.23. Lefty Sara Nevins of Pinellas Park (31-8, 1.12 ERA) is back as a junior, as are senior Lindsey Richardson (9-2, 1.32) and sophomore Samantha Greiner (10-4, 1.58). Freshman phenom Erica Nunn joins the staff and is likely to contribute a potent bat as well.

    The Bulls lost key bats and leaders from last year, but Eriksen points to "stalwarts" in SS Kourtney Salvarola and 1B Stephanie Medina (Chamberlain), both juniors. He'll turn to young players in central roles; freshman Lee Ann Spivey takes over at catcher for Laura Fountain, and sophomore De'Anna Devine takes over in centerfield for Gina Kafalas, whose leadoff duties fall to Salvarola. Senior Kenshyra Jackson, the designated player most of last season, takes over for Jessica Mouse at third, and twins Ashli and Courtney Goff (from Sickles) could both bring speed to the daily lineup.

    "We're not going at a lack for hitting this year," Eriksen said. "Our offensive production has probably gone up already, from what we've seen. Right now, we're looking pretty good."

    PIVOTAL STRETCH: At 14-5, USF women's basketball is going for the second NCAA Tournament berth in the program's history, and the next 10 games will largely decide that.

    The Bulls enter tonight's home game against No. 12 Louisville with a huge opportunity, needing top-50 wins to bolster their NCAA resume. Their RPI rating is No. 55, eighth among Big East schools, and they get two shots at Louisville and games against other bubble teams such as Georgetown (RPI 39), St. John's (61) and Rutgers (66) in the next five weeks.

    The Bulls have had to settle for the Women's NIT seven times in the past nine seasons, and with eight seniors, coach Jose Fernandez expected something more from this team. Games like tonight can help the Bulls get there.

    THIS AND THAT: Football coach Willie Taggart's strong recruiting push has the Bulls ranked as the No. 40 class nationally by Rivals.com, best among the Big East's 2013 lineup. The Bulls are still in play for four-star WR Stacy Coley and three-star prospects such as RB JoJo Kemp, TE Travis Johnson (Jesuit) and WR Marquez Valdes (Lakewood). … Stan Heath's men's basketball team is missing its stifling defense in Big East play. Three straight opponents have shot better than 52 percent from the field in dropping the Bulls to 1-7 in conference.

    Greg Auman can be reached at auman@tampabay.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.


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    By Larry Blue, Times Correspondent
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    What's hot: It's hard to remember when fishing for gag grouper was as easy as it has been recently. This week we made several trips to put red grouper on ice before the closure Friday. Using squid for bait, we began catching large grunts, and switching to sardines we caught several red grouper. We had a good bite going before a gang of gags took over. We were pulling up two at a time on the 2-hook rigs we set up for the smaller fish.

    Technique: It was fun catching and releasing the gags, but it got to be too much trouble to keep pulling in the bigger fish and breaking off leaders. Lifting the anchor and moving to another spot was the only way to get enough grunts and our limit of red grouper. That's not something we would normally complain about, but since the closure, the gag grouper have almost become a nuisance.

    Tips: Some Spanish and a few king mackerel have been found on the man-made reefs. Plan on taking some time to locate them, but you should be rewarded with at least a meager catch.

    Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit www.CaptainLarryBlue.com.


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    By Matt Baker, Times Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Clint Hart took the long way to fame, from junior college baseball through minor-league football to a seven-year NFL career.

    So when his baby brother grew up, Hart guided Keanu Neal to an easier path — one that led the Bushnell South Sumter High safety to Tropicana Field for the Under Armour All-America Game and one that's expected to take him to Gainesville when he signs with the Gators next week.

    "Now he's finding his way through me, through the vision I had," Hart said.

    Hart's personal vision started blurry.

    The Dade City native was a standout quarterback and safety at South Sumter, but his SAT score was too low for major colleges. He played baseball at Central Florida Community College and was drafted by the Angels in 2000 before deciding to focus on football.

    Hart spent a year with the now-defunct Tallahassee Thunder of the minor-league af2 before suiting up for the Tampa Bay Storm in 2001. Those two years of arena football got him a roster spot in NFL Europe, then a shot at the Eagles' practice squad as a defensive back.

    "He went through the hard way," Neal said.

    But he made it.

    Hart spent the 2003 season with Philadelphia and most of the next six with the Chargers. He picked off Peyton Manning in 2007 and started in the AFC Championship Game that year.

    The next fall, Hart spotted his kid brother in the first row at Raymond James Stadium and shook his hand before lining up against the Bucs.

    "For me it was great to be able to give him that," Hart said. "It made it real."

    Hart came back to Bushnell in the offseason and ran camps for kids, including Neal, who goes by the nickname Kiki. Hart remembers seeing a fire burn in his little brother's eyes as he tried to win every relay race.

    Between the workouts at home and watching games on TV, Neal learned what to do — and what not to do — from Hart's winding career. He studied hard and competed in major junior track events. By the time he started high school, he already trained like a varsity starter.

    "He was four years ahead of schedule," longtime South Sumter coach Inman Sherman said. "He was worldly enough to know to be really successful, he was going to have to work hard at it, and he was really willing to work at it at a really young age."

    The training paid off.

    When Hart was in high school, he topped out at 6 feet 2, 185 pounds. His younger brother weighed almost that much as a sophomore, and his current 6-foot-1 frame is only 3 pounds lighter than the 208 that Hart carried for the Chargers.

    "Kiki pretty much had Clint's NFL body as an 11th grader in our school," Sherman said.

    Recruiters and scouts quickly noticed the speed, power and athleticism. Neal landed his first scholarship offer (Georgia Tech) after his sophomore season. Florida, USF, UCF and others followed before he orally committed to the Gators in February 2012. His 3.5 grade-point average won't be a problem, either.

    The four-star freight train had three tackles in the Under Armour game at the Trop and is ranked among the country's top 70 prospects by Rivals and ESPN.

    "He's very big and strong …" said Armwood safety Leon McQuay III, a USC recruit and Neal's secondary teammate in the Under Armour game. "You know you don't have to worry about somebody breaking a tackle on him."

    Just like his older brother.

    Hart, who is retired now, is 35 and runs a fitness and weight-loss center, Healthy Harts Fitness, in Ocala. He said he's looking forward to tailgating at his brother's Gator games — and he admits, begrudgingly, that his younger brother had the better high school career.

    But Neal knows his path to fame, and a potential career like Hart's, has more twists and turns ahead.

    "It's motivation, seeing what he went through and seeing how he pushed and how he persevered through all of that," Neal said. "It just shows that anything can happen."

    Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.


    LARA CERRI   |   TimesLARA CERRI | Times

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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    No. 4 Florida vs. South Carolina

    When/where: 8; O'Connell Center, Gainesville

    TV/radio: Ch. 38; 620-AM

    Records: South Carolina 12-7, 2-4 SEC; UF 16-2, 6-0

    Notable: The Gators will play at home for just the fourth time in a 62-day span but will play four of their next five games at the O'Dome. … Florida is on an eight-game winning streak. … South Carolina, in its first season under coach Frank Martin, lost its first two SEC games but has won two of its past four.

    Antonya English, Times staff writer


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    Times staff
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    FSU vs. Maryland

    When/where: 8; Tucker Center, Tallahassee

    Radio: 1040-AM

    Records: Maryland 15-5, 3-4 ACC; FSU 11-8, 3-3

    Notable: Led by Clearwater's Okaro White, the Seminoles rallied to win the first matchup of these teams 65-62 on Jan. 5. … FSU has lost three of four, the Terps four of six. Both are coming off big losses, the 'Noles by 24 at Miami, Maryland by 20 at Duke. … The Terps allow 36 percent shooting from the field, fourth best in the nation, and are second nationally with a plus-10.4 rebounding margin.

    Times staff


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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    USF women vs. No. 12 Louisville

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome, Tampa Radio: 1010-AM

    Records: Louisville 17-4, 5-2 Big East; USF 14-5, 3-3

    Notable: Louisville won its past two games by a combined four points, so this could be the upset USF has been looking for as it works to upgrade its spot on the NCAA bubble. … These are the Big East's top two teams in turnover margin, so ballhandling will be a key. The Bulls had 18 turnovers in a home win against Marquette on Saturday. … It's Military Appreciation Night, so military personnel get two complimentary tickets with a valid ID.

    Greg Auman, Times staff writer


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  • 01/29/13--18:48: Bucs, WR talk about deal

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Coming off a season in which he rebounded from a down 2011, receiver Mike Williams is the subject of preliminary conversations between the Bucs and his agent about a contract extension, though nothing is likely for at least a few more weeks.

    "I can report that we have begun dialogue and it was mutual," said Hadley Engelhard, Williams' agent.

    Engelhard said talks would continue at the NFL combine, which begins Feb. 20 in Indianapolis. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik prefers to discuss contracts in person and planned to talk to agents for several players there.

    Williams, who turns 26 in May, is scheduled to earn $1.4 million in 2013, the final year of his rookie contract. A fourth-round pick in 2010, Williams has earned no more than $540,000 in each of his first three seasons.

    Williams has averaged 64 receptions. In 2012 he had a career-best 996 yards, with nine touchdowns and a career-high 15.8 yards per reception.

    BEARS: Former Purdue defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar was named linebackers coach.

    BENGALS: Jim Anderson, 64, retired after 29 years as running backs coach, the longest tenure of any Cincinnati coach and the longest streak in the league for any position coach. He worked under five head coaches.

    BILLS: The team announced a deal to continue playing one regular-season home game per year in Toronto for the next five years. The contract also includes one preseason game in 2015.

    PANTHERS: Owner Jerry Richardson and team president Danny Morrison met with new Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to discuss a renovation of Bank of America Stadium, in which the team seeks public help. The downtown Charlotte stadium, which cost $190 million, was completed in 1996; the cost of the proposed project is pegged at $250 million.

    RAMS: The team decided not to hire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator, the same post he had held with the Cowboys. Ryan, the brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan, agreed with the team on Jan. 24, but ESPN reported that there were philosophical differences, mainly the team's discomfort in switching from a 4-3 to Ryan's preferred 3-4 scheme.

    SEAHAWKS: Starting right tackle Breno Giacomini had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow and is expected to take four to six weeks to recover.

    STEELERS: Jack Bicknell Jr., the son of the former Boston College coach, was named offensive line coach.

    CONCUSSIONS: U.S. Eastern District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia will hear oral arguments April 9 on requests to throw out lawsuits by thousands of former players regarding concussions. Motions to dismiss were filed by the NFL Inc., NFL Properties Inc. and All American Sports Corp.

    Information from Times wires was used in this report.


    DANIEL WALLACE   |   TimesDANIEL WALLACE | Times

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    Times wires
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    An anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables that had been under the scrutiny of Major League Baseball for several months has now been cited in a published report as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to a half-dozen players, including the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

    Miami New Times, in an article published Tuesday, reported that an unidentified former employee of Biogenesis of America, which is now closed, had provided the newspaper with medical records from the facility that tie Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal to the use of performance-enhancers.

    The newspaper accompanied the online article with copies of what it said were handwritten notations from the clinic that list various drugs allegedly distributed to clients. The documents have not been independently authenticated and several players, including Rodriguez, have denied being patients there.

    Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were suspended in the past year by baseball for positive drug tests. Gonzalez and Cruz have not previously been linked to the use of performance-enhancers. Rodriguez, who is now recovering from hip surgery, has admitted to using performance-enhancers from 2001-03, when he was a member of the Rangers.

    In a statement several hours after the report emerged, Rodriguez denied that he had any relationship with the director of the clinic, Anthony Bosch, or that he was ever treated by him.

    The statement, issued through the public relations firm Sitrick and Co., said: "The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate."

    Contacted by phone, a firm spokesman added, "Alex denies using performance-enhancing drugs at any time in the period referred to in the story." Sitrick and Co. specializes in crisis management for its clients.

    Gonzalez also issued a denial, through Twitter: "I've never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will. I've never met or spoke with Tony Bosch or used any substance."

    The Yankees said they fully supported baseball's drug program but would have no further comment until an investigation by the commissioner's office had concluded. Espn.com reported the team might try to void Rodriguez's contract, though it seems doubtful that it could. New York owes Rodriguez $114 million over the next five years.

    In a statement, Major League Baseball said it was "always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances."

    "These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our antidrug efforts," the statement added. "Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida."

    Although Rodriguez has denied using performance enhancers after 2003, investigators for Major League Baseball have questioned him several times about possible drug links, and he has maintained his stance. The investigators now plan to question him again, along with the others cited in the Miami New Times report, the New York Times reported.

    Until now, Major League Baseball did not have documents that linked players using the clinic to performance-enhancers. The investigators will seek to obtain the records cited by Miami New Times and authenticate them in the hopes of using them as evidence to discipline the players.

    Baseball's investigators do not have the power to subpoena documents to compel witnesses to talk to them. They hope to talk to Bosch, who does not appear to have a criminal record.

    MARINERS: Former Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach agreed to a minor-league contract.

    METS: Second baseman Daniel Murphy agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,925,000.

    PADRES: Right-hander Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contract worth $1.3 million with $1.25 million in incentives.

    ROCKIES: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin avoided arbitration by finalizing a $6.5 million, two-year contract.


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    Times wires
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    NEW ORLEANS — Twelve years after his first appearance in the Super Bowl was marred by questions about his legal problems in Atlanta, Ray Lewis was back on that stage Tuesday, again being asked to defend his integrity and reputation.

    Just hours after a Sports Illustrated story surfaced that alleged that Lewis used a banned substance to accelerate his return from a torn triceps this season, the Ravens' linebacker emphatically denied using performance-enhancing drugs in an hour-long session with reporters at Super Bowl XLVII media day.

    "Every test I've ever took in the NFL, there's never been a question if I ever even thought about using anything," said Lewis, who has announced he will retire after Sunday's game against the 49ers. "To even entertain stupidity like that, tell him to try and get his story out with somebody else."

    "Him" is Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids. Ross told SI that Lewis requested products aimed at speeding his recovery from the triceps injury, suffered Oct. 14. Lewis came back for the Jan. 6 playoff opener against Indianapolis and has led the league in tackles during the playoffs.

    One of the products Lewis was allegedly using was a deer antler velvet spray, which the magazine reported including the substance IGF-1, which is banned by the league. Lewis denied using the spray. Ross told the Baltimore Sun over the phone that he provided a recovery protocol for Lewis after his surgery.

    "It's a shame that Ray is denying taking it," Ross said. "The NFL is uneducated. This is not a steroid. It's not illegal. Ray is not a cheater."

    Ross said the deer antler velvet spray with IGF-1 is akin to human growth hormone, but is naturally produced in food products. Team officials, including coach John Harbaugh, defended Lewis, saying he has never failed a drug test.

    MOSS CLAIMS 'GREATEST' TITLE: San Francisco's Randy Moss called himself "the greatest receiver ever to play this game" during media day.

    Moss was once the NFL's most dominant receiver, but now he's 35, on the downside of a career that seemed over a year ago. After playing for three teams in 2010, he didn't play last season. He then joined the 49ers this offseason but with one big caveat: Moss would no longer be the center of the offense.

    He understands, but doesn't necessarily like his role.

    "I've always considered myself a playmaker," he said. "Blocking? Yeah, I understand that's part of the game. Me going out to be decoy? Yeah, I know that's part of the game. But for me not to be out here making plays is something I just don't understand."

    Then Moss — second all-time in touchdown catches (156), third in receiving yards (15,292) and ninth in catches (982) — remembered why he's here.

    "If that's going to win me a ring," he said, "yeah, I accept that."


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    TAMPA — Vinny Lecavalier's fight Sunday against the Flyers' Luke Schenn was his 22nd NHL scrap, including playoffs, but his first since Feb. 3, 2009, against the Islanders' Tim Jackman.

    That means coach Guy Boucher, who took over for the 2010-11 season, never had seen the captain fight.

    Asked if he held his breath for a few seconds, Boucher answered, "A few seconds, how about the whole time?"

    Asked if he prefers star players not fight, Boucher hedged.

    "Obviously, when guys like that fight, the thing I'm thinking about is not him winning, but him getting injured," he said. "But players react to what's happening during a game and Vinny felt it was a moment where he needed to take a stand, and it had a huge effect on our players."

    Lecavalier, 32, doesn't fight for the sake of fighting. Schenn challenged him after Lecavalier knocked him down with a check.

    Because he broke his hand last season when struck by a puck, Lecavalier said he would rather not fight because "you never know what can happen. But in the moment you don't have time to think."

    "He did the right thing," Boucher said. "If he breaks his hand there I'm not happy, but in the long run it would have paid off because he was doing it for the right reason."

    CLOSE CALL: Tuesday's game got feisty 9:40 into the first period after RW B.J. Crombeen lined up Panthers D Ed Jovanovski for a check but clipped him leg-on-leg instead. Jovanovski went flying and Crombeen was attacked by Florida D Keaton Ellerby.

    Ellerby got 19 minutes in penalties, including an instigator. Crombeen got five minutes for fighting and two for tripping.

    Jovanovski played through the second period but just 11 seconds in the third. He did not talk to reporters after the game.

    "I had him kind of lined up there and I think he saw me at the last second and probably tried to get out of the way," Crombeen said. "Obviously I would never go after someone's legs like that. It was inadvertent. It's something I take pride in is playing honest, and I would never do that to someone."

    GOAL ORIENTED: With three goals on four shots in six games, Eric Brewer is on pace for 24 goals, an eye-rolling stat for the defenseman, who joked, "It will end soon."

    Brewer had only two goals in 104 previous games with the Lightning but has three eight-goal seasons in his career.

    He said in general of the defense that already has contributed seven goals, "We're going to be shooting for the sake of shooting and see where it goes."

    IN THE HOUSE: Former Lightning GM Jay Feaster, who now has the same job with the Flames, was at the game as part of Tampa Bay's 20th anniversary celebration.

    "I love it here," said Feaster, who helped lead the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup title. "I still bleed Tampa blue … so this is always home."

    ODDS AND ENDS: RW Dana Tyrell's goal was his first of the season and first since March 19, 2011, against Ottawa. … Defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron and RW P.C Labrie were scratched.


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    Times wires
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    CLEVELAND — Klay Thompson scored a career-high 32 and the shorthanded Warriors beat the Cavaliers 108-95 on Tuesday night.

    The Warriors were missing three starters — guard Stephen Curry (ankle), center Andrew Bogut (ankle) and forward Harrison Barnes (knee). Also, top reserve Carl Landry was out because of a shoulder injury.

    Still, Golden State shot 54 percent and hit its first nine 3-pointers, finishing 11-for-16 from beyond the arc. Golden State took control in the second quarter and led by 16 in the second half.

    Jarrett Jack, starting at point guard in place of Curry, had 26 points and 12 assists, and former Gator David Lee had 20 points and 13 rebounds.

    "No matter who is out there, we're still going to play Warriors basketball," Lee said.

    Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the morning shootaround because of illness, scored 14 on 5-for-17 shooting.

    bucks rout pistons: Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 30 in the third quarter, leading the visiting Bucks to a 117-90 victory over the Pistons. Detroit rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds. Drummond became the second teenager to have an 18-18 game since 1985-86, joining Dwight Howard, who had three games of at least 18 rebounds and 18 points at the age of 19. The Pistons led by 15 late in the first quarter and were outscored 78-40 over the next 25 minutes. During the third, Jennings accounted for all of the scoring during a 16-0 run that was capped by four 3's, pushing the lead to 85-56.

    around the league: Executive director Billy Hunter has fired his daughter and daughter-in-law from the NBA players' association, less than two weeks after an independent investigation criticized nepotism at the organization. He also cut union ties with Prim Capital, the banking firm that employs Hunter's son, Todd. The union paid almost $4.8 million to Hunter's family members and their professional firms since 2001, according to public records. Hunter, who makes $3 million a year, did nothing illegal, the investigation said. … The Cavaliers and Heat are the leaders to sign center Greg Oden, according to reports. The No. 1 overall pick in 2007, taken by the Blazers over Kevin Durant, has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees and last played Dec. 5, 2009. Oden, 25, is expected to be ready for next season's training camp. … Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman revealed, at his wife Mary Kay's urging, that she has been having seizures.

    iverson update: Allen Iverson, who last played in the NBA almost three years ago, declined an offer from the Mavericks' Development League affiliate, the Texas Legends. Iverson, 37, left the 76ers in March 2010 to deal with a sick daughter, then had a brief stop with a professional team in Turkey and played exhibitions in China.

    Warriors 108, Cavaliers 95

    GOLDEN STATE (108): Jefferson 1-4 1-2 3, Lee 8-12 4-4 20, Biedrins 1-1 0-0 2, Jack 11-18 1-2 26, K.Thompson 13-24 0-0 32, Ezeli 2-4 1-2 5, Green 3-7 0-0 7, Bazemore 4-8 0-0 9, Jenkins 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 45-84 7-10 108.

    CLEVELAND (95): Gee 0-5 0-0 0, T.Thompson 8-14 2-2 18, Zeller 6-9 4-4 16, Irving 5-17 3-5 14, Waiters 6-13 5-8 18, Speights 4-8 4-4 12, Miles 4-11 0-0 10, Livingston 3-5 1-2 7, Ellington 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 36-84 19-25 95.

    Golden State 23 32 29 24— 108

    Cleveland 23 21 24 27— 95

    3-Point GoalsGolden State 11-16 (K.Thompson 6-8, Jack 3-4, Bazemore 1-1, Green 1-3), Cleveland 4-18 (Miles 2-8, Irving 1-3, Waiters 1-3, Gee 0-2, Ellington 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 50 (Lee 13), Cleveland 46 (T.Thompson 11). AssistsGolden State 31 (Jack 12), Cleveland 27 (Waiters 7). Total FoulsGolden State 23, Cleveland 13. A13,939 (20,562).

    Bucks 117, Pistons 90

    MILWAUKEE (117): Mbah a Moute 1-3 0-0 2, Ilyasova 3-6 1-2 9, Sanders 1-3 1-4 3, Jennings 11-19 3-6 30, Ellis 5-14 2-2 14, Dalembert 4-9 4-4 12, Dunleavy 7-13 1-1 17, Henson 5-10 1-1 11, Udrih 3-9 1-2 7, Udoh 4-6 0-0 8, Harris 1-4 0-0 2, Daniels 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 46-98 14-22 117.

    DETROIT (90): Prince 4-9 2-2 10, Maxiell 1-5 1-1 3, Monroe 6-8 2-3 14, Knight 3-8 4-4 10, Singler 4-11 3-3 12, Drummond 9-15 0-1 18, Stuckey 1-4 4-6 7, Bynum 1-7 0-0 2, Daye 0-5 3-4 3, Villanueva 1-2 0-0 2, Jerebko 3-9 0-2 6, English 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 34-84 20-28 90.

    Milwaukee 19 33 39 26— 117

    Detroit 28 14 26 22— 90

    3-Point GoalsMilwaukee 11-23 (Jennings 5-8, Ilyasova 2-2, Dunleavy 2-5, Ellis 2-6, Harris 0-1, Daniels 0-1), Detroit 2-11 (Stuckey 1-1, Singler 1-4, Knight 0-1, Daye 0-1, Jerebko 0-1, Villanueva 0-1, Bynum 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMilwaukee 58 (Dalembert 10), Detroit 60 (Drummond 18). AssistsMilwaukee 28 (Udrih 11), Detroit 18 (Monroe 4). Total FoulsMilwaukee 21, Detroit 20. A15,479 (22,076).


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    Times wires
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    OXFORD, Miss. — Kyle Wiltjer scored a career-high 26 and Nerlens Noel set a school record with 12 blocks as Kentucky beat No. 16 Mississippi 87-74 on Tuesday night.

    Kentucky looked as if it might run away with it, taking a 73-56 lead with 10 minutes left. But the Rebels roared back with 16 straight points, cutting the deficit to 73-72 with 4:22 left.

    Ryan Harrow hit a 3-pointer to stop Ole Miss' run, and Kentucky held on and win for the fifth time in seven games. Archie Goodwin scored 24 and Alex Poythress 15.

    Ole Miss (17-3, 6-1 SEC), which next plays at No. 4 Florida on Saturday, had its nine-game winning streak snapped and left the Gators as the last team unbeaten in conference play. LaDarius White led the Rebels with 22 points and Marshall Henderson added 21. Henderson shot 5 of 19, including 2 of 11 3-pointers.

    Ole Miss had little production in the paint thanks to Noel, who was the game's most important player despite an off night on offense. The 6-foot-10 freshman altered countless shots in addition to his blocks.

    The Rebels' Murphy Holloway is the only SEC player averaging a double double at 14.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. He was held to 10 points and eight rebounds.

    With Noel powerful on defense, Wiltjer provided the offense. The 6-10 sophomore made 10 of 19 shots from the field and 5 of 12 3-pointers.

    Ole Miss led 38-37 at halftime despite making just 13 of 44 shots (29.5 percent) from the field. Henderson led the Rebels with 16 points and White had 15.

    Kentucky stayed close thanks to Wiltjer's 17 points while Goodwin added 10, but the Wildcats struggled at the free-throw line, making 10 of 20.

    Both teams struggled with foul trouble for most of the first half.

    NO. 11 OHIO ST. 58, WISCONSIN 49: Deshaun Thomas had 25 points, 10 during a game-breaking 15-0 second-half run, and the host Buckeyes (16-4, 6-2) moved into third place in the Big Ten.

    Indiana St. 68, No. 15 Wichita St. 55: Manny Arop scored 17, including a celebratory slam in the final minute, as the Sycamores snapped a 19-game home winning streak by the Shockers (19-3, 8-2 MVC).

    NO. 23 MINNESOTA 84, NEBRASKA 65: Rodney Williams snapped out of a funk to score 23, and the host Golden Gophers (16-5, 4-4 Big Ten) snapped a four-game losing streak.

    UVA 58, NO. 19 N.C. ST. 55: Joe Harris scored 22, seven during a game-ending 13-6 run, and the host Cavaliers won their fourth straight game. The Wolfpack (16-5, 5-3), which went in averaging nearly 80 points, became the 17th team to be held to fewer than 60 by Virginia.

    NORTH CAROLINA: Guard P.J. Hairston, the team's second leading scorer, sustained a concussion after banging his head on the floor late in the first half of an 82-70 win over Boston College.

    Women

    NO. 3 UCONN 76, VILLANOVA 43: Stefanie Dolson had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the host Huskies (19-1, 6-1 Big East).

    W. VA. 67, NO. 19 OKLA. ST. 61: Christal Caldwell had 21 points, seven rebounds and six steals as the visiting Mountaineers upset the Cowgirls (15-4, 4-4 Big 12).

    NO. 25 DELAWARE 77, N'EASTERN 50: Elena Delle Donne scored 26 for the host Blue Hens (16-3, 7-0 CAA), who won their 11th game in a row.


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