UConn gives Ollie new 5-year contract
The University of Connecticut has given men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie a new contract that runs through the 2017-18 season. The deal, signed Saturday, is worth just under $7 million and begins Jan. 1. When Ollie was hired in September, he was signed for just one season. ‘‘As I said in my first press conference, I want to be here a lifetime,” said Ollie, “and this is a step, hopefully a great step, in the program moving forward.’’ Ollie, who turned 40 Thursday, was hired after Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun retired. Ollie’s original deal had a prorated value of just over $465,000, the school said. Ollie has led UConn to a 10-2 record with a 61-53 home win over Washington on Saturday. Ollie, who played point guard for Calhoun from 1991-95, was his former coach’s hand-picked successor . . . Baylor suspended forward-center J’mison Morgan because of an unspecified violation of university policy. Bears coach Scott Drew said in a release that the 6-foot-11-inch Morgan, a fifth-year senior who has played only one game this season, will not return to the team . . . Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice has returned to the court after a three-game, 16-day suspension for inappropriate behavior and language. He was suspended without pay and fined $50,000 on Dec. 13 for a violation of athletic department policy. Rutgers (9-2) went 3-0 under associate head coach David Cox, capped by a 68-56 win over Rider on Friday . . . The father of Western Carolina football player Ja’Quayvin Smalls, who died after a July 2009 workout, has dropped a wrongful death lawsuit against the school’s athletic personnel. Smalls died hours after collapsing while running during his first preseason workout. An autopsy showed Smalls had an enlarged heart. Doctors also found that sickle cell trait and exertion contributed to his cardiac arrest.
Roy says he wants to keep on playing
Brandon Roy isn’t ready to give up on his NBA career quite yet. Roy issued a statement on Saturday saying he will seek further treatment on the chronic pain in his knees in hopes of continuing his comeback attempt with the Minnesota Timberwolves. ‘‘The past two days I have been weighing all my options as I try to continue my basketball career,’’ Roy said. ‘‘I have decided to explore additional treatment options and an extensive rehabilitation plan.’’ The three-time All-Star initially retired as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers before last season. Pain created by a lack of cartilage in his knees robbed Roy of the smooth, shot-making game that made him one of the league’s best shooting guards. But he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy over the summer after sitting out the season, then felt good enough to attempt a comeback this year.
Winter sports Speedskater Richardson sets record
Heather Richardson dominated the US Long Track Championships for the second day in a row in Kearns, Utah, setting a national record in winning the 1,000 meters and wrapping up the sprint title. Richardson’s time of 1 minute 13.52 seconds at the Utah Olympic Oval broke Olympian Chris Witty’s mark of 1:13.83, set in 2002. Brittany Bowe finished second in the 1,000 in 1:14.95 and Sugar Todd was third at 1:16.72. Richardson won the sprint title with a total of 111.61 points. Bowe was second at 113.845 and Todd took third at 116.00. Olympian Shani Davis won the men’s 1,000 in 1:08.57 . . . American Kikkan Randall claimed her second cross-country World Cup victory of the season when she won the prologue event of the Tour de Ski in Oberhof, Germany. Randall clinched the 3.1-kilometer sprint by leaving Charlotte Kalla of Sweden 4.4 seconds behind.
Djokovic beats Almagro to keep title
Novak Djokovic retained his title at the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi by rallying past Nicolas Almagro, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic swept past David Ferrer in straight sets to reach the final, but he got a tough test from the 11th-ranked Almagro, who was a late replacement for Rafael Nadal . . . Australia beat Germany, 3-0, in the Hopman Cup mixed team tennis competition in Perth after Andrea Petkovic had to retire from her singles match with a right knee injury. Bernard Tomic had given Australia a 1-0 lead with by beating Tommy Haas, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 7-5, but Petkovic looked likely to force the series into a decisive mixed doubles when she won the first set, 6-4, against 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty. Spain clinched a 2-1 victory over South Africa after winning the mixed doubles, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 10-8. Kevin Anderson had given South Africa the lead by beating Fernando Verdasco, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, before Annabel Medina Garrigues evened the contest with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Chanelle Scheepers. The Spanish duo then outlasted the South Africans in the Champions tiebreaker of the doubles match . . . The Detroit Lions, already hurting on the defensive line, put defensive tackle Sammie Hill on injured reserve because of a foot injury prior to Sunday’s season finale against the Bears . . . Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who has 11 sacks, did not make the team trip to New Orleans and downgraded to questionable as he continues to deal with a family matter . . . Former Steelers center and coach Chuck Cherundolo has died in Florida at the age of 96. His daughter, Pat Cherundolo, said he died of heart failure Dec. 22 in Lakeland. Cherundolo played for the Steelers in the 1940s, taking a break to serve in the Navy during World War II. In 2007, the Steelers named him to their legends team, representing their best players through 1970.