Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Whipple fired by new Steelers coach

Quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple was among three coaches fired by incoming Steelers coach Mike Tomlin yesterday. Whipple coached UMass from 1997-2003, compiling a 49-25 record with the Minutemen, including winning the NCAA Division 1-AA title in 1998. He also was among the finalists for the Boston College head coaching position recently filled by Jeff Jagodzinski. The Steelers also let go defensive backs coach Darren Perry and strength and conditioning coach Chet Fuhrman . . . The Cowboys won't name Bill Parcells's replacement until after the Super Bowl. Owner Jerry Jones said he wouldn't have a decision on a new coach until next week . . . The Lions hired former Patriots fullback Sam Gash as an assistant special teams coach . . . Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff retired as the Raiders' wide receivers coach after spending more than three decades as a player and coach for the team . . . Chargers linebacker Steve Foley sued the city of Coronado and the off-duty police officer who shot him three times outside his home Sept. 3, his attorney said. Foley missed the season and wasn't paid his $775,000 salary.


Bonds hasn't signed revised contract
Barry Bonds's contract with the San Francisco Giants isn't final just yet. After the commissioner's office rejected Bonds' $15.8 million, one-year deal because it contained a personal-appearance provision, the team sent revised documents to his agent, Jeff Borris. "At this time, Barry is not signing the new documents," Borris said. The Giants want protection if Bonds is charged in the federal government's steroids investigation . . . Yankee Stadium is hosting the 79th major league All-Star Game July 15, 2008, the final season before the Yankees move into a new stadium being built across the street in the Bronx . . . The Yankees offered Bernie Williams a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training.

Clemens: 'I'm failing at retirement'
Roger Clemens, the keynote speaker for the St. John's winter baseball banquet, told his audience, "I'm failing at retirement. Let's just face it. I'm failing miserably at it." The 44-year-old righthander, unsure if he'll return for a 24th major league season, said, "I think if it wasn't for more than a handful of phone calls from my teammates, not only my teammates here [in New York], but in Houston and the guys in Boston, I don't think I'd take it to heart as much. It would be real easy to step away and be done with it." Clemens threw batting practice in Houston for the Astros this week, mostly to minor leaguers . . . Congress is monitoring George Mitchell's investigation of steroids in baseball and could intervene if he doesn't get more cooperation, two lawmakers told the former Senate Majority Leader.


US women to play Mexico at Gillette
The US women's team, fresh from winning the prestigious Four Nations Cup, will open its domestic schedule heading to the World Cup with a game April 14 against Mexico. The United States will host its continental rival at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough as part of a doubleheader. The New England Revolution will play expansion Toronto FC in the second game. The US women have not played in the Boston area since a 1-0 win over Norway in the 2003 World Cup.


Utah's Boozer has fracture in left leg
Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer has a hairline fracture in his left leg and is expected to be sidelined 4-5 weeks, according to the Jazz's website. Utah's leading scorer was injured in a collision Saturday with New Orleans's Tyson Chandler . . . Charlotte Bobcats reserve center Othella Harrington will undergo surgery today to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks. Sean May, who has missed six of the past eight games with a sore right knee, is out indefinitely, but tests showed a bone bruise and no structural damage . . . LeBron James, who has missed two of Cleveland's last three games to rest a sprained right big toe, said his injury could linger for the remainder of this season . . . Stu Inman, who helped build the Portland Trail Blazers' 1977 NBA championship team, died of an apparent heart attack in his Lake Oswego, Ore., home. He was 80 . . . The Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA signed 7-foot-9-inch Sun Ming Ming from China . . . Furniture dealer Hilton Koch bought the WNBA's Houston Comets.


Olympians will be tested for HGH
Olympic athletes soon will have their blood tested for human growth hormone, but the NFL and baseball officials instead are embracing the unproven concept of urine testing in their bid to stop use of the performance-enhancing drug. Critics question whether the pro leagues truly are intent on rooting out HGH, thought to be widely abused because no one currently is testing for it. But baseball and football officials say they are stymied by union contracts that prohibit taking blood from players, and they cite privacy concerns and doubts about the accuracy of blood tests . . . Yelena Romanova, the 3,000-meter gold medalist for Russia at the 1992 Olympics, died at her home in Volgograd, Russia. She was 43 . . . Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Bob and Mike Bryan will represent the United States against the Czech Republic in the first round of the Davis Cup Feb. 9-11. The best-of-five series will be on an indoor red clay court at Ostrava, Czech Republic . . . Defenseman Bryan Berard was activated by the Columbus Blue Jackets after being sidelined since last season following back surgery.