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Sports Log

Senate panel to tackle BCS hearings

March 26, 2009
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Football
President Obama and many others have criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Championship Series. The current system "leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year," the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy, and consumer rights said in a statement yesterday announcing the hearings. Under the BCS, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in series, while others do not. Many favor a playoff-type system to determine the national champion. The BCS features a championship game between the top teams in the BCS standings, based on polls and computer ratings . . . Connecticut's Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher, showed off some of his skills in front of representatives of 21 NFL teams, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick and San Diego general manger A.J. Smith, at UConn's practice facility in Storrs. Brown was one of a dozen Huskies taking part in the school's largest pro scouting day . . . The New York Jets signed free agent cornerback Donald Strickland . . . The Chicago Bears and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer, who started 47 games for the Cleveland Browns the past three seasons, agreed to terms on a three-year contract . . . Charles Rogers, the second pick overall in the 2003 draft, went to jail in Pontiac, Mich., choosing to be locked up for 30 days, with credit for 15 days served, instead of staying in an intensive drug counseling program after violating probation in a domestic violence case . . . The US Department of Labor filed complaints accusing suspended NFL star Michael Vick of illegally spending about $1.3 million in pension plan funds for his own benefit, including paying restitution ordered in his dogfighting conspiracy case. Vick attorney Mark Lichtenstein declined comment.

Cycling
Armstrong is racing against clock
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will be back on his bike in days even though his broken collarbone may take 8-12 weeks to fully mend. Armstrong must resume training almost immediately if he's to meet his goal of racing in the Giro d'Italia, which begins May 9. The 37-year-old American also plans to ride in the Tour de France this July. Surgeon Doug Elenz inserted a stainless steel plate and 12 screws to stabilize the collarbone, two days after Armstrong crashed in the first stage of the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon race in northern Spain.

Hockey
Miller will try to save Sabres' season
The Buffalo Sabres' playoff hopes received a boost with the news that goalie Ryan Miller is scheduled to play against Toronto tomorrow, his first start after missing a month with a sprained left ankle. The Sabres went 4-7-2 without Miller and fell from sixth to 10th in the Eastern Conference . . . Maple Leafs goalie Martin Gerber received a three-game suspension from the NHL for abusing referee Mike Leggo. Gerber, upset after Brooks Laich stuffed the puck under him to tie the game, was tossed after he pushed Leggo and shot a puck in his direction with 56 seconds remaining in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Washington . . . Providence Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask will not be suspended by the AHL for his tantrum last Friday, P-Bruins coach Rob Murray told the Providence Journal. The Boston Bruins' top prospect smashed his stick against the crossbar and boards and tossed a crate on the ice after disagreeing with two of referee Frederic L'Ecuyer's calls during a shootout loss to Albany . . . Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny is out for at least two weeks and could miss the rest of the season with a broken foot . . . George Gillett angrily denied reports that he is considering selling his sporting assets, including the Montreal Canadiens and Premier League soccer club Liverpool.

Miscellany
Franklin Pierce gains national final
The Franklin Pierce women's basketball team is one win from its first NCAA Division 2 national title. Johannah Leedham scored 28 points and had six assists, and the Ravens rolled to a 58-39 victory over Delta State in San Antonio. Franklin Pierce (29-5) will play Minnesota State-Mankato (31-2) tomorrow night for the championship . . . Luke Harangody had 30 points as host Notre Dame ended a 10-game losing streak to Kentucky, beating the Wildcats, 77-67, to advance to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. In another quarterfinal, host San Diego State rallied to beat Saint Mary's, 70-66. The Irish will face Penn State and the Aztecs will play Baylor Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden . . . In Springfield, Lee Roberts scored 23 points for Findlay (34-0), which handed C.W. Post (30-1) its first loss, 89-79, in overtime and advanced to an NCAA Division 2 men's basketball semifinal tonight against Central Missouri, an 86-77 winner over Gannon. Augusta State toppled Christian Brothers, 70-62, and advanced to face Cal Poly Pomona, which beat Southwest Minnesota State, 79-74 . . . The Denver Nuggets' Nene was suspended two games by the NBA after head-butting Phoenix's Louis Amundson and making contact with an official Monday . . . Maria Jimenez, Kobe Bryant's former housekeeper, is suing the NBA star and his wife, contending she was "harassed and humiliated," denied health insurance, and forced to quit because of "intolerable" working conditions . . . Mexican soccer legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 36, said this will be his last season with the Chicago Fire . . . Unbeaten Dunkirk and Fountain of Youth winner Quality Road were entered in Saturday's Florida Derby, one of the biggest preps for the Kentucky Derby.

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