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Sports Log

Dropped call: AT&T ends Woods deal

January 1, 2010

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GOLF
AT&T Inc. said it would no longer sponsor Tiger Woods, joining Accenture in dropping support for the world’s top golfer, who’s taking a break from the sport to focus on his marriage after his admitted infidelity. The phone company hasn’t used Woods’s image extensively in advertising, but its logo appeared on his golf bag. Woods has also been the host of the AT&T National PGA Tour event since it started in 2007. Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said that since Woods is on indefinite leave from professional golf, he will not serve as host for the 2010 event in Philadelphia. Consulting firm Accenture dropped the athlete two weeks ago, saying he was “no longer the right representative’’ of the company’s values. Gillette also has said it won’t air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances, while Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer also said that it would “downscale’’ its use of Woods’s image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future. Electronic Arts Inc., which puts out the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour’’ series of golf video games, has not said what its plans are for the franchise. Nike and Gatorade are other big sponsors that haven’t severed their ties . . . Bill Powell, the first African-American to build, own, and operate a golf course, died yesterday in Canton, Ohio. He was 93.

BASEBALL
Byrd signs with Cubs for 3 years, $15m
Outfielder Marlon Byrd has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Cubs. Byrd batted .283 with 20 homers and 89 RBIs last season for the Rangers. He will give the team a center fielder with Kosuke Fukudome expected to move back to right field full-time after Milton Bradley was traded to Seattle . . . The Phillies and free agent reliever Danys Baez have agreed to a two-year contract. Baez was 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 games with Baltimore last year, and has 114 career saves . . . Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his younger brother, Yankees infield prospect Brandon Laird, were arrested following a brawl in the lounge area of Phoenix’s NBA arena. Phoenix police said Gerald Laird, 30, was cited for assault Wednesday night and 22-year-old Brandon Laird was cited for disorderly conduct. Police said the Lairds and a third man were arrested at U.S. Airways Center after the fight during the Suns-Celtics game. Police said arena security previously contacted the group of men about their loud behavior. Two of the men were allowed back into the lounge, but a melee broke out shortly afterward and the Laird brothers allegedly assaulted the security guards.

COLLEGES
Crusaders go cold, fall at Stony Brook
Tommy Brenton had a career-high 18 points, and host Stony Brook held Holy Cross (2-11) scoreless for the final 3:50 in a 69-60 victory . . . A Texas Tech assistant who criticized Adam James in hopes of saving Mike Leach’s job says he has offered James his support since the Red Raiders fired their head football coach. Acting offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said he told James he knows “we’re on different sides of the fence’’ but that the sophomore wide receiver is still his player. Riley stopped short of saying whether he wants James back next year. Riley called James “unusually lazy and entitled’’ in a letter written to school administrators as Texas Tech investigated James’s claims of mistreatment by Leach . . . Arkansas has suspended three players - linebacker Wendel Davis, safety Matt Harris, and wide receiver Marques Wade - for unspecified violations of team rules. The Razorbacks face East Carolina tomorrow in the Liberty Bowl, and the three are not expected to play . . . Tennessee safety Eric Berry, the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, is skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft . . . LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is staying put after drawing interest from Georgia for the Bulldogs’ vacant coordinator position.

BOXING
Holyfield-Botha fight set for Uganda
Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will challenge Francois Botha for the lightly regarded World Boxing Federation title in Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 16. Holyfield (42-10-2) has not fought since losing a points decision to Nikolai Valuev a year ago. The 47-year-old believes a victory could give him a shot at a more prestigious title. The same applies to the 41-year-old Botha (47-4-3). The South African has lost to Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, and Michael Moorer, and retained his WBF title by drawing with Pedro Carrion in October . . . Prosecutors say they won’t pursue charges against Mike Tyson or a photographer after a scuffle at Los Angeles International Airport. Tyson and Tony Echeverria were arrested in November after the former heavyweight champ was accused of hitting the photographer.

MISCELLANY
Canada trips US in world junior hockey
Canada earned a 5-4 shootout victory over the United States last night in the world junior hockey championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but both teams will advance. Canada will play the Russia-Switzerland quarterfinal winner in the semifinals Sunday. The United States will face Finland in the quarterfinals tomorrow, with the winner advancing to face Group B winner Sweden on Sunday night. Jordan Schoeder and Tyler Johnson had shorthanded goals for the United States in the second period. Philip McRae and Danny Kristo also scored for the Americans . . . Former Olympic cross-country ski champion Christian Hoffmann has retired after Austria’s national anti-doping agency provisionally suspended him for his alleged involvement in blood doping. Hoffmann told the Austria Press Agency that he made the move because the suspension would prevent him from qualifying for the Vancouver Olympics.