Sports Log

Snowboarder Pearce remains critical

January 2, 2010

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Winter sports
Snowboarder Kevin Pearce, from Norwich, Vt., remained in critical condition at a Utah hospital yesterday after suffering a head injury while training in Park City, his publicist, Danielle Burch, said. Pearce’s condition at University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City hasn’t changed since he underwent surgery Thursday. Pearce, 22, a top-ranked halfpipe rider with a good chance of making the US Olympic team, was knocked unconscious when he hit his head during a training run Thursday. He was preparing for next week’s Olympic qualifying events in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. . . . World Cup cross-country leader Petter Northug of Norway won the 3.7-kilometer prologue of the Tour de Ski, and Petra Majdic of Slovenia took the women’s 2.8-kilometer race in Oberhof, Germany. Northug crossed the line in 7 minutes 37.4 seconds. Marcus Hellner of Sweden was next in 7:38.2. Majdic clocked 6:35.3 to beat Natalia Korosteleva of Russia, who finished in 6:37.4.

College football
Leach denies mistreating player
Fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said the father of the player he was accused of mistreating after a concussion meddled more than any parent he’s ever come across. Leach also denied he mistreated Adam James when he spoke to the Associated Press about his firing. Dismissed Wednesday, two days after being suspended by Texas Tech, Leach said it was indisputable that James’s father, ESPN analyst and former NFL player Craig James, lobbied frequently to get his son more playing time, saying Craig James meddled “more than any parent I’ve dealt with my entire career.’’ The school suspended Leach while it was investigating Adam James’s allegations that the coach twice had him confined to a small, dark place after being diagnosed with a concussion. Leach said James, a sophomore receiver, was “never’’ locked anywhere, by him or by team trainers . . . Boise State coach Chris Petersen agreed to a five-year contract that will keep him at the school through 2014. Financial terms were not disclosed. Petersen is 48-4 in four seasons at Boise State. The sixth-ranked Broncos (13-0) play No. 3 Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl Monday night.

Blazers’ Blake out with pneumonia
The injury-depleted Portland Trail Blazers lost another player when guard Steve Blake was hospitalized with pneumonia. The team said Blake was expected to remain in the hospital for several days. The Blazers have been beset by injuries and have received two hardship roster exemptions from the league . . . Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl indefinitely suspended four players, including starting senior forward Tyler Smith, who were charged with gun possession and other counts after a traffic stop. Smith, 23, junior point guard Melvin Goins, 22, junior center Brian Williams, 22, and sophomore guard Cameron Tatum, 21, were arrested during a traffic stop for speeding near Tennessee’s campus. According to a police report, officers smelled marijuana coming from the car and found a handgun with an altered serial number, a bag of marijuana, and an open container of alcohol. Tatum was driving. All the counts the players face are misdemeanors . . . South Carolina coach Darrin Horn dismissed junior forward Mike Holmes from the Gamecocks for repeatedly violating team rules.

Nadal wins, Federer loses in semis
Rafael Nadal won and Roger Federer lost in the semifinals of the season-opening Capitala exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Nadal beat Spanish Davis Cup teammate David Ferrer, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, to secure a place in the final against Robin Soderling, who earlier dispatched the top-ranked Federer, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 . . . Daredevil Travis Pastrana shattered the world record for the longest jump in a rally car in Long Beach, Calif., making a nearly perfect flight of 269 feet from the Pine Street Pier onto a barge anchored in the harbor. His Subaru skidded sideways after landing and slammed into a safety wall at the end of the barge, but Pastrana emerged unscathed. He broke the record by 98 feet. The previous mark, 171 feet, was set by Pastrana’s Subaru teammate, Ken Block, in November 2006.