National sports briefs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — Terrell Owens has 35,000 reasons to never spit at an opponent again.

T.O. was fined $35,000 by the NFL on Monday for spitting in the face of Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall during Saturday night’s Cowboys-Falcons game.

Although it’s more than twice as much as the last fine for spitting, the flamboyant receiver avoided a suspension. Owens wasn’t ejected because officials didn’t see it.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said Monday “we don’t condone that kind of activity,” adding the team may also punish Owens.

“If we did, I wouldn’t make anybody aware of it,” Parcells said.

Owens initially told the NFL Network after the game: “I got frustrated and I apologize for that. It was a situation where he kept bugging me and getting in my face.”

But on Monday, he insisted it was an accident.

“When it happened, we were jawing in each other’s face, so it wasn’t anything intentional,” Owens said. “I didn’t intentionally spit in his face. He’s trying to make it seem like more than what it was by saying I hauled off and spit in his face. I feel like if I spit in his face … somebody would’ve seen it.”

PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE — Jake Delhomme stood in the middle of Carolina’s locker room Monday afternoon with a large ice pack on his sprained right thumb. There was also a wire dangling from his hand to an electrical stimulation device that’s part of his around-the-clock treatment plan.

The Panthers’ quarterback appeared to be far away from returning to the field, but he remains adamant about wanting to return to play this season — even though the Panthers’ playoff hopes are bleak.

“I don’t care if we’re out of it or not, you want to play,” Delhomme said. “You want to get back in and play.”

But Delhomme acknowledged he still can’t grip a football, much less throw it. Delhomme, who suffered ligament damage when his hand hit a defensive lineman’s helmet in Carolina’s loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 4, hasn’t practiced or played in two weeks.

“I thought it was (getting better), but it took some trauma in there and there’s a ton of swelling,” Delhomme said. “Things are not good right now. Everybody knows that. You feel helpless.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BOSTON — Boston College has offered its head coaching job to Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, an official close to the program told The Associated Press.

* BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway was hired Sunday as the football coach at UAB, which went 3-9 this season under Watson Brown.

* Stanford hired former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh to take over its struggling football program.

Harbaugh had spent the last three years as head coach at the University of San Diego, a non-scholarship Division I-AA program. He led the Toreros to a 29-6 record, winning 27 of his final 29 games at San Diego.

NHL

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sergei Fedorov scored twice and added an assist against his former team as the Columbus Blue Jackets held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 Monday night.

Rick Nash had a goal and assist, and Jason Chimera also scored for Columbus, which snapped a two-game losing streak on the heels of a season-best, five-game winning streak. David Vyborny added three assists.

Robert Lang tallied twice and Jiri Hudler also scored for the Red Wings, who had won six of seven.

NASCAR

CHARLOTTE — Anheuser-Busch will end its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s No. 2 series after the 2007 season.

BOBCATS

CHARLOTTE– Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May will miss seven to 10 days with a sprained right ankle.

BRAVES

ATLANTA — Veteran broadcasters Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren will remain on the Atlanta Braves radio network through 2009, the team and Clear Channel radio announced Monday.

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