National Sports Briefs
NEW YORK ó Barry Bonds has no desire to play for an independent minor league team in an effort to spur interest among major league clubs.
The indicted career home run leader remains unsigned, even though he batted .276 last season with 28 homers, 66 RBIs and a major league-leading 132 walks.
Just last week, outfielder Jay Gibbons agreed Monday to a contract with the minor league Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Gibbons failed to receive a major league offer after Baltimore released him near the end of spring training.
“He has nothing to prove there,” Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, said Wednesday.
CHICAGO ó When Brian Addison was a boy, his father took him to Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs. Now a 34-year-old Chicago marketing executive, Addison describes Wrigley Field as his favorite place on earth. He hopes that his 11-month old son, Gavin, will be able to enjoy Wrigley Field just as he did.
But the Addisons might not get that chance. After Sam Zell took over the Cubs and Wrigley Field as part of his purchase of the Tribune Co. last year, he announced that he plans to sell the team and the stadium, prompting fears that new owners would sell the naming rights to the historic park for millions of dollars.
“It’s a signal of how business has truly invaded the world of sports,” Addison said. “To me, it’s strange to call it by any other name. It’s like if you had a family member who all of a sudden changed their name. It’s going to feel totally foreign.”
HARTFORD, Conn. ó Geno Auriemma signed a deal that will keep the Hall of Fame coach through 2013.
University officials said Wednesday that the five-year, $8 million contract extension begins July 1 and includes a base salary of $300,000 the first year. That amount will increase by $25,000 annually.
Auriemma, who has led the Huskies to five national titles, will receive $1.1 million in addition to his base salary for speaking and media appearances in the contract’s first year. It will increase by $75,000 annually throughout the contract.
– KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Former Tennessee Lady Vol Candace Parker is the Southeastern Conference female athlete of the year.
Parker led Tennessee to back-to-back national championships. She chose to skip her final year of eligibility after graduating in May and was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks.
– KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Winning an NCAA title comes with a bonus: meeting the president.
The national champion Tennessee Lady Volunteers were honored at a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, where they shook hands and took photos with President Bush for the second time in as many years.
Bush acknowledged how hard it is to win a championship and said it was even more impressive to have a repeat performance.
The Lady Vols clinched the NCAA title in April with a 64-48 victory over Stanford.
The title was Tennessee’s eighth, and coach Pat Summitt has traveled with players to Washington to meet every president since Ronald Reagan.
ATLANTA ó Banned sprinter Justin Gatlin on Wednesday appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Florida that prohibits him from competing in this weekend’s U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
Judge Lacey Collier of Pensacola, Fla., decided Tuesday that U.S. courts had no authority to overrule the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling that upheld a four-year doping ban against the defending Olympic 100-meter champion.