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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
SCOTTSDALE, AZ. ó Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from the broadcast booth.
The announcement by Turner Sports came Friday, hours after police said the 45-year-old former NBA star was legally drunk when he was arrested Dec. 31 on suspicion of drunken driving in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Test results show Barkley had a blood-alcohol level of .149 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 percent in Arizona.
Barkley will be off the air for a minimum of several weeks, and no return date has been set, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.
Barkley was stopped by a Gilbert officer working a regional DUI task force shortly after he left a popular nightclub at about 1:30 a.m. He failed field sobriety tests but was cooperative.
He was booked and released at a field command post and later issued a statement saying he was disappointed he put himself in that situation.
“When I spoke with Charles, he was apologetic for the events that transpired and it was obvious he understood the significance of this situation,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports, said in a statement. “This is an important time for Charles as he deals with the legal and personal issues that confront him. Charles is a valued part of the Turner Sports organization, and we are concerned for his well-being.”
Barkley’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Bobby Bowden says he’ll be back for a 34th season as coach at Florida State.
The 79-year-old Bowden said Friday that details of his new contract are being finalized. He also said his longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews will return.
Bowden earns slightly more than $2 million a year.
Bowden’s 382 career wins are one fewer than Penn State’s 82-year-old Joe Paterno, who is the winningest coach in major college football.
Florida State was 9-4 in 2008 and finished No. 21 in the final Associated Press poll.
– CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson has made it official, hiring Alabama’s Kevin Steele as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
Steele most recently served as head coach of the defense for the Crimson Tide, who were ranked No. 1 for much of the season and finished 12-2.
– COLUMBIA, S.C. ó South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley is leaving the team to play baseball at another school.
NFL
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó The NFC semifinal between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants on Sunday probably will be played in near-freezing temperatures with wind gusts reaching 25 mph.
The National Weather Service said Friday a storm is expected to start Saturday afternoon and end early Sunday, leaving 6 to 8 inches of snow.
BASEBALL
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. ó Dave Roberts, a left-handed pitcher who played for the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates during a 13-year career in the majors, died of lung cancer Friday. He was 64.
NHL
WASHINGTON ó Steve Mason made 45 saves for the sixth shutout of his rookie season and the injury-depleted Columbus Blue Jackets beat Washington 3-0 on Friday night, ending the Capitals’ winning streak at seven.
Sabres 2, Rangers 1, SO
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Ryan Miller made 43 saves and turned aside three shootout attempts, and Ales Kotalik had the lone goal in the tiebeaker for Buffalo.
Derek Roy scored in regulation to help Buffalo win its fourth straight game.

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