National sports briefs: With Kyle unsigned, Panthers acquire long snapper
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó The Green Bay Packers traded long snapper J.J. Jansen to the Carolina Panthers on Monday for a conditional 2011 seventh-round pick.
Jansen won the Packers’ long snapper job in training camp last season, becoming the successor to retired veteran Rob Davis. But Jansen tore a ligament in his left knee in the Packers’ final preseason game and was placed on injured reserve. The team then signed Brett Goode.
Jason Kyle has been Carolina’s long snapper since 2001 but remains unsigned.
* PITTSBURGH ó Steelers linebacker James Harrison reached terms on a $51.75 million, six-year contract that will make him the second highest-paid player in franchise history.
The contract will pay a guaranteed $20 million ó more than any other player in team history except Ben Roethlisberger.
* TAMPA, Fla. ó The Buccaneers have signed quarterback Byron Leftwich.
Tampa did not re-sign last year’s starter, Jeff Garcia, who now is with Oakland, but it did sign Luke McCown to a three-year deal.
* KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó The Chiefs signed free agent linebacker Zach Thomas.
* CLEVELAND ó Buffalo Bills defensive back Donte Whitner was formally charged with aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest resulting from an altercation at a Cleveland nightclub early Saturday.
* EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Cornerback Kevin Dockery signed a one-year tender with the Giants for $1.54 million.
PHOENIX ó Bruce Snyder, whose 20-year career as a coach included an unbeaten regular season at Arizona State in 1996, died after a 10-month fight with cancer.
Snyder was 69.
* LINCOLN, Neb. ó Nebraska wide receiver Niles Paul has been suspended for the rest of spring practice after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
* EAST LANSING, Mich. ó Michigan State running back Glenn Winston has been sentenced to six months in jail in a fight that briefly put MSU hockey player A.J. Sturges in the hospital.
DENVER ó J.R. Smith’s career-high 45 points and franchise-best 11 3-pointers helped the Nuggets clinch the Northwest Division title and home-court edge in a playoff series for the first time in 21 years with a 118-98 win over Sacramento.
Smith sank half of his 3s in the fourth quarter, when he scored 23 points.
Bobby Jackson started for an injured Beno Udrih.
* INDIANAPOLIS ó Cleveland clinched the NBA’s best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs behind LeBron James’ 37 points in a 117-109 win over Indiana.
* EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Jarvis Hayes hit two late 3-pointers as the Nets rallied from a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Charlotte 91-87.
Raymond Felton had 19 points for Charlotte. Larry Brown played four reserves with one starter in both the second and fourth quarters.
* AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó Ben Gordon made a tiebreaking layup with 15 seconds left in Chicago’s 91-88 victory that locked the Pistons in the No. 8 seed.
* HOUSTON ó Yao Ming scored 22 points as the Rockets won 86-66 over New Orleans to move within one victory of the Southwest title.
* DALLAS ó Jason Terry hit an 18-foot jumper with 0.2 seconds left in the Mavs’ 96-94 win over Minnesota.
* WASHINGTON ó Chris Bosh made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds left for Toronto in a 97-96 win over the Wizards.
* MILWAUKEE ó Richard Jefferson scored 24 points as the Bucks won 98-80 against an Orlando team missing Dwight Howard.
* SALT LAKE CITY ó Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 106-85 win over the Clippers.
* BOSTON ó Kevin Garnett will not play in the Celtics’ two final games, but remains on track for the start of the playoffs.WOMEN’S HOOPS
RALEIGH ó North Carolina lawmakers say Kay Yow was much more than N.C. State’s basketball coach. She was a life coach for her players and people fighting cancer.
The Legislature passed a resolution Monday recalling Yow, who died in January at age 66 after a two-decade fight against breast cancer.
Yow’s family, players and school officials watched from the House and Senate galleries as legislators praised Yow’s passion for life and her faith.
CINCINNATI ó Xavier expects to have its next coach within a couple of days.
Bobinski has interviewed several candidates, including former coach Sean Miller’s top assistant, Chris Mack. He spent three seasons as an assistant to Skip Prosser at Wake Forest.
* STORRS, Conn. ó Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet hasn’t said whether he plans to skip his senior season to turn pro, though messages on his Twitter account indicate he enjoyed a superstar’s lifestyle during a holiday weekend in Miami.
Thabeet “tweeted” on the social networking site about being courtside near rap star Ludacris to watch the NBA’s New York Knicks play the Miami Heat. He then wrote about dining out at an upscale Miami Beach restaurant.
“At The Forge For Dinner!!! I didn’t know food could be so expensive…. Ahhhh LOL!! Enjoyin MIAMi tho.. Fancy Life, Fancy Cars…. Mhmmm,” Thabeet wrote in his online post.
* LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich announced they are staying at Kansas.
* MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Memphis’ Shawn Taggart has submitted his name for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 10.4 points and 7.6 rebounds last year.
* JACKSON, Miss. ó David Huertas, Mississippi’s leading scorer and a second-team all-SEC pick, has quit school and returned to Puerto Rico to play professionally.
BOSTON ó Boston College has extended athletic director Gene DeFilippo’s deal two years through 2014.
* CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson men’s soccer coach Trevor Adair has been arrested after police say he attacked his two teenage daughters over the weekend.
Several news reports indicate that Clemson athletic officials have placed Adair on a leave of absence.
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Darlington Raceway says GoDaddy.com will be the presenting sponsor at next month’s Southern 500.
DENVER ó The Colorado Avalanche fired general manager Francois Giguere, saying fans and management “deserve better” than a last-place finish in the Western Conference.n ST. PAUL, Minn. ó Wild left wing Andrew Brunette will have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right knee. He hopes to be ready for training camp.
NEW YORK ó Television ratings for the final round of the Masters, played on Easter Sunday, were down slightly from last year.
The rating peaked during the playoff at a 10.0/21. When Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were finishing their rounds, it was a 9.4/23.
BOSTON ó Former All-Star pitcher Mark “the Bird” Fidrych was found dead Monday in an apparent accident at his farm. He was 54.
Worcester County district attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said a family friend found Fidrych about 2:30 p.m. beneath a dump truck at his Northborough, Mass., farm. He appeared to be working on the truck, Early said.