National Sports Briefs: Fans can buy pieces of floors
CHAPEL HILL ó During its latest national title run, North Carolina practically owned the court. Now the Tar Heels are letting their fans own a piece of it, too.
Team officials said Thursday that a portion of the court used in the Final Four has been donated to the school. They’re selling roughly 200 souvenir pieces of hardwood autographed by coach Roy Williams and several players.
Gary Sobba, the general manager of Tar Heel Sports Properties, says the school wanted to do something unique to mark the school’s fifth NCAA tournament championship.
– PHILADELPHIA ó Christian Laettner might want to make a play for another piece of Spectrum history.
Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the 76ers and the Flyers, is putting up for auction panels of the court where Laettner hit his famous shot. Laettner’s basket at the buzzer in the 1992 NCAA tournament helped Duke beat Kentucky 104-103 and sent the Blue Devils into the Final Four.
The three-panel top of the free-throw line where Laettner launched his historic buzzer beater is available by calling 215-952-5656. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Comcast-Spectacor Foundation.
Fans can register at RememberTheSpectrum.com for a chance to purchase pieces of the rest of the court. The Spectrum is set for demolition at the end of this year.
– BUIES CREEK ó Campbell officials cited geography on Thursday as the main reason for leaving the Atlantic Sun Conference to return to the Big South.
The new partnership also allows the Baptist school to play few, if any, games on Sundays ó an issue that led Campbell to leave the league in 1994.
CHARLOTTE ó A day after learning Jeremy Mayfield failed a drug test for something other than a performance-enhancer, NASCAR allowed him to drive a race car at Darlington Speedway at speeds up to 173 mph.
A person familiar with the test results told The Associated Press on Thursday that Mayfield’s positive test was not for a performance-enhancing drug.
NASCAR officials previously announced the drug violation was not alcohol-related.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó One of the former owners of Kentucky Motor Speedway says he won’t be forced into dropping an antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR by new track owner Bruton Smith.
Richard Duchossios said Thursday he’s not sure why Smith has decided to go public with claims that the former owners have a “moral obligation” to race fans in Kentucky to drop the four-year-old lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.
“I’m not going to be bullied,” Duchossios said.
BOSTON ó Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC defensive player of the year, has cancer.
Herzlich said Thursday he was diagnosed earlier this week with Ewing’s Sarcoma after feeling pain in his leg.
– RALEIGH ó Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has a new gig.Tuberville will talk about SEC football on BusterSports.com next season. The Web site said Thursday he will contribute on multiple shows each week, including Internet podcasts.
– GREENSBORO ó North Carolina A&T has already captured its first win of the 2009 season ó four months before the opening kickoff.
North Carolina A&T said Wednesday that Delaware State will forfeit their game this season because the two sides couldn’t settle on a date to renew the rivalry.
– CLEMSON, S.C. ó Spring practice did little to determine who will be the starting quarterback for Clemson in 2009.
The Tigers released a list Tuesday showing sophomore Willy Korn and freshman Kyle Parker sharing the role of first-team quarterback.
SIOUX NO MORE
DICKINSON, N.D. ó North Dakota’s Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo.
It’s a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name demeans American Indians.
CINCINNATI ó Oh-oh, Ocho. The Bengals’ top receiver has yet another name.
The NFL had agreed to let the player formerly known as Chad Johnson wear his new name on the back of his jersey this season. There’s one catch for the receiver: It’s not exactly how he wanted it.
Instead of Ocho Cinco, he’ll be Ochocinco.
The receiver legally changed his name in Florida last August. He asked the league and the media to call him Chad Ocho Cinco, a two-word nickname he had adopted referring to his No. 85.