National sports briefs: NCAA OKs three rules changes
INDIANAPOLIS ó An NCAA committee has approved three rules changes intended to clarify block-charge calls, who can shoot free throws after an injury and the expanded use of replay.
The announcement Monday means secondary defenders must establish position outside the area between the backboard and the front of the rim to draw a charge call.
The panel addressed the perceived advantage teams can get when a fouled player is injured. Now, the opposing coach must select from the four players remaining on the court.
The committee approved expanding replay to determine flagrant fouls, which would result in ejection. If the foul is not considered flagrant, officials could still call an intentional foul or a technical foul for contact.
– BATON ROUGE, La. ó LSU forward Tasmin Mitchell has withdrawn from the draft and will return to the Tigers as a fifth-year senior next season.
He averaged 16.3 points and 7.2 rebounds last season.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee is looking into whether it committed another NCAA recruiting violation by allowing media to be present during a meeting between coach Lane Kiffin and recruits.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” showed Kiffin in his office with two people identified by the network as recruits.
According to NCAA recruiting rule 13.10.1, “A member institution shall not permit a media entity to be present during any recruiting contact made by an institution’s coaching staff member.”
Tennessee has reported at least four minor recruiting violations since Kiffin was introduced as coach Dec. 1.
* GREENVILLE, S.C. ó Furman has hired former defensive back Rocco Adrian as its cornerbacks coach. He played safety for the Paladins from 1995 through 1998.
AUSTIN, Texas ó Freshman Taylor Jungmann allowed two hits over six innings and top-seeded Texas earned its first trip to the College World Series since 2005 with a 5-2 win over TCU.
Kevin Keyes homered in the first inning for the Longhorns (46-14-1), who have won six national championships. Jungmann struck out five and walked against TCU (40-18).
SAN ANTONIO ó Spurs forward Fabricio Oberto has undergone a heart procedure and could resume strenuous exercise in about a month.
The 34-year-old player has been bothered by arrhythmia the past few seasons. Last week’s surgery was aimed at correcting the electrical impulses causing the atrial fibrillation.
CHARLOTTE ó Johnny Benson lost his ride when Red Horse Racing folded his team because it couldn’t find sponsorship for the defending Truck Series champion.
“This leaves me without a ride, I’d say, and not a lot of time to put something together,” Benson said.
It’s the second time in seven months that Benson has been hurt by the sagging economy. He won the Truck title last year driving for Bill Davis Racing but informed Davis before the season finale that he was moving to Red Horse because of the financial instability at BDR.
Benson is currently seventh in the standings with four top-10 finishes this season. He said he doubts he’ll be able to line up a ride in time for Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway, his home track.
* CHARLOTTE ó Richard Petty Motorsports has laid off nine employees and reduced salaries throughout the organization, a byproduct of Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing.
A person familiar with the moves tells The AP that RPM officials are anticipating significant cutbacks from Dodge. Chrysler is Dodge’s parent company, and the automaker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó David Duval is returning to the U.S. Open, while Danny Lee missed a shot at earning the spot he surrendered.
Duval, absent from the last two Opens, made the grade in the 36-hole sectional qualifier at Brookside and The Lakes courses.
Lee had earned an automatic U.S. Open berth last summer by becoming the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Amateur. When he turned pro this spring, he was forced to give up his spot. He shot a 3-under 69 in the morning and an even-par 72 in the afternoon.Kyle Stanley, a Clemson golfer shared medalist honors with pro George McNeil at 12-under 132. Stanley had 10 birdies and no bogeys in a 62 in the morning.
Other qualifiers included Bo Van Pelt, Lucas Glover, Tom Lehman, J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore, Ben Crane and Ricky Barnes.
* GERMANTOWN, Tenn. ó John Daly managed only four birdies over 36 holes in a U.S. Open qualifier and didn’t come close to getting one of the 13 spots available in Tennessee. He had a 1-under 70 in the morning and a 2-over 73 in the afternoon.
* FARMINGDALE, N.Y. ó Tiger Woods returned to the Black Course at Bethpage, tuning up in preparation for his U.S. Open title defense.
Woods made a detour on his way home from winning the Memorial in Ohio a day earlier, playing 18 holes with swing coach Hank Haney.
Newsday reported that several dozen golfers who planned to play at Bethpage State Park’s four other courses spied the world’s No. 1 player and immediately pulled out cell-phone cameras.
PARIS ó Who sent along good wishes when Roger Federer won his first French Open to complete a career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles?
None other than Woods, who also owns 14 major titles.
“I was pulling for him,” Woods said. “I was as nervous as can be for him. I was yelling at the TV, the whole deal.”
Sampras caught some of Federer’s performance on television. Home in Los Angeles, he also saw parts of Federer’s earlier matches.
“I watched enough to see that he maybe wasn’t at his best and went through some tough matches that the great ones always find a way to win ó and on a surface that is his least favorite,” Sampras said. “He just dug deep.”
* BARCELONA, Spain ó Rafael Nadal is having his knees checked and expects to announce his status for Wimbledon in the coming days.
Nadal withdrew from this week’s Wimbledon tuneup at Queen’s Club, citing knee trouble. His 31-match winning streak at the French Open ended with a fourth-round loss.
“I have been having some problems in the past months with my knees ó that’s no secret ó that did not allow me to compete always at 100 percent,” Nadal said.
* NEW YORK ó NCAA tennis champion Mallory Cecil of Duke has been honored as the nation’s top female college player in her sport.
The freshman from Spartanburg, S.C., won the Honda Sports Award. It is given annually to women in 12 NCAA sports.