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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
NEW YORK ó When the United Football League debuts in October, Michael Vick could be one of its players.
Michael Huyghue, the commissioner of the new four-team league, says the UFL is willing to give Vick a place to play ó provided there are no pending legal issues. His rights belong to the Orlando franchise.
“One of the things that is important in our premiere season is to showcase the quality of talent and the coaches, and to be able to show outstanding players who find themselves in this quagmire the NFL creates,” Huyghue said. “Michael Vick might be that kind of player because he is … a phenomenal talent, but he needs transitionining back into the NFL.
“Also gaining as much widespread exposure for the league as possible might be addressed with Michael Vick.”
Vick already has served an 18-month sentence in federal prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. He is under home confinement until July 20, after which the NFL is expected to announce whether the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will be suspended.
Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, has not played football since the 2006 season.
The UFL will have teams in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco, playing games mostly on Thursday nights in October and November. The championship game will be Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving.
Orlando acquired UFL rights to Vick in an allocation draft of players not under contract in the NFL.
The soldiers expressed their gratitude over and over to the NFL coaches who made the trip to Iraq.
“They kept thanking us,” said the Tennessee Titans’ Jeff Fisher. “We kept thanking them.”
Fisher, the New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin, the Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden are taking part in the first NFL-USO coaches tour over the Fourth of July weekend.
– BELLINGHAM, Wash. ó A lawyer for Ryan Leaf says a fugitive action filed against the former NFL quarterback in Washington state has been dismissed.
The Whatcom County prosecutor had filed an interstate fugitive case against Leaf after he was arrested by federal Customs agents as he crossed the border from Canada in mid-June on his way to face drug and burglary charges in Texas.
– HONOLULU ó Former Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang, one of the most prolific passers in college football history, has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and released without charges pending further investigation.
The 27-year-old Chang was arrested at his Mililani home Thursday after a woman alleged her camera was taken away from her while she was filming a brawl last month in the Pearlridge area.
A man, whom Honolulu police say was Chang, told the woman to stop filming the fight. A struggle ensued.
Chang holds the NCAA’s career leader in passing yards. He was drafted by Washington and last played in the Canadian Football League. He was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in February.
LUBBOCK, Texas ó Former San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Washington Nationals last month, has been selected as the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year.
Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA and led the nation with 195 strikeouts while leading the Aztecs to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.
PARIS ó France’s sports minister says Lance Armstrong will be “particularly monitored” for doping during the Tour de France.
The seven-time Tour winner has come out of retirement to ride in cycling’s showcase. The three-week race starts today in Monaco.
LOS ANGELES ó Candace Parker is returning to action for the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday when they host the Phoenix Mercury.
The team said on Friday that last season’s WNBA MVP and rookie of the year will be in the lineup for the first time since giving birth to her daughter on May 13.
Parker was cleared by doctors to begin practicing Tuesday. She has not played at all this season.
– PHOENIX ó Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi said Friday that she’s embarrassed after being cited for drunken driving a few hours after she helped lead her team to victory over the Seattle Storm.
Michelle Kwan will skate before an audience for the first time in three years when she joins world champion Kim Yu-Na in Ice All-Stars 2009 in Seoul, South Korea, in August.
The five-time world champion and nine-time U.S. champ has been practicing and working out for most of this year. Her performance in Seoul could be an indication that competitive skating is still a possibility with the Vancouver Olympics looming.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey has promoted Martin Ingelsby to assistant coach, filling the vacancy created when nine-year associate head coach Sean Kearney was hired as head coach at Holy Cross.
Ingelsby has been Notre Dame’s coordinator of men’s basketball operations since 2003. The Berwyn, Pa., native played point guard for the Irish from 1997-2001.Holy Cross hired Kearney on Thursday.


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