National sports briefs: Cutliffe cuts backup running back from Duke team
DURHAM ó Backup running back Tony Jackson has been dismissed from Duke’s football program.
Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe said Jackson was kicked off the team for failing to uphold the standard of conduct expected of a Duke football player. He was listed on the preseason depth chart as the third-string running back behind Re’quan Boyette and Jay Hollingsworth.
* NEW YORK ó Army will play Rutgers, Air Force and Boston College at Yankee Stadium in addition to the Black Knights’ matchup there against Notre Dame.
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó Georgetown will play its first West Coast game in eight years against Washington and UCLA will play Mississippi State in the John R. Wooden Classic on Dec. 12.
* NEW YORK ó Anthony Mason Jr. was granted a medical hardship by the Big East Conference and will rejoin the Red Storm for a redshirt senior season in 2009-10.
Mason played in just three games last season after tearing a tendon in his left foot. He will be featured in an episode of the MTV “True Life” documentary series, titled, “True Life: I’m Rehabbing My Sports Injury.”
INDIANAPOLIS ó The Pacers re-signed free agent forward Josh McRoberts.
McRoberts averaged 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds last season. He had career highs of 12 points and nine boards on April 8 against Toronto.
“We are very pleased to have Josh back,” Pacers president Larry Bird said. “He’s another player who fits into the core group of guys we want to build around.”
McRoberts is from Carmel, Ind.
“This is home,” he said, “and I want to be part of what the Pacers are trying to do.”
The Pacers have waived point guard Jamaal Tinsley.
* AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó The Detroit Pistons signed free agent forward Chris Wilcox, a Raleigh native, to a multiyear contract.
* GERONA, Spain ó Ricky Rubio plans to part ways with Spanish basketball club DKV Joventut even if the Minnesota Timberwolves cannot reach a deal to bring their first round draft pick to the NBA.
Timberwolves president David Kahn was in Spain this week to try and help the fifth overall pick negotiate a buyout of his contract with Joventut. Rubio is at odds over a buyout clause that could cost him as much as $6.6 million. The NBA’s collective bargaining rules limit the Timberwolves’ contribution to $500,000.
Regardless of whether Rubio makes the trip across the Atlantic next season, he won’t be playing at Joventut.
* MIAMI ó Jamaal Magloire re-signed with the Heat, giving the team four centers under contract.
Restricted free-agent center Joel Anthony re-signed. The Heat also has starter Jermaine O’Neal and seldom-used Mark Blount.
* The Nuggets will play an exhibition game against the Pacers in Beijing.
* LAS VEGAS ó Blake Griffin has pulled out of USA Basketball’s minicamp because of a strained right shoulder, possibly hurting his chances of playing next year in the world championships.
LE-GRAND-BORNAND, France ó Alberto Contador closed in on victory at the Tour de France after finishing second behind Frank Schleck in the 17th stage as the race left the Alps.
Lance Armstrong trailed by more than 2 minutes and fell from second to fourth place overall. The stage likely ended any realistic chance he had of overtaking his Astana teammate.
Contador held on to the yellow jersey by staying with Schleck and his younger brother Andy in a three-man breakaway at the end of the stage. Andy Schleck finished third while Armstrong was fifth, 2:18 back.
The Schleck brothers both leapfrogged Armstrong in the overall standings, with Andy 2:26 behind Contador in second place and Frank 3:25 behind in third. Armstrong trails Contador by 3:55.
NEWARK, N.J. ó Center Travis Zajac signed a multiyear contract with the Devils.
* CHICAGO ó The Blackhawks say recently signed Marian Hossa is rehabilitating a shoulder injury he suffered during the playoffs while with Detroit.
* UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó The Islanders agreed to terms with goalie Martin Biron on a one-year deal.
HARTFORD, Conn. ó ESPN banned staffers from the New York Post from appearing on any of its programming after the newspaper published photos this week taken from a video showing sideline reporter Erin Andrews nude in a hotel room. The Post published three images from the blurry video Tuesday.
FORT WORTH, Texas ó Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has been diagnosed with cancer and has been undergoing treatment in recent months.
SAO PAULO ó Ronaldo is set to play himself in a movie about a Palestine girl who was killed before realizing her dream of meeting him.
It’s based on the true story of Alneyrab, a 13-year-old girl who dreamed of meeting the soccer star when he visited the Middle East on a humanitarian mission in 2005. She was only able to watch her idol pass through and later was killed in a conflict in the region.
Ronaldo will appear in some scenes that take place in the girl’s dreams.