National briefs: QB has black eye
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was sporting a black eye behind the tinted visor he wore to practice Tuesday.
According to a university official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, Clausen was punched outside a South Bend bar early Sunday morning.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Clausen was the “victim of a sucker punch.” He made the comments during a taping of his radio show for WLS Radio 890 in Chicago, which normally airs on Saturday.
“He was not engaged in a fight. He didn’t throw any punches. He didn’t directly engage the individual,” Swarbrick said. “He just got coldcocked by somebody, and we’re very disturbed by that.”
Clausen was at C.J.’s Pub about 2 a.m. with his family and girlfriend after Notre Dame’s double overtime loss to Connecticut, according to the official.
The group decided to leave after words were exchanged with others at the bar, the official said. As they were leaving, Clausen’s girlfriend realized she left her purse behind. Clausen went back to retrieve the purse and someone followed him outside and punched him, the official said. Clausen did not fight back and left, the official said.
– SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis won’t stay on the West Coast to recruit as planned after the Fighting Irish play at Stanford.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Tuesday during a taping of his radio show for WLS Radio 890 in Chicago, which normally airs on Saturday, that Weis will fly back with the team.
“He’s going to return from Stanford back to campus,” Swarbrick said.Weis had said Sunday he planned to stay on the West Coast recruiting, just as he had last year when he and Swarbrick met to discuss his future after the regular-season finale at USC.
– Southern California, LSU and Miami are among eight teams that cannot earn an automatic BCS bid, but are still in contention for an at-large invite to a marquee bowl game.
BCS officials announced Tuesday that a total of 20 teams are still in the running for spots in the national championship game.
– BOSTON ó Northeastern University is ending its football program after 74 seasons because the investment required to make it competitive was too high.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards won his second straight offensive player of the year award as the league champion Mountaineers took three of the Southern Conference’s major honors.
Edwards became the league’s first back-to-back offensive player of the year since VMI’s Thomas Haskins in 1995 and 1996.
RICHMOND, Texas ó Lorena Ochoa and Jiyai Shin fought to the last hole for the LPGA’s top player award.By the slimmest of margins, Ochoa won ó and for the fourth straight year, too.
She finished two strokes behind tournament winner Anna Nordqvist at the LPGA Tour Championship on Monday. The 22-year-old’s final-round 65 was good enough to beat Ochoa in the weather-shortened event at 13 under par on Monday.
CHARLOTTE ó NASCAR has asked a federal court to stop lawyers for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield from collecting information from the ex-wife of chairman Brian France.
Mayfield’s attorneys subpoenaed Megan France last week requesting documents about a lawsuit filed against her by Brian France. The attorneys also asked for joint tax returns and mail addressed to Brian France.
NEW YORK ó Albert Pujols was unanimously voted National League MVP on Tuesday, becoming the first player to repeat since Barry Bonds won four in a row from 2001-04.
It was the third MVP award for the St. Louis Cardinals star, who also won in 2005.
Pujols led the majors in home runs (47), runs (124), slugging percentage (.658) and intentional walks (44), and topped the NL in on-base percentage (.443). He was second in the league in doubles (45) and third in batting average (.327) and RBIs (135). He was especially dangerous with the bases loaded, going 10 for 17 with five grand slams, three doubles and 35 RBIs.
LONDON ó Roger Federer once again bounced back after losing the first set, rallying to beat Andy Murray 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday at the ATP World Tour Finals and ensuring he will have the year-end No. 1 ranking for the fifth time. Federer still has to play Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Federer in the U.S. Open final.