Briefs: Tebow a Heisman finalist
NEW YORK ó Tim Tebow became the first player to be invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation ceremony three times when he ó along with Colt McCoy, Mark Ingram, Toby Gerhart and Ndamukong Suh ó was named a finalist.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday in Manhattan. The last time as many as five players were invited to New York was 2004, when USC quarterback Matt Leinart won the award.
Stanford’s Gerhart has run for more yards (1,736) and scored more touchdowns (26) than any player in the nation. Nebraska’s Suh had 41/2 sacks against Texas in the Big 12 title game. He is the first defensive player to be a finalist since 1997, when Michigan Charles Woodson became the first full-time defensive player to win the Heisman.
Hesimanpundit.com, which polls 13 voters throughout the season, had Ingram on top of its latest results, just ahead of Gerhart. Among the top players who didn’t make the cut were Clemson’s C.J. Spiller and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore.
* SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and receiver Golden Tate announced they will bypass their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft.
Clausen’s departure leaves the Irish with one quarterback on scholarship. Dayne Crist is recovering from a torn ACL sustained Oct. 31. Two high school quarterbacks have announced they plan to attend Notre Dame next year.
CHARLOTTE ó A person familiar with the plan says Danica Patrick has reached a deal to enter NASCAR with JR Motorsports.
Patrick will announce a partial Nationwide Series schedule at a Tuesday news conference in Phoenix.
Last week Patrick signed a three-year contract extension with Andretti Autosport to stay in the IndyCar series, but its schedule gives her enough time to also try NASCAR.
It’s not clear yet how many races she will drive for team owners Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick. GoDaddy.com will sponsor Patrick in both IndyCar and NASCAR.
WINDERMERE, Fla. ó A Florida trooper who suspected Tiger Woods was driving under the influence sought a subpoena for the golfer’s blood results from the hospital he was taken to after crashing his SUV, but prosecutors rejected the petition for insufficient information, according to a police report released Monday.
A witness, who wasn’t identified in the report, told trooper Joshua Evans that Woods had been drinking alcohol earlier. The same witness also said Woods had been prescribed two drugs, Ambien and Vicodin.
“Impairment of the driver is also suspected due to the careless driving that resulted in the traffic crash,” Evans wrote in the report that was released by the State Attorney General’s office.
PHILADELPHIA ó Chauncey Billups scored 31 points and Carmelo Anthony had 14 to help Denver spoil Allen Iverson’s return to Philadelphia with a 93-83 win over the 76ers.
Iverson received a standing ovation when he left in the fourth quarter. He scored 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting and had six assists in 37 minutes.
Iverson bowed and kissed the logo at midcourt when he was introduced as the sellout crowd of 20,664 stood and roared in approval.
“I had chill-bumps running all through my body the whole game,” Iverson said. “It just felt good to be back.”
* NEW YORK ó Larry Hughes scored 21 points as the New York Knicks beat injury-depleted Portland 93-84.
TORONTO ó Vesa Toskala made 22 saves in his first start since Nov. 23 and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored goals 28 seconds apart as Toronto beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-2.
* BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Martin Brodeur tied Terry Sawchuk’s NHL record with his 103rd shutout, leading New Jersey to a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
* TORONTO ó Darren McCarty, a veteran of 15 NHL seasons who won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, officially announced his retirement.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey got the call Monday, elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
* INDIANAPOLIS ó Brian Bruney was dealt to Washington from the New York Yankees for a player to be named.
* DETROIT ó Shortstop Adam Everett decided to stay with the Detroit Tigers, agreeing to a $1.55 million, one-year contract.