Former USC player to sue coach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Associated Press
LOS ANGELES ó Former Southern California running back Stafon Johnson sued the university and an assistant conditioning coach on Monday for negligence in the weight-room accident that crushed his throat in 2009.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeks unspecified damages.
Johnson was bench-pressing 275 pounds in the USC weight room when the bar dropped or fell onto his neck in September 2009. His throat and larynx were crushed and he required reconstructive surgery.
Assistant strength and conditioning coach Jamie Yanchar, who was responsible for spotting Johnson during his lifting, was also named in the complaint.
The lawsuit claims Yanchar was ědistracted and not paying attention to Mr. Johnson at the time that the bar was being lifted from the weight rack,î as the plaintiff was lifting 275 pounds for the first time.
WASHINGTON ó College football conferences will get a record take of about $170 million from this yearís Bowl Championship Series games, including a new high of $24.7 million for the five conferences that donít get automatic bids to the BCS bowls.
The figures were obtained by The Associated Press ahead of their official release later Tuesday by the BCS.
BCS officials say the higher figures were fueled by the new television contract with ESPN. In addition, the five conferences that donít get automatic bids were helped by the automatic berth earned by Texas Christian University. Those conferences got slightly more than last yearís $24 million.
CINCINNATI ó Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is putting his unusual name back in the news.
Ochocinco suggested at the end of an interview with ESPN on Tuesday that heís planning to change his name back to Johnson. He didnít give a specific reason, other than saying heís ědone enough with the Ocho thing.î
He has talked about changing his name several times. Leading up to a game against the Jets during the 2009 season, he insisted that he would change his name back to Johnson if cornerback Darrelle Revis shut him down.
Ochocinco failed to catch a pass, but kept his name. He later said his comments were made in fun and he was never serious about a name change.
DALLAS ó Just when the Los Angeles Clippers were starting to surge, theyíve lost leading scorer Eric Gordon for at least three weeks because of a wrist injury.
The team said Tuesday night that Gordon has a sprained right wrist and a small bone chip fracture. After exams by multiple doctors, it was determined he would miss 3-4 weeks.
HOUSTON ó The Houston Astros see Wandy Rodriguez as one of the best left-handers in baseball, and they didnít want him to get away.
Rodriguez and the Astros avoided arbitration and reached agreement Tuesday on a $34 million, three-year contract.
The Astros said the contract will be finalized after Rodriguez takes a physical on Thursday. The deal includes a vesting option for 2014 that would increase the value to $44.5 million.
ARLINGTON ó The Texas Rangers traded former closer Frank Francisco and cash to Toronto for catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli on Tuesday, giving the AL champions a much-needed versatile bat off the bench and the Blue Jays more bullpen depth.
It was the second time in five days Napoli was traded, quickly returning to the AL West. Toronto acquired Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday for outfielder Vernon Wells.