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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. ó Decades of distracting opposing quarterbacks have taken a physical toll on the 150-pound bass drum used to fire up the Faurot Field home crowd at Missouri football games.
Two music service fraternities that care for the Big MO drum are attempting to raise $55,000 to replace the 6-foot icon. The drum, a gift from the St. Louis Quarterback Club, has been a fixture beyond Memorial Stadium’s south end zone since 1981.
The Columbia Missourian reports that the new Big MO will measure 9 feet in diameter and 54 inches wide. The bass drum’s caretakers spent more than four years trying to find a qualified builder for a drum that stands 11 feet tall when on its rolling cart.
ATLANTA ó Coach Paul Johnson isn’t about to sound a quarterback alarm at Georgia Tech.
Despite a difficult afternoon for Tevin Washington in the Yellow Jackets’ spring game Saturday, the coach stopped short of criticizing the junior who’s expected to begin fall practice as the starting quarterback.
“For the biggest part of spring, Tevin has done a good job,” Johnson said. “Today he did some questionable things. I think he got rattled a little bit and got out of his element.
Freshman quarterback Synjyn Days ran for 122 yards and one touchdown and passed for a TD in the Gold team’s 21-7 victory over the White squad in the game.
LINCOLN, Neb. ó Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini is getting a $425,000 raise as the Cornhuskers switch to the Big 10 conference.
Pelini’s new contract, cited by the Lincoln Journal Star, includes a base salary of $2.775 million and an additional $100,000 each year until the contract expires in 2015.
COLLEGE HOOPS
HARTFORD, Conn. ó Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, a swingman on Connecticut’s national championship basketball team, has been arrested on a marijuana possession charge.
Campus police say the sophomore from Dorchester, Mass. was arrested Thursday night along with two people at Merritt Hall, a campus dormitory.
NASCAR
DES MOINES, Iowa ó A group of Iowans have banded together in hopes of bringing a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the Iowa Speedway in Newton.
The Green Flag Alliance, a coalition that includes Newton mayor Chaz Allen, says it’s seeking to boost fan interest and sponsorship support in hopes of landing stock car’s premier circuit.
The group says it’s the perfect time for the Speedway to host a Sprint Cup race after landing two lower-tier NASCAR Nationwide races for 2011.
The group says that analysis from other markets indicates that a Sprint Cup race can generate as much as $150 million to the local economy.
The Iowa Speedway will host the Nationwide Series on May 22 and August 6.
TENNIS
BARCELONA, Spain ó Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 in their second all-Spanish final in two weeks to claim his sixth Barcelona Open title Sunday.
The top-ranked Spaniard won his 29th straight match at the clay court event.
It was Nadal’s 45th career ATP title and his second consecutive trophy after beating Ferrer at Monte Carlo in straight sets April 17.

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