National Sports Briefs
CHAPEL HILL ó The NCAA has returned to Chapel Hill as part of its investigation of North Carolina’s football program.
Team spokesman Kevin Best said in an email that the NCAA returned Wednesday for “follow-up work” related to the investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct. Best referred further questions to NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn, who declined to comment in an email.
Fourteen players missed at least one game and seven were forced to sit all last season. The school fired coach Butch Davis a week before training camp due to the cumulative damage done to the school’s reputation by the probe.
The NCAA sent a notice of allegations in June outlining nine violations. The school’s response is due Monday. It is also scheduled to appear before the infractions committee in late October.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.ó Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden revealed he was successfully treated for prostate cancer in 2007.
Bowden, who turns 82 in early November, appeared on several morning television shows as a paid spokesman for a national prostate cancer education initiative called On The Line. He’s scheduled for more appearances Wednesday.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. ó Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez, a colorful slugger who abruptly retired this year amid allegations of banned substance use, is now facing criminal prosecution on charges that he slapped his wife during an argument.
Ramirez, 39, could get up to a year in jail if convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery charges. He was released on $2,500 bail after spending the night in the Broward County Jail.
At a brief court appearance, Ramirez was ordered to have no direct contact with his wife.
Ramirez retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
NEW YORK ó Novak Djokovic’s 64-2 record in 2011 has earned a record for prize money.
Djokovic’s U.S. Open championship ó his third Grand Slam title of the year ó pushed his earnings past $10.6 million, more than anyone ever took home during a full season.
The only other men to come close were Rafael Nadal in 2010 and Roger Federer in 2007; they completed those years with a little less than $10.2 million.
By beating Nadal in the U.S. Open final Monday night, Djokovic got a check for $2.3 million: $1.8 million for winning the tournament.
CHARLOTTE ó Nine of NASCAR’s 10 championship races will be available online for the first time in history.
ESPN and Turner Sports planned to announce Wednesday that NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy feature will be available during the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. NASCAR programming will also appear for the first time on ESPN’s WatchESPN.com platform and WatchESPN application.
The agreement is a huge breakthrough for NASCAR, which has been unable to establish an online viewing presence because of its multiple broadcasting contracts. The only time race coverage is available online is during the six races TNT broadcasts during the summer.
NBA MURDER CHARGE
ATLANTA ó Former Washington Wizards basketball player Javaris Crittenton will be returned to Atlanta from Los Angeles on Thursday to face a murder charge, police said.
Crittenton, a former star player at Georgia Tech, will be transported to jail by a fugitive unit of the Atlanta police department, spokesman officer John Chafee said Wednesday.
Authorities said Crittenton was being returned to face the charge in the death of 22-year-old Julian Jones, a mother of four who was hit by gunfire during a drive-by shooting. Police said the shots were aimed at someone walking with her. Crittenton denies involvement.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó The LPGA has canceled a tournament in China that was supposed to be held in two weeks.