National sports briefs
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky stunned a packed courtroom and backed out of a preliminary hearing at the last minute Tuesday, avoiding a face-to-face confrontation with accusers who his lawyer said were just trying to cash in by making up stories of child sex abuse.
Sandusky pleaded not guilty and vowed afterward to “stay the course, to fight for four quarters.”
His lawyer, Joe Amendola, then took the defense to the courthouse steps and spoke before dozens of news cameras for an hour, saying some of the 10 men who accuse Sandusky of molesting them as children were only out to profit from civil lawsuits against the coach and Penn State.
NEW YORK — Two men sued Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and the school for defamation Tuesday, saying they were vilified as liars out for money after they accused his longtime assistant of molesting them.
Former Syracuse ball boys and stepbrothers Bobby Davis and Mike Lang said they were molested by Bernie Fine, who has since been fired and has denied the allegations. A third man also has accused the 65-year-old Fine, who had been Boeheim’s top assistant since 1976.
“It really hurt me to learn coach Boeheim had accused me of lying,” Davis said, reading from a statement at a news conference after the lawsuit was filed in New York State Supreme Court.
When the allegations surfaced Nov. 17, Boeheim staunchly supported Fine, saying the accusations were lies to capitalize on the Penn State child sex abuse case.
“The Penn State thing came out, and the kid behind this is trying to get money,” Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard. “If he gets this, he’s going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I’d say about $50 million. That’s what this is about. Money.”
NEW YORK — A person familiar with the negotiations says 6-foot-10 pitching prospect Andrew Brackman has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds.
Brackman, let go by the New York Yankees, would be paid $500,000 if he’s in the major leagues, The 26-year-old would get $480,000 if he’s in the minors.
Brackman pitched for N.C. State.
• ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are not offering a contract to right-hander Peter Moylan, who has been one of the team’s top relievers the last six years.
The 31-year-old Moylan has appeared in 80 or more games in three of the last five seasons. He missed most of last season because of back surgery before needing another surgery for a torn rotator cuff and labrum.
Moylan is 19-9 with a 2.60 ERA in his career.
• PHILADELPHIA — A person familiar with the deal says the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a one-year contract with lefty Dontrelle Willis.
PITTSBURGH — The tests indicate Sidney Crosby doesn’t have a concussion. Crosby’s body isn’t quite so sure.
The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar said Monday he’s dealing with a recurrence of concussion-like symptoms and is out indefinitely.
Crosby, who missed more than 10 months after taking shots to the head in successive games in January, hasn’t played since developing a headache following a 3-1 loss to Boston last week.
“I ended up skating the following day after with a little bit exertion and it just didn’t feel right,” Crosby said. “After kind of talking with everyone it was better to be cautious here and not take any chances.”
The 24-year-old former MVP passed an ImPACT test — designed to diagnose concussions — last Wednesday but didn’t travel with the team on a road trip through Philadelphia and New York over the weekend.
Instead he remained in Pittsburgh hoping to play when the Penguins host Detroit on Tuesday, but those plans were scuttled when symptoms popped up over the weekend during what he called “light exertion.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State coach Thad Matta still isn’t sure when injured star forward Jared Sullinger will play next.
“It’s the progression we’re trying to take in terms of step by step,” he said of the pace at which Sullinger is being brought back from back spasms that have caused him to sit out the last two games. “As opposed to running the full marathon, we’re going to warm up with a 5K and then get to a 10K.”
The 6-foot-9 Sullinger is able to run, jump and shoot. But he still hasn’t been cleared to play when the second-ranked Buckeyes (8-1) host South Carolina-Upstate tonight.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Luke Donald is the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and the European Tour in the same season. He is not the first player to win the most money on both tours in the same year.
The European Tour media guide lists Tiger Woods as the “leading money winner in Europe” six times — 1999, 2000, 2002 and three straight seasons starting in 2005. The Order of Merit was won those years by Colin Montgomerie (’99, ’05), Lee Westwood (’00), Retief Goosen (’01), Padraig Harrington (’06) and Justin Rose (’07).
By Brad Senkiw Scripps Howard News Service Hanging out a birthday party last Saturday, I kept wandering over to the... read more