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National Sports Briefs: Lin headline gets ESPN employee fired

Associated Press
BRISTOL, Conn. — ESPN says it fired an employee responsible for an offensive headline referring to Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.
The headline “Chink in the Armor” was used Friday on ESPN’s mobile website after Lin had nine turnovers in New York’s loss to New Orleans.
In a statement Sunday, ESPN apologizes for that headline and also says it is also aware of two other “offensive and inappropriate” comments on ESPN outlets.
An ESPNEWS anchor who used the phrase has been suspended for 30 days. And ESPN says a similar reference was made Friday on ESPN Radio New York, but the commentator is not an ESPN employee.
Lin is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. He has captivated fans by leading the Knicks to seven straight wins before Friday’s loss.
NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — About 12 hours after the closest finish in Budweiser Shootout history, NASCAR has tweaked eligibility requirements for the exhibition event.
The sanctioning body says next year’s field will include 2012 pole winners in the Sprint Cup Series and past Shootout winners who attempt to qualify for at least one race this season. The new rules mirror those used between 1979 and 2008.
That means there will be at least 11 drivers eligible for the 2013 event following Sunday’s pole qualifying for next weekend’s Daytona 500. The list includes Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.
The eligibility rules have changed routinely since 2008.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia Dome will host games on back-to-back days as part of the 2012 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
Officials announced Thursday that North Carolina State and Tennessee will meet on Aug. 31 in a game broadcast by ESPNU. Auburn and Clemson will meet Sept. 1 in a game shown on either ABC or ESPN.
• GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The son of retired NFL running back Fred Taylor has decided to attend Florida, a potentially significant recruiting boost for the Gators.
Kelvin Taylor, who broke Emmitt Smith’s state high school rushing record as a junior last season, announced his non-binding, verbal commitment Saturday morning at Florida’s “Junior Day” in Gainesville. He chose Florida over Alabama.
PANTHERS
CHARLOTTE— The Panthers have signed free agent defensive end Jyles Tucker.
Carolina announced the move on Friday but did not release terms of the deal.
Tucker played for Carolina head coach Ron Rivera while he was the defensive coordinator with the Chargers.
Tucker was out of football last season, but started 12 games and recorded 10 sacks in 29 appearances between 2007 and 2010. The Chargers released him prior to the 2011 season and nobody else picked him up.
He originally signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent after his college playing career at Wake Forest.

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