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In Brief

Football

NCAA presidents group
to get playoff proposal

The only things standing in the way of a major college football playoff are 12 university presidents.

They figure to be more of a speed bump than a road block.

The BCS commissioners will present their four-team playoff proposal to the presidential oversight committee today in Washington.

The committee is headed by Virginia Tech’s Charles W. Steger and includes one university leader from each of the 11 major football conferences, as well as independent Notre Dame.

Whether approval will come quickly or the presidents will take some time to mull over the proposal and maybe toss it back for tweaks, is unknown. The commissioners have been careful not to get too far out in front of the presidents when publicly talking about a playoff.

But it’s safe to say the men who have spent hours upon hours hashing this out over the last six months believe their bosses will approve of their work.

Also: A former Baylor basketball player is facing a federal extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release “derogatory information” about Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III unless he was paid.

Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco, Texas. His bond was set at $25,000.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Griffin, the Baylor quarterback who was the No. 2 overall draft choice of the Washington Redskins, was the target of the alleged extortion attempt. Details of the “derogatory information” were not available.

Griffin was at an NFL rookie symposium Monday in Ohio, where players were not made available to reporters.

New York Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson suffered minor injuries to his forearm in a two-car crash in New Jersey early Saturday.

State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said Wilkerson was driving a 2011 Dodge Challenger northbound on the Garden State Parkway in Kenilworth, Union County. He attempted to change lanes and struck the rear left side of a 2011 Toyota Sienna carrying 11 people.

Wilkerson’s vehicle flipped over and came to rest on its roof. One of his forearms sustained cuts and required stitches.

BASKETBALL

Spurs’ Parker may miss
Olympics with eye injury

NBA star Tony Parker may miss the London Olympics after almost losing his eye in a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake’s entourage.

Parker’s cornea was scratched in the fight June 14 in New York City, and the San Antonio Spurs guard revealed he had to have an operation to remove a shard that had “penetrated 99 percent” of his left eye.

“I almost lost my eye,” Parker said on his website.

Parker, who would play for his native France in London, will see a specialist in New York when he is cleared to take long-haul flights after July 5.

Also: The Atlanta Hawks hired Danny Ferry as president of basketball operations and general manager.

Ferry, 45, replaces Rick Sund, whose contract expires at the end of June. He comes to the Hawks after two years as vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs.

New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire apologized to a fan for using a gay slur in response to a crude tweet in which the fan admonished the All-Star to “make up for this past season.”

The fan @BFerrelli tweeted his comment on Saturday and received a direct message containing an expletive and the slur from the account Twitter verifies as Stoudemire’s. BFerrelli, identified by the New York Daily News as Brian Ferrelli, posted a screen shot of the direct message. Direct messages can only be seen by the sender and the recipient.

Stoudemire apologized early Sunday, using another direct message that @BFerrelli posted as a screen shot, saying “I apologize for what I said earlier. I just got off the plane and had time to think about it. Sorry bro!! No Excuses. Won’t happen again.”

The Los Angeles Clippers announced they will open their 2012 preseason schedule with a game against the Denver Nuggets at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Oct. 6.

Tickets, priced between $25 and $150, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com and mandalaybay.com.

OLYMPIC TRIALS

Lochte nips rival Phelps
in 400 IM showdown

Ryan Lochte still has Michael Phelps’ number. But Phelps has put himself in position to go for another eight gold medals at the London Olympics.

Lochte won his latest showdown with the winningest Olympian ever, beating Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb.

The 27-year-old took command on the breaststroke leg and held off Phelps in the freestyle for a time of 4 minutes, 7.06 seconds. Phelps claimed the second Olympic spot in 4:07.89.

Tyler Clary, who took second at last year’s world championships, won’t even get a chance to swim the event in London. He faded to third in
4:09.92.

Phelps won the 400 IM at the past two Olympics, but vowed to drop the grueling event after Beijing. In the past year, he brought it back – and now he’ll be swimming it again in London.

In other finals on the opening night of the trials, Peter Vanderkaay became a three-time Olympian by winning the 400 free, while 19-year-old Elizabeth Beisel earned her second straight trip to the Olympics in the 400 IM.

Also: Struggling with his rhythm in a persistent rain, reigning world champion high jumper Jesse Williams finished in fourth place, out of the competition at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore.

Only the top three earn spots to the Olympics – unless someone doesn’t make the Olympic “A” standard of 7 feet, 7 inches. And someone did indeed fail to hit that mark, third-place finisher Nick Ross.

Like that, Williams backed his way onto the team in an event that Jamie Nieto won and Erik Kynard took second.

It wasn’t the way Williams wanted to make the squad. He vowed to train more in the rain, especially because this just might be the type of weather he encounters in London.

MISCELLANEOUS

Las Vegas to field new
indoor pro soccer team

Las Vegas will get a new indoor soccer team today when the Legends of the Professional Arena Soccer League are introduced at a news conference at the site of their home games, Orleans Arena.

The local entry in the 15-team league will be coached by Greg Howes, a former standout for the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer League.

The PASL season starts in October and runs through February.

Also: As Jerry Sandusky insisted through a lawyer he is not guilty of sexually abusing children, a juror who voted to convict the retired Penn State assistant coach said she hoped the verdict would help his accusers heal.

The jury found the testimony of the eight victims who took the witness stand compelling, Ann Van Kuren said. Jurors weighed the accounts and evidence diligently before finding Sandusky guilty last week of 45 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, she said.

She expressed empathy for the eight men who offered emotional and explicit testimony.

“I really feel for the victims and any other victims that are out there that haven’t come forward,” Van Kuren said. “That all of them need to heal. I’m hoping that this trial, with this verdict, will help them heal.”

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