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IN BRIEF

FOOTBALL

Jets decide to release injury-riddled Franks

The New York Jets released veteran tight end Bubba Franks.

Franks caught six passes for 47 yards in eight games, including four starts, after signing with the Jets last season.

He missed eight games due to a hip injury and was unable to participate in offseason practices and minicamp because of a knee injury after re-signing with New York.

Also: The New England Patriots signed second-round draft pick Darius Butler. The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound cornerback from Connecticut was taken with the 41st pick overall.

Third-round draft pick Roy Miller agreed to a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The defensive tackle from Texas was the 81st overall selection in the draft.

Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy and wideout Dexter McCluster avoided serious injury during a two-car accident Saturday in Oxford, Miss. Both were bruised and sore but otherwise OK, the school said in a statement.

HOCKEY

Devils bring back Lemaire as coach

Jacques Lemaire will return for a second stint as coach of the New Jersey Devils.

Lemaire, who coached the Devils for five seasons in the mid-1990s and led them to the first of three Stanley Cups, was hired to replace Brent Sutter, who resigned after two seasons.

Contract terms were not disclosed, but the 63-year-old Lemaire said he intends to coach at least two seasons.

The deal reunites Lemaire with general manager and president Lou Lamoriello and goaltender Martin Brodeur, the combination that turned the Devils from a contender to a champion in 1995.

MISCELLANEOUS

Strike delays work on World Cup projects

A union official said construction workers are continuing with their strike that has crippled work on World Cup projects in South Africa.

National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said workers are holding out for a 13 percent pay increase. Employers have offered 11.5 percent.

Seshoka said ongoing talks could lead to a deal today if employers agreed to the increase.

Also: Carlos Tevez agreed to join Manchester City on a five-year deal, further enhancing the wealthy Premier League club’s bid to join England’s and Europe’s elite.

After a medical examination, the 25-year-old Argentina striker will complete his switch across Manchester from the more-illustrious United, where he had previously played on loan.

City will have to pay $41 million to sign Tevez from the group that owned his economic rights.

Iraq played its first game in Baghdad since before the invasion, beating Palestine 4-0 and triggering wild celebrations among Iraqis unable to watch their national sports teams during years of war.

Hawar Mulah Mohammed scored in the 27th minute of the exhibition, Karar Jassim and Alaa Abdul-Zahraa followed, and Emad Mohammed scored the fourth on a penalty for the Asian champions.

Police interviewed Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino about allegations brought by a woman charged with trying to extort him, his lawyer said.

Attorney Steve Pence said Pitino has been cooperating in the investigation and that the woman’s allegations are false. The woman, Karen Cunagin Sypher, has pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of trying to extort money from Pitino and lying to the FBI.

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