In Brief

FOOTBALL

Schiano leaves Rutgers for NFL, named Bucs coach

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Rutgers coach Greg Schiano on Thursday to replace Raheem Morris, who was fired after a 4-12 season.

Schiano, 45, was at Rutgers for 11 seasons, taking the Scarlet Knights from college football laughingstocks to a program with winning records in six of the past seven years. He was an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears from 1996 to 1998, and coached defensive backs for Joe Paterno at Penn State from 1991 to 1995. Schiano played linebacker at Bucknell but never played in the NFL.

The team scheduled a news conference today to introduce Schiano, who inherits a team that allowed the most points in the NFL this season. The Scarlet Knights appointed offensive line coach Kyle Flood as interim head coach.

The Bucs fired Morris on Jan. 2 after Tampa Bay lost 10 straight games to end the season, most of them by double-digit margins.

Also: Two days after quarterback Peyton Manning publicly complained about the dour atmosphere at team headquarters after a 2-14 season and rash of firings, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay called his franchise player a “politician” who had decided to air dirty laundry.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest to paint the horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t,” said Irsay, referring to the team’s logo. “… You keep it in the family. If you’ve got a problem, you talk to each other, it’s not about campaigning or anything like that.”

The comments suggest a rift between Manning, who missed the entire season because of a neck injury, and Irsay, who is six weeks from a deadline to pay the four-time league Most Valuable Player a $28 million bonus or risk losing him as a free agent. The Colts are expected to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick.

GOLF

PGA Tour proposal would change qualifying process

The PGA Tour is a step closer to eliminating Q-school as a path to getting a tour card, a significant overhaul that would include starting the official season in the fall instead of waiting for the next calendar year.

At the heart of the proposal is making the Nationwide Tour the primary means of getting to the big leagues. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem presented the basics of the plan Tuesday during a mandatory players meeting at Torrey Pines in San Diego ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open.

The biggest change involves Q-school. The plan is for the top 75 players from the Nationwide Tour and the top 75 players who failed to keep their PGA Tour cards to play a three-tournament series. Players would be ranked based on how they fared on their respective money lists, and the top 50 after that series would get cards. The rest would have the option of going to Q-school, where only Nationwide Tour status would be available.

If the plan is approved, the Las Vegas event would be the second stop on the schedule.

Also: Spencer Levin and Kyle Stanley each shot 10-under-par 62 on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines to share the first-round lead in the Farmers Insurance Open. Levin shot 29 on the back, and his 62 matched his career best on the PGA Tour. Stanley made eagle on his final hole to finish with his best score in two years.

They were one shot ahead of Bill Haas, who had a double bogey on his 15th hole and still managed a 63. The top 12 on the leaderboard played the North, which played slightly more than 3½ strokes easier than the South Course. The best score from the South was Marc Turnesa at 66.

Phil Mickelson, playing the South, hit into 11 bunkers, missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the final hole and finished with a 77 — his highest score at Torrey Pines since a 78 in the third round of 2005.

Tiger Woods shot a 2-under 70 that left him three strokes behind co-leader Rory McIlroy, his playing partner, after the first round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. McIlroy was tied with Robert Karlsson at 67, one stroke ahead of Gareth Maybin, Richard Finch and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet. The round included two holes-in-one — by Sergio Garcia and Jose Manuel Lara on the par-3 12th hole.

BASEBALL

Fielder reminisces about hanging out with Tigers

First baseman Prince Fielder, introduced by the Detroit Tigers after finalizing a $214 million, nine-year contract, recalled his earliest memories of old Tiger Stadium, when he would hang out at the ballpark where his father, Cecil, hit so many massive home runs from 1990 to 1996.

“For me, it was always Sparky (former manager Anderson) saying I was going to pinch hit — and I really believed him,” said Fielder, who would hit with the team during batting practice. “I’m just glad I get to come back.”

The 27-year-old’s free-agent deal is the fourth-largest in baseball history.

Also: The Cleveland Indians placed pitcher Fausto Carmona, who was arrested last week in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges, on baseball’s restricted list. He does not count against the team’s 25- or 40-man roster and will not be paid until he reports.

Carmona was charged with falsifying his name and birthdate so he could play for the Indians, who signed him as a free agent in 2000. Authorities in his homeland revealed Carmona’s real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia and that he’s 31 — three years older than the Indians believed.

MISCELLANEOUS

Wings’ Datsyuk picked first for NHL All-Star Game

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins went with offense in taking Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk with the No. 1 pick in the NHL All-Star draft. Daniel Alfredsson chose Ottawa Senators defenseman and teammate Erik Karlsson with his club’s first selection for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Ottawa, Ontario.

The distinction of Mr. Irrelevant went to San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, the last of 38 players selected. For being the last man standing, Couture won a car and will have $20,000 donated to his charity of choice.

Team Chara will face Team Alfredsson in the skills competition Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Also: Brandon Ashley had 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks to power Findlay Prep’s basketball team to a 103-55 home win over La Jolla Prep (Calif.) at Henderson International. Winston Shepard scored 20 points for Findlay Prep (21-1), and Nigel Williams-Goss supplied 15 points and nine rebounds. Chris Wood, a junior forward who has committed to UNLV, had 16 points and Nick Madray 15.

Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely after fracturing his left ankle Wednesday in Houston. Bogut’s left foot came down awkwardly on a Houston player’s foot after Bogut tried to block a shot in the first quarter.

Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki said he had a good week of work and plans to return to the lineup Sunday. He has missed three straight games and will miss today’s against the Utah Jazz as part of a planned hiatus to strengthen his sore right knee.

Former U.S. champion Rockne Brubaker and his new partner, Mary Beth Marley, won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif. They had a score of 65.80 points, more than four points better than second-place Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig. In the women’s short program, Agnes Zawadzki outskated three former winners to take a three-point lead over Alissa Czisny going into the free skate Saturday.

The UNLV men’s tennis team lost to UC Irvine 6-1 in its dual-match season opener at Irvine, Calif. Alex Bull won at No. 3 singles for the Rebels, and Tamas Batyi and Willie Sublette claimed their No. 3 doubles match.

Thirty-six UNLV student-athletes were named to the Fall 2011 Academic All-Mountain West Team. The football team had a school-high 13 honorees, followed by the soccer team with 11, the volleyball team with seven and the cross country team with five.

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