IN BRIEF

FOOTBALL

Rodriguez deal linked with banned booster

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez was business partners with a banned Clemson booster in a failed real-estate venture that led to a $3.9 million lawsuit.

Clegg Lamar Greene was part of the deal tied to a federal lawsuit accusing Rodriguez of defaulting on a multimillion-dollar loan tied to a Virginia condo development.

The news site AnnArbor.com first reported the connection late Tuesday.

Greene, 71, was arrested Dec. 29 on five felony counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent. He is accused of stealing money from investors, including Rodriguez, to pay debts on various business deals, buy furniture and have cosmetic surgery.

Mike Wilcox, a Toledo, Ohio-based adviser to Rodriguez, issued a statement saying the coach had been the victim of a Ponzi scheme dating to 2004.

Also: The Motor City Bowl was rechristened as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, with the Detroit-based pizza chain stepping up to sponsor the bowl game as two of the region’s beleaguered automakers step down.

Texas Christian athletic director Danny Morrison is leaving the school to become team president of the Carolina Panthers.

Drake football coach Chris Creighton has suspended 14 players, including three starters, from Saturday’s season opener against Grand View for an unspecified team violation.

MISCELLANEOUS

Vegas’ Magdaleno rolls in world amateur bout

Jesus Magdaleno’s quest for a world title got off to a good start as the Durango High School senior cruised in his first-round bantamweight bout at the world amateur boxing championships in Milan, Italy.

Magdaleno, the U.S. National Golden Gloves and USA Boxing National champion, routed Dimitrijis Gutmans of Latvia, 26-7.

Magdaleno led 9-2 after the first round, 16-6 after the second and closed out Gutmans with a 10-1 final round.

Magdaleno was the only American to advance Wednesday.

Also: Canadian billionaire James Balsillie has proposed having the Phoenix Coyotes begin the season in Arizona, then move to Hamilton, Ontario, as quickly as possible.

Balsillie’s attorney, Jeff Keffler, made the comment after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Redfield T. Baum said it was “reasonably probable” that he could not resolve the many outstanding issues in the messy Coyotes fight by a Sept. 14 deadline set by the Canadian.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jason Smith retired after playing in more than a thousand NHL games.

Smith, 35, scored only 41 goals during his career but made his presence felt in other ways.

“Whether we ever got anything out of him offensively or not didn’t matter,” Senators general manager Brian Murray said at a news conference. “What I liked about Jason was his leadership and the grit he provided around the net.”

Goaltender Roberto Luongo chose to finish his career in Vancouver because he thinks the Canucks can win a Stanley Cup.

The 12-year, $64 million contract extension he signed might help.

Hall of Fame jockey Ismael “Milo” Valenzuela, who twice won the Kentucky Derby and rode five-time Horse of the Year Kelso in the 1960s, died after a long illness. He was 74.

The Golden State Warriors signed free-agent center Mikki Moore.

An 11-year NBA veteran, the 7-foot Moore will provide depth in the frontcourt for a team that struggled with injuries at center last season.

The Atlanta Hawks added depth and size to their frontcourt by signing center Jason Collins, who spent last season with Minnesota.

The move comes about a week after the Hawks signed forward Joe Smith.

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