USC coach takes blame for possible violation

Southern California coach Tim Floyd took the blame Thursday for a possible NCAA rules violation by freshman standout O.J. Mayo.

Mayo accepted free tickets to Monday night’s game between Denver and the Los Angeles Lakers from Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, and attended after telling his coach of the situation.

Mayo told reporters Tuesday he had received the tickets, which were located near midcourt at Staples Center and had a face value of $230 each.

The NCAA could consider Anthony a friend who gave Mayo the tickets rather than a representative of the Nuggets, perhaps making the matter legal by NCAA standards.

Also: Two men were indicted by a Hennepin (Minn.) County Grand Jury on first-degree murder charges in the death of former Villanova star Howard Porter.

Fredquinzo Ronte King and Rashad Arthur Raleigh, both 29, each were indicted on counts of premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree murder while committing or trying to commit aggravated robbery.

Porter disappeared May 18 after leaving his St. Paul home. He was found in Minneapolis the next morning, badly injured, and was taken to the hospital. He died May 26.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sasha Pavlovic could miss up to two months because of a sprained left foot.

Pavlovic got hurt during the third quarter of Wednesday’s win over Washington.


Haig, Westwood share lead at Qatar Masters

Anton Haig and Lee Westwood each shot 5-under-par 67s to share the lead after the first round of the Qatar Masters in Doha.

Haig and Westwood led a group of seven players by two strokes at Doha Golf Club — former UNLV standout Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Paul Broadhurst, Marcel Siem, Johan Edfors, Alexander Noren and Henrik Stenson.

Also: UNLV graduate Mark Gardner, the former assistant tournament director for the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn., has been named tournament director of Las Vegas’ annual PGA event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.


Teenager scores upset at U.S. skating event

Mirai Nagasu pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

In her first competition as a senior, the 14-year-old won the short program in St. Paul, Minn., over former world champion Kimmie Meissner.

Nagasu’s score of 70.23 gave her a 12.65 point lead over Meissner, and it will be almost impossible for the defending national champion to beat her in Saturday’s free skate.

Ashley Wagner is second with 65.15 points.

Nagasu can’t go to the world championships even if she wins because she’s too young.

Earlier, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the original dance with 64.29 points for a 106.15 total.

With Saturday’s free dance left, they seem poised to win their fifth U.S. dance title.

Also: Czech Tomas Verner won his first major international championship, taking the European men’s title in Zagreb, Croatia.

Santa Anita called off racing for the fourth time this month because of heavy rainfall and overnight hail on a synthetic track that has had drainage problems since its installation.

Live racing was canceled, but the Arcadia, Calif., track was open for simulcast racing.

Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella coached his 507th game in the Lightning’s 8-4 home loss to Ottawa, breaking a tie with Herb Brooks for most games coached by an American-born NHL coach.

Daniel Alfredsson had three goals and three assists for the Senators.

Wes Malott took a 43-pin lead over Chris Barnes after the second round of the PBA Tournament of Champions at Red Rock.


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