Ex-standout linebacker George Webster dies

George Webster, a former Michigan State All-American and NFL standout linebacker who lost a U.S. Supreme Court attempt to have his NFL disability pension increased, died Thursday. He was 61.

Michigan State associate athletic director John Lewandowski said Webster died in Houston of heart failure.

In 1989, Webster applied for benefits as totally and permanently disabled. He was found to have lost most use of a hand, foot, knee and ankle from football-related injuries but did not meet the NFL’s definition of totally disabled.

Also: Todd Sauerbrun agreed to a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos. The 13-year punter started last season with Denver but lost his job to Paul Ernster while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy for using the dietary aid ephedra.

Britt Reid and Garrett Reid, the sons of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from separate traffic incidents on the same day in late January.


Las Vegan Gaughan makes Hall of Fame

Las Vegan Michael Gaughan was part of a nine-person class selected for induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

Gaughan, 64, worked with the late Benny Binion to bring the National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas in 1985 and serves on the NFR Committee, along with being a Las Vegas Events board member for 17 years.

Joining Gaughan are rodeo champions Bud Munroe, Jim Davis, Joe Glenn and Ronnie Rossen, veterinarian Doug Corey, secretary Dorothy Apodaca, rodeo clown Lecile Harris and three-time bull of the year Pacific Bell.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for July 14 in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Blue Jackets fire GM after six losing seasons

The Columbus Blue Jackets fired president and general manager Doug MacLean after the team’s sixth straight losing season without a trip to the NHL playoffs.

Mike Priest will take over as president, and assistant general manager Jim Clark will be elevated to interim GM.

The Blue Jackets, 33-42-7 this season, are the only one of the 30 NHL teams never to make the playoffs.

Also: Defenseman Erik Johnson, the first overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, signed with the St. Louis Blues. Johnson, 19, decided to go pro after one season at Minnesota, where he had four goals and 20 assists in 41 games. MISCELLANEOUS

Nadal, Federer cruise in Monte Carlo tourney

Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak on clay to 64 matches and Roger Federer cruised to victory in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.

Nadal scored 21 straight points in the second set to beat Belgium’s Kristof Vliegen, 6-1, 6-1. Federer defeated South Korean Lee Hyung-taik, 6-4, 6-3.

Also: PGA Tour rookie Kyle Reifers shot a course-record 8-under 64 at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., giving him a two-shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia after the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Reifers’ round was one shot better than the previous record on the 3-year-old course, which had been set by both Chris DiMarco and Arjun Atwal in 2005.

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier told his lawyer to drop a lawsuit against his daughter after she pledged to help him locate his missing business records. The files at the center of the legal dispute never left “Smokin’ Joe’s” North Philadelphia gym, a lawyer for Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde said.

Louisiana Lafayette was placed on probation for two years and will lose two basketball scholarships under NCAA sanctions stemming from a basketball player’s correspondence course and the football program’s mandatory summer workouts.

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