NCAA hits ex-Tennessee coach
Pearl with three-year penalty

The NCAA said it wanted to send a clear message by slapping Bruce Pearl with a three-year show-cause penalty: Coaches are responsible for their programs.

The sanctions announced Wednesday make it harder for the former Tennessee men’s basketball coach to get another college job anytime soon. Pearl is prohibited from recruiting during the next three years, and a school would have to convince the NCAA to have that penalty removed if it hired him.

“As these allegations are becoming more and more regular, it’s very clear that a head coach is being held responsible for his program,” said Britton Banowsky, Conference USA commissioner and vice-chair of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

The NCAA said it had punished Pearl for lying to investigators about improperly hosting recruits at his home and urging others to do the same. Former Pearl assistants Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes face the same sanctions, except they were only given one-year show-cause penalties for their own roles in misleading the NCAA.

Also: Authorities searched Louisiana State starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson’s Baton Rouge apartment and collected a swab of his DNA in connection with a bar fight last week that injured four people.

“He gave us 100 percent cooperation,” Baton Rouge police Sgt. Don Stone said, adding that the quarterback’s attorney also showed up and that authorities didn’t ask Jefferson any questions.

“During the course of the investigation, we got enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for his home. The reason was to search for certain items that will assist in the ongoing investigation and will help either prove or disprove the allegations against Jefferson.”

Investigators left with several brown bags of evidence, but Stone said he could not immediately discuss what items were taken.

Purdue’s top quarterback, Rob Henry, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. School officials will not say how much time Henry could miss until he undergoes more tests. The injury occurred during Tuesday’s practice.

Losing Henry could open the door for Robert Marve, the transfer from Miami who lost his starting job after tearing the ACL in his left knee last season. Henry has been listed No. 1 on Purdue’s depth chart since practice opened earlier this month.


Biddle, Penner, Hahn advance
to U.S. Amateur match play

UNLV’s Blake Biddle held a two-hole lead, and teammate Kevin Penner was even when darkness halted match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Erin, Wis.

Biddle, a sophomore for the Rebels, was 2 up on Marty Jeppesen II of Ypsilanti, Mich., through eight holes when play was stopped. Penner, a junior at UNLV, was all square through 10 holes of his match with Tom Lewis of England.

Las Vegas’ John Hahn was also all square with Hunter Hamrick of Montgomery, Ala., through two holes. Play will resume at 5:30 a.m. PDT today.

Prior to the start of match play, the second round of stroke play was completed. Coronado High School senior AJ McInerney shot 3-over 75 and failed to make the cut after finishing with a two-round total of 144.

Also missing the cut, which came at 142, were UNLV senior Derek Ernst (149) and Boulder City’s Joseph Harrison (153).


Ex-Cy Young winner Flanagan
found dead outside home

Former Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan, who won 167 games over 18 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays, has died.

Authorities found a body outside Flanagan’s home in Monkton, Md., on Wednesday afternoon, and it was later determined to be the former left-handed pitcher. Flanagan was 59.

The Orioles confirmed Flanagan’s death Wednesday night.

Flanagan won the Cy Young Award with the Orioles in 1979, when he went 23-9 with a 3.08 ERA and five shutouts. He also played for Baltimore’s 1983 world championship team, going 12-4 despite missing nearly three months with ligament damage in his left knee.

Also: The San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium suffered a slight setback in his recovery over the weekend, according to his family.

Bryan Stow’s family members posted on their website that a spinal fluid test came back positive for urinary tract and staph infections. Doctors at San Francisco General Hospital have been giving him antibiotics and an ice vest to cool him from a high fever, they said.

Doctors and relatives have described Stow’s recovery as filled with ups and downs since the March attack in the stadium parking lot after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home opener. The 42-year-old Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two was upgraded from critical to serious condition in June.

Ben Askelson hit a high 0-1 curveball onto the hill beyond the left-field fence to send the squad from Billings, Mont., into the U.S. final of the Little League World Series with a 1-0, seven-inning victory over Huntington Beach, Calif.

Montana gets to rest up until the U.S. championship game Saturday, while California must face Clinton County, Pa., tonight.

In the other winners’ bracket game, Mexico beat Venezuela 2-1 in nine innings to advance to Saturday’s international final. Venezuela next plays Japan today.


Patrick expected to announce
plans to race in Nationwide

Danica Patrick will hold a news conference today and is expected to announce her 2012 move to NASCAR.

The Associated Press reported this month that Patrick was finalizing a deal to drive full time for JR Motorsports in the second-tier Nationwide Series. She was also working on a limited schedule of elite Sprint Cup Series races for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Patrick and chairman Bob Parsons will be at today’s announcement at company headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. An advisory said Patrick will announce her 2012 plans while “putting the rumors to rest with the ‘real story in her own words.’ ”

Also: Kevin Harvick extended his winning streak in the NASCAR Trucks Series, while Sprint Cup rival Kyle Busch’s winning streak at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn., came to a crashing halt.

Harvick raced to his third straight Trucks victory, holding off John Sauter. Coming off victories at Pocono and Michigan, Harvick led the final 103 laps en route to his 12th career Trucks win.

Busch entered the event with five consecutive victories in NASCAR’s three national touring series on the high-banked short track, and three straight at Bristol in the Trucks Series. He finished 30th after making contact with pole sitter Elliott Sadler midway through the race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay is still the winner of the New Hampshire IndyCar series race.

A three-member panel upheld Brian Barnhart’s decision to revert the finishing order to what it had been before the crash-marred final restart on Aug. 14 in Loudon.

Barnhart said after the race it was a mistake to restart on a damp track — a decision some drivers and teams, notably Hunter-Reay and Will Power — had vehemently opposed.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open for the first time, followed by defending champion Rafael Nadal and five-time winner Roger Federer.

The tournament followed the ATP rankings for the men’s singles seedings. It did the same for the women’s seedings, with Serena Williams 28th.

Djokovic is having one of the best seasons in tennis history: 57-2 with nine titles, including at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. He’s seeking his first championship at Flushing Meadows, where he was runner-up to Nadal in 2010 and to Federer in 2007.

Andy Murray is seeded No. 4, while Mardy Fish is No. 8, the first time he’ll be the highest-seeded American at the U.S. Open. Play starts Monday.

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