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In Brief


Agassi, Sampras to meet in February exhibition match

Las Vegan Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are renewing their rivalry — and in the Big Apple, no less. With John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, too.

Those four tennis greats — owners of a combined 37 Grand Slam titles — will participate in the 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition matches at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28.

Sampras-Agassi will be best of three sets. McEnroe-Lendl will be one set of first to eight games.

Sampras and Agassi met in three U.S. Open finals in New York, with Sampras winning each time, including his first major title in 1990 and his 14th in 2002 — the last match of his career.

McEnroe won the U.S. Open four times and Lendl three. They met for the title in 1984, with McEnroe winning, and in 1985, when Lendl won.

Also: Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer will lead Spain in its Davis Cup quarterfinal against France next month.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will be missing for Spain in the best-of-5 series in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The seven-time Grand Slam winner, playing at Wimbledon this week, wants to be fit for the year’s last major, the U.S. Open, which begins in late August.

The San Diego Sports Arena has been chosen by the U.S. Tennis Association to host the Fed Cup final between the United States and Italy on Nov. 6 and 7.


Three UCLA football players dismissed after theft charge

UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel dismissed three incoming freshmen for violating team rules.

The school said Paul Richardson, Shaquille Richardson and Josh Shirley were informed of the decision Tuesday.

The three 18-year-olds were arrested on campus June 23 by university police and charged with suspicion of felony theft for allegedly stealing a student’s purse from a storage locker in a dormitory.

Also: Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson said the league plans to operate with eight members in the 2011-12 season after Boise State departs.

Boise State has accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference after this season. Benson said that the WAC will delay adding to its membership until July 1, 2012, at the earliest.

UNLV’s football game at West Virginia on Oct. 9 will start at 12:30 p.m. Pacific.


Stars won’t retain Modano; center hopes to keep playing

If Mike Modano plays a 21st season in the NHL, it won’t be with the Dallas Stars.

The face of the franchise that proved hockey could thrive in the South will not be offered a contract by the Stars when free agency opens Thursday. That difficult decision had to be made by Modano’s teammate-turned-boss, Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk.

Now the NHL’s highest-scoring U.S.-born player must decide whether to put on something other than a Stars sweater for the first time.

"I’m leaning toward playing," Modano told The Associated Press after the Stars made their announcement. "It certainly depends where and what teams are interested."

Also: Avione Allgood of Legacy High School placed second in the girls javelin at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.

The junior-to-be had a throw of 163 feet, 1 inch, behind Allison Updike of Tamaqua Area High School (Pa.), who threw 167-2. With the runner-up finish, Allgood qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick. The event runs July 16 to 25.

The United States finished group play unbeaten after defeating the Czech Republic 9-0 at the world softball championships in Caracas, Venezuela.

Four playoff games are set for today, with four more Thursday. The championship game is Friday.

NASCAR suspended the gasman for AJ Allmendinger’s Sprint Cup team for violating the sport’s substance abuse policy. Richard Petty Motorsports said it in turn released Chris Moore from the organization. Moore failed a random drug test given two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway.

The lawyer for cyclist Riccardo Ricco said the Italian rider has been found guilty by a French court of a doping offense on the 2008 Tour de France. Ricco tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO, after winning two mountain stages on the 2008 Tour.

Olympic speedskating champion Christine Nesbitt of Canada is recovering from a fractured right arm after a car struck her while she was cycling home from a training session. The 1,000-meter gold medalist at the Vancouver Games posted on her Twitter account that the incident occurred Friday and joked, "I guess I have a rest week now."

Spanish soccer power Real Madrid will play the Los Angeles Galaxy in a preseason exhibition at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Aug. 7.

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Today’s local and national sports

Here’s today’s local and national sports schedule, including television and radio listings.