Bush deposition set in lawsuit
stemming from career at USC

Reggie Bush is scheduled to give a long-sought deposition next week in a lawsuit by a fledgling sports marketer who is trying to recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts the star running back and his family allegedly accepted while he was playing at Southern California.

The deposition, announced Wednesday, is scheduled for April 23 in the San Diego office of attorney Brian Watkins. Watkins represents Lloyd Lake in his lawsuit against Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner who now plays for the New Orleans Saints.

Lake’s former partner, Michael Michaels, is also scheduled for a deposition next week, Watkins said. Michaels reached an out-of-court settlement with Bush’s family in April 2007.

The NCAA and Pac-10 are investigating whether Bush and his parents took improper benefits. Bush has not met with NCAA and Pac-10 investigators and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Also: The UNLV men’s and women’s tennis programs swept Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors.

Jana Albers shared the women’s award with San Diego State’s Julia Trunk. Albers went 4-0 in team victories over New Mexico and Texas Christian, netting singles and doubles wins in each match.

Luca Barlocchi was 4-0 in the Rebels’ wins over New Mexico and Air Force.


Thrashers fire coach, shuffle
pair of front-office positions

The Atlanta Thrashers made a major shake-up after again missing the NHL playoffs, firing coach John Anderson and appointing Rick Dudley to replace Don Waddell as general manager.

Waddell was bumped upstairs to team president. He will be responsible mainly for the business aspects of a franchise that has made the postseason only once since entering the NHL in 1999 and ranked near the bottom of the league in attendance.

Dudley, who joined the Thrashers as associate general manager last summer, will run the hockey operations, looking to bolster a roster that dealt its top player, Ilya Kovalchuck, at this season’s trade deadline when it couldn’t come to terms on a new contract.

Anderson served two years as coach after being promoted from the same job with the team’s top minor league affiliate in Chicago. He was 70-75-19 and had a nasty falling-out with one of the team’s leading offensive players, Slava Kozlov, who said the team had the talent to make the playoffs but was poorly coached.

Also: Buffalo right wing Drew Stafford still hasn’t been cleared for full contact after sustaining a concussion four days ago, He probably will miss the Sabres’ first game of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins today.

Stafford, who proclaimed himself headache-free, practiced with the team Wednesday but wore a noncontact yellow jersey.

Davis Payne is now coach of the St. Louis Blues. Payne had been the Blues’ interim coach since Jan. 2, when he replaced Andy Murray.

Payne, 39, becomes the NHL’s youngest coach. He led the Blues to a 23-15-4 record after taking over for Murray, including a 12-5-2 home record after the team had the league’s worst home mark for much of the season.


Man sentenced to life in prison
for shooting prep football coach

A judge in Allison, Iowa, sentenced a former high school football player to life in prison, telling him he had chosen to commit an evil act in killing his former coach, Ed Thomas.

Mark D. Becker, 24, will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole for gunning down Thomas at the Aplington-Parkersburg High School weight room on June 24, 2009, in front of about 20 students.

A jury convicted Becker of first-degree murder in March, rejecting an insanity plea. The conviction carried a mandatory life sentence.

Also: Arsenal missed a chance to move into second place in the English Premier League, losing 2-1 in London to Tottenham, the Gunners’ first defeat to their north London rival in 11 years.

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