Headlines from Around the World in Sports
Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) waves to the fans as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. The Bears beat the Titans 51-20. (AP Photo/Joe Howell) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, poses with the trophy of the alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill discipline title, in Schladming, Austria, Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Lindsey Vonn ended the women's World Cup downhill season in style by dominating the final race on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
Former Texas coach Royal dies at 88
AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas said former football coach Darrell Royal, who won two national championships and a share of a third, has died. He was 88.
UT spokesman Nick Voinis yesterday confirmed Royal’s death in Austin. Voinis did not immediately provide further details.
Royal suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.
Royal coached Texas from 1957-1976, won 11 Southwest Conference titles and introduced an innovation known as the wishbone offense to major college football in 1968. He led the Longhorns to two national championships in 1963 and 1969, plus a share of a third in 1970.
Colts rookie Luck’s jersey arrives at Hall of Fame
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are going to great lengths to support their ailing coach Chuck Pagano.
In a show of support, a group of about a dozen players shaved their heads after Tuesday’s practice. Pagano lost his hair while undergoing treatment for leukemia.
Director of player engagement David Thornton had a barber in the locker room following Tuesday’s practice and about a dozen players, including kicker Adam Vinatieri, defensive end Cory Redding, Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea and punter Pat McAfee lined up. McAfee cut his long hair two years ago and donated it to Locks of Love.
Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia on Sept. 26 and remained hospitalized for treatment until Oct. 21. On Monday, his physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, said Pagano was in “complete remission.”
Cardinals place Schofield on IR, re-sign Talley
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals have placed outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield on injured reserve and re-signed defensive end Ronald Talley.
Schofield damaged ligaments in his left ankle in Sunday’s loss at Green Bay and will require surgery. Talley played in six games for Arizona last season and was released Aug. 31 as part of the team’s final roster cuts.
The Cardinals also re-signed cornerback Greg McCoy to the practice squad to replace cornerback Crezdon Butler, who was signed to the active roster of the Buffalo Bills.
McCoy, a seventh-round draft pick by Chicago out of TCU, was released by the Bears on Aug. 31. He signed with Arizona’s practice squad on Sept. 11 but released on Oct. 23.
In another move, the Cardinals reached an injury settlement with offensive tackle Jeremy Bridges.
Bears CB Tillman might miss game for baby’s birth
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears star cornerback Charles Tillman might miss Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans because of the birth of his daughter.
Tillman told Chicago radio station WSCR-AM that he might not be available because his wife, Jackie, is due to give birth to a girl. She will be the couple’s fourth child. Their daughter, Tiana, needed a heart transplant after she was born in 2008.
Tillman said if the baby is born Sunday, “I think I’m going to have to be at the hospital.”
Tillman is making a case for defensive player of the year, and he forced four fumbles last Sunday at Tennessee. His teammates on the NFC North leaders expressed their support for him before practice yesterday. Tillman was not available for comment.
Falcons release Polite, re-sign FB Mike Cox
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons re-signed fullback Mike Cox and released the player who beat him out, Lousaka Polite.
Cox initially signed with the Falcons last season after Ovie Mughelli went down with an injury. Cox was favored to keep the job heading into this season but the Falcons went with Polite, a seven-year veteran who had previously played with Dallas, Chicago, Miami and New England.
With the running game not performing as well as expected, the Falcons brought back Cox yesterday for his blocking skills. Also, he might provide help in pass protection with this week’s opponent, New Orleans, expected to blitz heavily. The Saints sacked Michael Vick seven times in a Monday night victory.
The Falcons also signed offensive lineman Jacques McClendon to the practice squad.
Big Mac returns to SoCal as Dodgers hitting coach
LOS ANGELES – Mark McGwire was hired yesterday as hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he’ll work with All-Star sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
McGwire spent the past three seasons in the same job with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he starred during parts of his 16-year major league career. During McGwire’s tenure, the Cardinals led the National League in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337), ranked second in runs (2,263) and fourth in slugging percentage (.416).
He worked with All-Star sluggers Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols, while helping develop 2011World Series MVP David Freese.
The job is a homecoming for McGwire, who is from the Los Angeles suburb of Pomona and currently lives in Orange County. He played college baseball at Southern California and was a member of Oakland’s 1989 World Series champion team.
McGwire replaces Dave Hansen, who was let go last month and hired by the Seattle Mariners for the same job.
Padres catcher Grandal gets 50-game drug ban
NEW YORK – San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal was suspended 50 games because of a positive test for testosterone.
The commissioner’s office announced the drug penalty yesterday. The ban will take effect at the start of next season.
Grandal made his big league debut this year. He hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games. He turns 24 tomorrow.
Grandal issued a statement in which apologized to fans, his teammates and the Padres. He said he took responsibility for his actions.
There have been seven suspensions this year under the major league drug program. There have been 101 minor league suspensions.
Cavs’ rookie Zeller out with concussion
CLEVELAND – Cavaliers rookie center Tyler Zeller will be out indefinitely with a concussion and broken cheekbone.
Zeller was elbowed in the face by Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game. The Cavs said tests taken in San Francisco revealed Zeller sustained a non-displaced fracture of his left orbital cheekbone. He has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol process.
The Cavs said there is “no specific timeline” for Zeller’s return and that he will continue to be monitored and evaluated.
The first-round draft pick from North Carolina scored a season-high 15 points with seven rebounds in 24 minutes before he was injured in Cleveland’s 108-101 win.
Vonn skips WCup in Finland; readies for Aspen
STOCKHOLM – Lindsey Vonn will skip the first World Cup slalom of the season in Finland this weekend, choosing instead to prepare for home races in Colorado.
U.S. Ski Team spokesman Doug Haney said Vonn “has had an incredible preparation period” so far, but will focus on the only U.S. stop on the women’s circuit on Nov. 24-25 in Aspen, Colo.
Vonn’s request to compete in a men’s World Cup downhill race was rejected Saturday by the International Ski Federation.
Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, wanted to enter the men’s downhill on Nov. 24 at Lake Louise, Alberta. If she had been allowed to race against the men, she would have missed the two races in Aspen because they’re on the same weekend.
Top-ranked Djokovic holds off Murray at ATP finals
LONDON – Novak Djokovic got the big break when he needed it late in the third set to hold off Andy Murray, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 yesterday at the ATP finals.
Murray looked unbeatable at the start, breaking Djokovic in the first game and losing only three points on his serve in the first set.
But Djokovic was able to convert break chances in each of the next two sets, and then for a third time at 5-5 in the final set to serve out the match.