Headlines from around the world in sports
Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden is Redskins’ coach
WASHINGTON – Jay Gruden was hired as the Washington Redskins’ coach yesterday, succeeding Mike Shanahan and joining a 3-13 team after working the last three seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator.
With the Bengals, the 46-year-old Gruden helped develop Andy Dalton. Now he’ll have the task of grooming another young franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III.
Gruden, the brother of former NFL coach and Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, had drawn interest from at least three other teams seeking head coaches. He interviewed with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday.
Shanahan was fired last week after a season that ended with eight consecutive losses. The Redskins finished last in the NFC East during three of Shanahan’s four seasons in Washington, a time marked by discord among ownership, quarterback and coach.
Gruden will become owner Dan Snyder’s eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. The span includes just four winning seasons and seven last-place finishes.
Harvin will play for Seattle vs. New Orleans
RENTON, Wash. – Wide receiver Percy Harvin will play for the Seattle Seahawks in tomorrow’s NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints after missing most of the season following hip surgery.
Seattle Coach Pete Carroll said following yesterday’s practice that Harvin would play. Carroll said there would be no limitations on how they can use Harvin, including being used on kickoff returns.
Harvin has played in just one game this season, in Week 11 against Minnesota, after undergoing surgery to repair the labrum in his hip in early August. Harvin said there were a couple of setbacks following his lone game this season, but he impressed Carroll enough during a workout on Dec. 30 to avoid being put on injured reserve.
Giants RB Wilson to have neck surgery
NEWARK, N.J. – New York Giants top running back David Wilson needs neck surgery and his future in football is uncertain.
Giants General Manager Jerry Reese disclosed the news yesterday during a radio interview with WFAN in New York City.
New York’s first-round draft pick in 2012, Wilson was hurt on Oct. 6 after being tackled coming out of his own end zone in a home game against Philadelphia.
Wilson will have a fusion of the vertebrae to repair the herniated disc in his neck.
Verlander has core muscle repair surgery
DETROIT – Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent muscle repair surgery yesterday after injuring himself last month during offseason conditioning.
Dr. Bill Meyers in Philadelphia performed the operation on Verlander, who is expected to need six weeks of rehab before being evaluated again. The first workout for Detroit’s pitchers and catchers at spring training is scheduled for Feb. 14. The first spring training game is Feb. 25 against Florida Southern College.
The team did not identify the “core muscle” that was repaired, but called the surgery successful. General Manager Dave Dombrowski said the team expects Verlander to participate in spring training and “be in a position to compete” at the beginning of the 2014 season.
Stewart vows to do job 100 percent upon return
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart said he’ll be ready to race at full speed when the NASCAR season opens next month.
The three-time NASCAR champion missed the final 15 races last season with a broken right leg. He won’t be cleared to compete until Daytona International Speedway opens for preparations for the season-opening Daytona 500.
His first day in the car will be Feb. 14, one day before the exhibition Sprint Unlimited and 10 days before the 500.
Stewart said yesterday he does not expect to be feeling 100 percent when he gets back in the car, but he’ll “be able to do my job 100 percent.”
Ganassi and Penske change team names
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske both tweaked their team names headed into the 2014 seasons.
Ganassi has dropped “Earnhardt” from the formal name of his NASCAR organization. His team will now be known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, the name it used before a late 2008 merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Penske, meanwhile, wants all of his teams to be called Team Penske. His NASCAR organization had used Penske Racing, while IndyCar had been Team Penske.
Louisville announces it has hired Petrino as coach
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville has hired Bobby Petrino for a second stint as the Cardinals’ football coach.
The school made the announcement yesterday morning on its website after a unanimous vote by the school’s athletic association. Petrino returns to the Cardinals after leading them to a 41-9 record from 2003-06. He replaces Charlie Strong, who left last weekend to accept the Texas job.
Petrino takes over a Cardinal program coming off a 12-1 finish and gearing up to join the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. He is 83-30 lifetime as a college coach and comes to Louisville after guiding Western Kentucky to an 8-4 finish in his only season with the Hilltoppers.
Auburn’s Mason to enter NFL draft
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn tailback Tre Mason is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
The Heisman Trophy finalist announced his decision yesterday. Mason said he’s “a dream chaser, and I’m trying to turn this dream into a reality.”
Mason broke Bo Jackson’s 28-year-old school single-season record with 1,816 yards. He also ran for 24 touchdowns.
Mason rushed for 195 yards and scored two touchdowns in Monday night’s BCS championship game against Florida State Monday night.
Mason is projected as a likely mid-round draft pick.
FSU and star QB Winston could face lawsuit
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The attorney for a woman who accused star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault said she will sue the school, the Tallahassee Police Department and the player himself.
Patricia Carroll said yesterday she intends to file a notice to sue the police department early next week. Under Florida law, anyone filing a lawsuit against a government agency must file court paperwork six months prior to the suit itself.
Winston’s attorney said the sex with the woman was consensual and no charges were filed against Winston after Leon County prosecutors investigated.
Kvitova loses in Sydney semis; del Potro advances
SYDNEY – Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova reached her first WTA final by beating second-seeded Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 6-3, in the semifinals of the Sydney International yesterday.
Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, was broken twice in the first set and four times in the second against Pironkova, who finished last season ranked No. 108.
With qualifiers and main draw, she has now won seven consecutive matches in Sydney and is aiming for No. 8 in the final, where she’ll meet fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber, who beat American Madison Keys, 6-4, 6-2, in the other semifinal yesterday.
In the men’s tournament, top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro beat Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, to set up a semifinal against Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov, who earned a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Defending champion Bernard Tomic beat Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, 6-4, 6-3, in a night quarterfinal.