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Headlines from around the world in sports

NFL

Diehl agrees to new deal with Giants; Cruz waits

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants put a little more money in the Victor Cruz contract fund this week by cutting the salary of right tackle David Diehl by nearly $3.5 million.

The paycut was revealed when a look at Diehl’s salary for this season was listed at $1 million on the NFLPA website yesterday. The 11-year veteran had been scheduled to make $4.37 million in the final year of his contract.

Cruz, who has led the team in receiving the past two years, remains a free agent.

NFL

Ravens reach agreement with Huff on 3-year deal

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a three-year deal with former Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff.

Huff played his entire seven-year with the Raiders before being released last week. The 29-year-old visited the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week.

He must pass a physical before he can sign a contract.

Huff is expected to fill a void in the backfield for the Super Bowl champions, who previously this offseason released starting strong safety Bernard Pollard and lost free safety Ed Reed to Houston via free agency.

NFL

Cowboys clear space, sign 2 free agents

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys signed safety Will Allen and linebacker Justin Durant to free-agent contracts.

Dallas was able to sign the two defensive players yesterday after restructuring the contract of backup quarterback Kyle Orton and releasing receiver Anthony Armstrong to clear enough salary-cap space. Allen and Durant could be potential starters in the Cowboys’ new 4-3 scheme with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Durant started 14 games and had 103 tackles last season for Detroit, where he played the last two years after starting his career with four seasons in Jacksonville.

Allen spent the last three seasons in Pittsburgh after six in Tampa Bay. He has started 33 of his 130 NFL games with 238 tackles, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

NFL

Raiders release DT Kelly

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders released defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, cutting ties with their longest-tenured position player on the roster.

Kelly signed a $50.1 million, seven-year contract to remain with Oakland in 2008. He was owed $6.5 million this year before being cut. Kelly had one sack in 16 games last season.

BASEBALL

Hughes to start season on Yankees’ disabled list

TAMPA, Fla. – Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes will join Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson on New York’s disabled list for the start of the season.

New York Manager Joe Girardi announced the decision yesterday after watching Hughes pitch in his second minor league exhibition game since returning from a bulging disk in his upper back.

Hughes is expected to miss his first turn through the rotation, which means that fifth-starter candidates Ivan Nova and David Phelps are both likely to start the season in the rotation.

BASEBALL

Forbes values Yankees at $2.3 billion

NEW YORK – Forbes estimated the New York Yankees have the highest value in Major League Baseball for the 16th straight year at $2.3 billion, and the average for an MLB team increased by 23 percent in the last year to $744 million.

The magazine said yesterday the Yankees’ value increased from $1.85 billion last year.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are second in MLB at $1.62 billion – nearly $400 million below the price paid for the team last May when a group headed by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson bought the franchise from Frank McCourt.

Forbes valued Boston third at $1.3 billion, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($1 billion) and Philadelphia ($893 million). The bottom five are Tampa Bay ($451 million), Kansas City ($457 million), Oakland ($468 million), Pittsburgh ($479 million) and Miami ($520 million).

NBA

Lakers’ World Peace out 6 weeks, needs knee surgery

MINNEAPOLIS – Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace will have surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee and miss the next six weeks.

The Lakers announced the timeline yesterday. World Peace is scheduled to have surgery today and he won’t be ready when the playoffs begin next month, if the Lakers reach the postseason.

World Peace was injured on Monday night against Golden State. He is averaging 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Appalachian State stepping up a level, will join Sun Belt

BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State has announced it is leaving the Southern Conference to join the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.

The Mountaineers, who won three consecutive FCS national championships from 2005-07 and captured 10 Southern Conference titles in football, will be stepping up to play at the FBS level.

Appalachian State will begin playing Sun Belt games and will be a revenue-sharing member of the conference in 2014 and be allowed to compete for the conference title. However, the Mountaineers will not be eligible to play in a bowl game until 2015.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Auriemma signs new contract to stay at UConn

STORRS, Conn. – Connecticut signed women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma to a new five-year, $10.86 million contract designed to keep him at the school through the 2017-18 season.

The 59-year-old Hall of Famer, who has coached at UConn for the past 28 seasons, will make $1.95 million in salary, speaking fees and media fees in the next year. That will gradually increase to $2.4 million in the final year of the contract.

He also can earn bonuses for winning conference championships, advancing in the NCAA tournament and winning another national title. Auriemma has led the Huskies to seven national championships and 13 Final Fours.

TENNIS

Sharapova beats Errani in Key Biscayne quarters

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – The grunts were long and loud in the final game, as if Maria Sharapova was pushing a couch across nearby Crandon Beach.

Trying to win the Sony Open must feel that way to Sharapova, a four-time runner-up. She returned to the semifinals yesterday despite a patchy performance, beating Sara Errani, 7-5, 7-5.

Seeded No. 3, she’ll play today against the winner of the quarterfinal last night between 15th-seeded Roberta Vinci and No. 22 Jelena Jankovic.

Sharapova faced Errani in a rematch of last year’s French Open final, which Sharapova won to complete a career Grand Slam. But she has never won Key Biscayne, losing the final in 2005, ’06, ’11 and ’12.

SOCCER

US-Mexico tie draws big TV audience for soccer

BRISTOL, Conn. – The scoreless tie between the United States and Mexico more than doubled the previous high viewership for a World Cup qualifier on an ESPN network.

The game Tuesday night was watched by 2.385 million people on ESPN. The company said yesterday that the previous high was 1.191 million viewers for a 2009 U.S.-Mexico match on ESPN2.

The Americans earned only their second point in a World Cup qualifier at Azteca Stadium. The tie moved the U.S. (1-1-1) into third place in World Cup qualifying for the North and Central American and Caribbean region after three of 10 matches.

SNOWBOARDING

Finland’s Korpi wins halfpipe at Snowboard World Cup

SIERRA NEVADA, Spain – Janne Korpi of Finland won the men’s halfpipe at the Snowboard World Cup yesterday for his 10th career victory.

Korpi won with a score of 91 points, 7.25 more than Ayumu Nedefuji and 8.50 in front of Shuhei Sato, who are both from Japan.

In the women’s event, Sophie Rodriguez of France won ahead of Jiayu Liu of China and Ursina Haller of Switzerland.

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