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College football

Florida State QB investigated in sexual assault

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is under investigation in an alleged sexual assault reported nearly a nearly a year ago.

The university and Winston’s attorney confirmed yesterday that the Tallahassee Police Department is conducting an investigation.

Winston has been spectacular for the No. 2 Seminoles in his first college season and the redshirt freshman is one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy. He has passed for 2,661 yards and 26 touchdowns to help Florida State win its first nine games and move into position for a spot in the BCS national championship game.

Tallahassee Police Department officials refused to answer any questions, although they did release a heavily redacted two-page incident report. The report does not mention Winston by name, but it says the incident took place between 1:30 and 2 a.m. last Dec. 7.

It describes the suspect in the sexual assault case as being between 5-foot-9 and 5-11. Winston is listed by Florida State at 6-4.

College football

Baylor Coach Briles gets new 10-year deal

Baylor Coach Art Briles agreed to a new 10-year contract with the fourth-ranked Bears, the team he has taken from perennial Big 12 loser to the conference’s lone remaining undefeated team.

Briles told the Associated Press last night he is really “humbled and blessed” by the new deal that goes into effect after this season.

Baylor regents approved the deal yesterday. Financial terms weren’t revealed, which is standard policy for the private university.

When Briles arrived at Baylor six years ago, the Bears had just finished their 12th consecutive losing season under four coaches since the inception of the Big 12.

Briles is 41-30 at Baylor, which is 8-0 for the first time in school history. The Bears are fifth in the BCS standings and have won a school-record 12 games in a row.


Spoelstra featured in UNICEF typhoon relief ad

MIAMI – Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra has teamed with UNICEF on a public service announcement urging people to help with typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines.

Spoelstra, whose mother is from the Philippines, is quoted in the 30-second spot as saying the devastation from the typhoon “has been catastrophic and millions of children have been impacted.” The NBA, the NBA Players Association and the Heat are among the groups who have already announced donations to relief efforts.

Spoelstra has visited the country multiple times in recent years. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the typhoon, which could wind up being the deadliest natural disaster on record.


Kubiak to coach Texans Sunday

HOUSTON – Houston’s Gary Kubiak will coach the Texans on Sunday against Oakland after missing the last game recovering from a mini-stroke.

Kubiak, who returned to work on Monday, spoke to reporters yesterday for the first time since collapsing on the field at halftime in Houston’s loss to Indianapolis on Nov. 2.

He says that doctors have limited his work this week, but that he will lead the team when the Texans try to break a franchise-record seven-game losing streak against the Raiders.


Williams lands with unbeaten Chiefs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs, one day after his release from the San Francisco 49ers.

Williams’s agent, Wynn Silberman, said Williams would fly to Kansas City later yesterday to join his new team and be reunited with former San Francisco teammate quarterback Alex Smith.

The Chiefs (9-0) said they released wideout Chad Hall to clear roster room for Williams’s arrival. Williams had already changed his Twitter handle to refer to himself as a “KC Chiefs WR” and posted a tweet that read only “Chiefs!”

Williams missed last season’s run to the Super Bowl – a 34-31 loss to the Ravens – because of a serious knee injury that required surgery. He remained a key member of the team and was honored with the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.


Ryan, Jets GM talked about Reed possibility

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Rex Ryan would love to be reunited with Ed Reed.

It’s on New York Jets General Manager John Idzik to make it happen. But that’s if he even wants the 35-year-old free-agent safety.

Reed, released Tuesday by Houston, cleared waivers yesterday and is available to any team. Ryan, who coached Reed for several years in Baltimore, acknowledged that it was “safe to say” he and Idzik discussed the possibility of adding him.

Ryan says “absolutely, yes,” he’d like to see Reed join him on the Jets. But the coach also quickly added that he’d want anybody he has ever coached or “bled for me.”

Despite his feelings about Reed, Ryan is pleased with his current group of safeties, including Antonio Allen, who he says could be “really good.”


Former Raiders TE Christensen dies at 57

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Raiders tight end and five-time Pro Bowler Todd Christensen died from complications during liver transplant surgery. He was 57.

Christensen’s son, Toby Christensen, said his father passed away yesterday morning at Intermountain Medical Center near his home in Alpine, Utah.

After a stellar career at running back for BYU from 1974-77, Christensen was a second-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL draft.

He was waived by the Cowboys after training camp but landed the next year with the Raiders, where he played for 10 seasons at tight end and won two Super Bowls. After his retirement in 1988, he went on to a career in broadcasting and most recently worked for CBS Sports Network.

Christensen was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Eugene, Ore., as a child.


Punto agrees to $3 million, 1-year deal with Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – Infielder Nick Punto agreed yesterday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics following a little more than a season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Punto’s deal, announced yesterday, calls for a $2.75 million salary and includes a $2.75 million club option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout. The option could become guaranteed based on days on the active major league roster next year, not including time on a disabled list.

The 36-year-old was acquired by the Dodgers from Boston on Aug. 25, 2012, as part of the nine-player trade that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles. Punto hit .255 this year with two homers and 21 RBIs in 116 games.

He has a .248 career average with Philadelphia (2001-03), Minnesota (2004-10), St. Louis (2011), Boston (2012) and Los Angeles.

Punto had a $1.5 million base salary each season under the two-year deal he signed with Boston and earned $250,000 annually in roster bonuses by being active for at least 150 days.

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