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Headlines from around the world in sports

NFL

Bucs QB Freeman acknowledges missing team photo

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman recently missed a meeting for a team photo, but said it was an isolated incident that hasn’t been a distraction for the Buccaneers.

The fifth-year pro said he overslept and did not show up on time for a photo shoot on Labor Day. He later was not selected as a team captain, but doesn’t feel the vote was related to the unexcused absence.

Freeman is one of the focal points of another slow start by the Buccaneers, who lost their season opener to the New York Jets on a last-second field goal.

Tampa Bay’s offense struggled throughout the preseason. It continued to sputter last Sunday, even though Freeman did lead a late scoring drive that put the Bucs ahead with 34 seconds remaining.

FOOTBALL

Tripucka, Notre Dame’s QB in 1948, dies at age 85

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Frank Tripucka, who led Notre Dame to a 9-0-1 record and a No. 2 ranking in 1948, died. He was 85.

His son, Kelly Tripucka, a former Notre Dame basketball standout, said his father died of congestive heart failure at his home in Woodland Park, N.J.

Before becoming the starter, Tripucka was a backup to Heisman Trophy winner John Lujack, who led the Irish to back-to-back national championships. As a senior, he completed 53 of 91 throws for 660 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Irish won all their games except a 14-14 tie with USC.

Tripucka was the ninth pick overall by Philadelphia in 1949. He played for the Eagles, the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Cardinals, the Dallas Texans and the Denver Broncos.

MOTORSPORTS

Kurt Busch pulls plug on IndyCar finale

CHICAGO – Kurt Busch said yesterday he will not race in IndyCar’s season finale at Fontana.

Busch said the deadline has passed that he and Andretti Autosport needed to notify Chevrolet they’d need an engine for the Oct. 19 race in California. Busch wanted to run the race as a possible warm-up for next year’s Indianapolis 500.

He’s not given up on trying to run Indy next season for Andretti.

Busch made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship this year driving for Furniture Row Racing, the first time a single-car team has made the Chase in its 10-year history. He’s joining Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

Busch needs to find a sponsorship package to fund his Indy 500 effort in order to move forward with Andretti.

SAILING

With Ainslie aboard, Oracle loses twice to Kiwis

SAN FRANCISCO – Emirates Team New Zealand beat defending champion Oracle Team USA twice more yesterday, moving closer to taking the America’s Cup Down Under for the second time in 18 years.

Team New Zealand leads 6 to minus-1 and needs three more victories to claim the oldest trophy in international sports for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Oracle Team USA, owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, was docked two points in a cheating scandal. It couldn’t catch the Kiwis even after replacing tactician John Kostecki with British star Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

The Kiwis continued their dominance sailing upwind on San Francisco Bay. They overtook Oracle Team USA on the third leg of Race 6 and won by 47 seconds.

Barker led rival Jimmy Spithill the whole way in Race 7 to rout Oracle by 1 minute, 6 seconds.

GOLF

Snedeker zooms out in front at BMW; Tiger 2 back

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Brandt Snedeker doesn’t get on a big run of birdies like this very often, so he wanted to make the most of it yesterday in the BMW Championship.

Snedeker made seven straight birdies on his way to an 8-under 63, giving him a one-shot lead over Zach Johnson in the third FedEx Cup playoff event. Conway Farms had a good debut, too. The course north of Chicago yielded some low scores, including 66s by Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

On the other side was Rory McIlroy, who might have ended his hopes of going to the Tour Championship with one round. He had a double bogey and a triple bogey for a 78. Lee Westwood battled back pain and shot 80, making it unlikely he’ll go to East Lake.

CYCLING

Armstrong returns Olympic bronze medal

AUSTIN, Texas – Lance Armstrong said he has returned the bronze medal he won in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

The International Olympic Committee stripped Armstrong of the time-trial medal in January after he publicly confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Armstrong said he gave it back to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Armstrong tweeted yesterday: “The 2000 Bronze is back in possession of @usolympics and will be in Switzerland asap.”

Armstrong had denied doping for years until his confession after a detailed report released last year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong also has been stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999-2005.

The IOC previously stripped Tyler Hamilton, a former Armstrong teammate, of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Olympics after he acknowledged doping.

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