Sports briefs 9/24/05

Saturday, September 24, 2005


* Indiana Pacers players Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson were sentenced Friday to a year of probation, community service and a fine for their roles in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history.

They pleaded no contest earlier in the day to misdemeanor assault charges stemming from the Nov. 19 melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills. A no-contest plea in Michigan is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

District Court Judge Julie Nicholson ordered each to serve a year of probation, complete 60 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine. The players also must undergo anger management counseling. A prosecutor said he believed Artest would be able to show he already had completed counseling.

A fourth player, David Harrison, faces an Oct. 3 hearing.


* The NCAA on Friday awarded the 2006 men's soccer tournament to St. Louis, giving the city 10 college championship events this decade.

The announcement came a day after St. Louis was awarded the 2008 and 2009 NCAA wrestling championships. A news conference has been scheduled for Monday to announce event details and highlights of the successful bid for the city's first soccer championship in 31 years.

Saint Louis University and the St. Louis Sports Commission were partners in the bid.

The event will be held on Saint Louis University's campu sat Robert Hermann Stadium, which has a smallish capacity of 6,000. Temporary seating will boost attendance to 7,100 for the semifinal and championship matches on Dec. 1 and 3, 2006.

* Junior linebacker David Richard has quit at Missouri, becoming the 10th scholarship player to do so since the end of spring practice.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Richard was a highly touted transfer from Michigan State, where as a freshman running back in 2002 he led the Spartans in rushing with 654 yards and five touchdowns. After sitting out the 2003 season in compliance with NCAA rules, Richard switched to linebacker the following spring. He started Missouri's first three games last season, but lost his starting spot following an arrest for marijuana possession.


* Martha Burk is taking aim at the NHL's newest television advertisement.

Burk, who led an unsuccessful effort to allow female members at Augusta National three years ago, called the ad "gratuitous" because it shows a scantily clad woman dressing a hockey player before he heads onto the ice.

Burk plans to send letters of protest to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. NBC is scheduled to run the ad next week.


* Trying to stay alive in the elite group of Davis Cup, the United States rebounded with a straight-sets victory by Andy Roddick on Friday to tie Belgium 1-1 after James Blake lost the opening match of the playoff.

Roddick overpowered Christophe Rochus 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 on the indoor red clay at the Sportplaza. Earlier, brother Olivier Rochus opened the best-of-five series with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Blake.

In Saturday's doubles, twins Bob and Mike Bryan are big favorites against Olivier Rochus and Kristof Vliegen. Sunday's reverse singles pits Roddick against Olivier Rochus and Blake against Christophe.

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