Sports briefs 1/10/06

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Baseball

* Outfielder Corey Patterson, once projected as the Chicago Cubs' star of the future, was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday for a pair of minor leaguers: shortstop Nate Spears and left-hander Carlos Perez.

The 26-year-old Patterson hit .252 with 70 homers in parts of six major league seasons with the Cubs, appearing in 589 games. He was the Cubs' first-round pick and third player taken overall in the 1998 amateur draft.

He started 111 games in center field for the Cubs last year, struggling with .215 average and just 13 homers in 126 games. The Cubs demoted him to Triple-A Iowa to work on his batting stroke, and he played 24 games in the minors before returning.

Colleges

* Illinois coach Ron Zook has fired defensive coordinator Mike Mallory, the only Ron Turner assistant he rehired after taking over last year, a team spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

The Illinois defense ranked 115th of the 117 NCAA Division I teams in yards and points allowed.

The Illini allowed opponents almost 470 yards and 39.5 points per game. The Illini gave up 30 points or more to all but one opponent and went 2-9, winless in the Big Ten.

Mallory is the son of Zook's college coach, Bill Mallory, whom Zook has often referred to as his mentor.

* Bradley and North Dakota will be able to keep their Indian nicknames during postseason basketball play this season but might lose them for future years.

The NCAA's executive committee did not make a final decision regarding either school's appeal during a meeting Monday, allowing Bradley to remain the Braves and North Dakota to keep its Fighting Sioux nickname at least until the panel's next meeting, April 27.

The ban on the postseason names, which was to take effect Feb. 1, also would have eliminated both schools from hosting postseason tournaments.

Bradley and North Dakota were among 18 schools deemed by the NCAA in August to have nicknames, mascots or logos that are "hostile or abusive" to American Indians, and both schools appealed.

* One of Texas Tech's seven freshmen has left the team, becoming the second player in a month to fall off Bob Knight's roster.

After Texas A&M beat Tech 63-55 on Saturday night, Knight said guard Terry Martin and Tech's coaching staff had come "to a mutual agreement."

Martin, whose performance Knight has criticized at times this season, was not on the bench for Tech (8-7, 0-1 Big 12) against A&M. He played in 14 games and averaged 7.4 points, 1.9 assists and 2.8 turnovers.

* Former Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick, booted from the team last week for his behavior on and off the field, was charged Monday with pulling a gun on three teenagers during an altercation in a restaurant parking lot.

Vick surrendered at the Suffolk magistrate's office after three warrants were issued for his arrest Sunday, Magistrate Lisa Noel said.

The 21-year-old Vick was charged with three misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, and was released on $10,000 bond.

Police said the parents of a 17-year-old boy reported that Vick pointed a weapon at their son and two others during an altercation at a McDonald's in Suffolk, a southeastern Virginia city where Vick's mother lives, Sunday night.

If convicted of all three counts, Vick could be sentenced to up to three years in jail and a $7,500 fine.

Hockey

* Mario Lemieux practiced with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates Monday for the first time in more than three weeks.

Lemieux, who has played only one game since Dec. 3 because of an irregular heartbeat, took part in one of the more laid-back sessions since Michel Therrien took over as coach.

-- From wire reports

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