Sports briefs 12/3/03

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Baseball

  • The Marlins announced Tuesday that they have re-signed Mike Lowell and Luis Castillo. Lowell agreed to a $32 million, four-year contract with the Marlins, who also confirmed their $16 million, three-year deal with Castillo. Florida also made a multiyear offer to Ivan Rodriguez, the 10-time All-Star catcher who was a key to the Marlins' World Series title.

    Right-hander Dustin Hermanson decided to remain with the San Francisco Giants, agreeing to an $800,000, one-year contract.

    Basketball

  • Charges against Darrell Armstrong were dismissed by a judge who ruled it couldn't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hornets guard intentionally struck an officer. Armstrong could have faced a sentence ranging from probation to six years in prison if convicted of felony battery on an officer and misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence.

    Trail Blazer forward Zach Randolph was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants, authorities said. Randolph was released a few hours later without being charged. Police wouldn't say what substance he is accused of using.

    Colleges

  • Three University of Illinois basketball players suspended from the team last month after being linked to a burglary also must attend counseling and perform community service, the university said. A statement issued from the school's public affairs office said the players also will be on probation. Names of the players were not released.

    Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones will pass up his final season of college eligibility to enter the NFL draft, his father and the team's running backs coach said. Jones, a 6-foot, 221-pound junior projected as possibly the top running back in the draft, has rushed for a school-record 1,494 yards this season, averaging 5.6 yards for 265 carries.

    Al Saunders, an offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, said he has not been contacted by Nebraska about the job as head football coach. Saunders' name has surfaced in media reports in Nebraska as a possible replacement for Frank Solich, who was fired last week.

    Boise State accepted a conditional bid to play TCU in the inaugural Fort Worth Bowl on Dec. 23. If the Big 12 gets two teams in the Bowl Championship Series as expected, the league won't have enough bowl-eligible teams to send a team to Fort Worth. That would create an at-large spot for No. 18 Boise State, the WAC champion.

    Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the Tigers until 2010 with unprecedented buyout clauses: If Bowden is fired before 2005, Clemson will owe him $4 million. And if Bowden leaves on his own before then, he'll owe the school the same amount.

    Iowa State football coach Dan McCarney fired assistants Steve Brickey and Marty Fine.

    Football

  • The Chiefs will again head to Wisconsin next year for their preseason training camp. Chiefs president Carl Peterson said the club has signed a one-year agreement with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls that includes four one-year club options. The Chiefs have trained in River Falls in western Wisconsin for the past 13 years.

    The NFL extended its suspension for Cleveland Browns running back William Green, making it unlikely he will play again this season. Green was expected to rejoin the Browns on Monday from a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but the league lengthened its ban on the second-year back for "treatment purposes."

    Arizona Cardinals linebacker Raynoch Thompson has been suspended by the NFL for the final four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The suspension could cost Thompson between $300,000 and $400,000 in lost salary.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and cornerback Tim Wansley were placed on injured reserve. The Super Bowl champions released fullback Vinny Ciurciu and signed safety Scott Frost, receiver Marvin Minnis and cornerback Ronyell Whitaker.

    Motorsports

  • Matt Kenseth, who had 25 top-10 finishes and topped the overall Winston Cup points standings, was voted NASCAR driver of the year by the Sporting News. Joplin, Mo., native Jamie McMurray was chosen NASCAR's top rookie.

    -- From wire reports

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