Sports briefs 4/16/04

Friday, April 16, 2004

Basketball

  • Scottie Pippen said Thursday he will probably retire following an injury-shortened season in his return to the Chicago Bulls.Pippen was brought back to give a young Bulls team leadership and experience but he had knee surgery in December and played in only 23 games, starting just six. Pippen will be 39 in September.

    The Phoenix Suns are expected to be sold to a new investment group next week, one of the team's current investors said. The new group would pay more than $300 million for the team, with Jerry Colangelo remaining as head of the franchise but not as an owner, the investor said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The sale is to be voted upon at an investors' meeting April 23. The sale would have to be approved by a vote of the other NBA owners.

    College

  • Freshman center David Padgett is transferring from Kansas at the end of the semester, coach Bill Self announced late Thursday afternoon. A school spokesman said he did not know where the 6-foot-11 Padgett, who started 19 games, was headed. A Reno, Nev., native and one of the nation's most highly sought high school centers, Padgett was recruited to Kansas by Roy Williams before Williams decided last April to take the job at North Carolina. Padgett averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while the Jayhawks went 24-9 and advanced to the Elite Eight in Self's first season as coach. He shot 53.1 percent and blocked a team-high 43 shots. He was likely to be a starter next year for an experienced Jayhawks team expected to be ranked high in all preseason polls.

    Golf

  • The city of Augusta illegally restricted a small protest last year against all-male membership at the home of the Masters golf tournament, a federal court ruled Thursday. The National Council of Women's Organizations organized the protest outside the private Augusta National Golf Club during the tournament, but local officials cited security concerns and forced about 50 picketers to move a half-mile away. Martha Burk, head of the women's group, sued, saying the decision was based on her group's views. She took special exception to an ordinance, passed a month before the protest, requiring a permit for any assembly of five or more people. In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ordinance was illegal.

    Football

  • Tight ends O.J. Santiago and Patrick Hape signed with the Denver Broncos, who might lose Shannon Sharpe to retirement. Santiago, a six-year veteran, spent last season with Oakland, catching five passes for 69 yards in 12 games. Hape, also an unrestricted free agent, returns for his fourth season with the Broncos and eighth in the NFL. In 108 career games, he has 43 receptions for 252 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Tennis

  • Serena Williams withdrew from the Family Circle Cup, saying her left knee is sore from practicing and playing too much. The announcement comes a day after Williams pulled out of the U.S. Fed Cup team's first-round match at Slovenia and raises questions about her fitness with the French Open less than six weeks away. Williams returned to the tour last month after an eight-month injury absence. She had left knee surgery in August. The six-time Grand Slam titlist said she decided Thursday morning to drop out of the clay-court tournament in Charleston. She withdrew about 1 1/2 hours before she was scheduled to play Conchita Martinez.

    -- From wire reports

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