Thursday’s Sports In Brief
IN THE COURTS
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.
”I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the Olympian had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) – A UC Santa Barbara basketball fan ran on the court and confronted Hawaii coach Gib Arnold during the Gauchos’ 86-77 victory over the Rainbow Warriors.
The male student stormed the court while Arnold was arguing with the referees after Hawaii’s Brandon Spearman was called for an intentional foul.
Hawaii forward Christian Standhardinger pushed the fan away from Arnold. Teammate Garrett Nevels also shoved away the fan, who gestured for the players to come after him as he backpedaled off the court.
”The student will obviously face legal action,” Santa Barbara athletic department spokesman Bill Mahoney said.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Coach Mike Krzyzewski was out of the hospital and at practice with No. 4 Duke after feeling light-headed during a loss at Wake Forest Wednesday night.
The 67-year-old Hall of Fame coach took a knee during a timeout in the second half of the game. He did not attend the postgame news conference.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina coach Frank Martin was suspended one game for harsh language aimed at his players during a loss to No. 1 Florida and won’t be with the team when it plays at Mississippi State on Saturday.
Two people familiar with the situation say Michael Vick and the Eagles haven’t ruled out the quarterback returning to Philadelphia.
Vick will become a free agent next week, and the four-time Pro Bowl pick has made it clear he’ll look for an opportunity to be a starter. One person says that if Vick doesn’t find the right fit elsewhere, he would consider staying in Philadelphia.
Both people spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because they’re not discussing contract negotiations publicly.
DENVER (AP) – The Denver Broncos released cornerback Champ Bailey after 10 seasons with the team.
His release was a cost-cutting move, with the 12-time Pro Bowler scheduled to make around $10 million next season.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – The Chicago Bears will not re-sign record-setting return specialist Devin Hester.
The team said in a statement it is parting ways with the three-time Pro Bowl pick after eight seasons, confirming what he told the NFL Network on Wednesday.
He’ll hit the market as a free agent.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Colts didn’t even wait for the free-agent market to open before making their first signing, adding former Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
Jackson, who spent his entire career with Cleveland until being released last week, signed a four-year, $22 million contract to play with Indianapolis.
MIAMI (AP) – An attorney for the trainer fired last month by the Miami Dolphins says his client was improperly singled out to placate a public outcry for action in the wake of the team’s bullying scandal.
Kevin O’Neill was fired Feb. 19, five days after the release of an NFL report on the scandal following a three-month investigation.
DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts sheriff is seeking a criminal complaint against former NFL star Aaron Hernandez after a recent jail scuffle with another inmate.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told Boston’s WHDH-TV Thursday the paperwork has been filed in district court. A clerk magistrate will review it.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.
Jobe died in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jobe performed groundbreaking elbow surgery on John, a Dodgers pitcher who had a ruptured medial collateral ligament in his left elbow. The injury previously had no solution until Jobe removed a tendon from John’s forearm and repaired his elbow. John went on to pitch 14 years after the operation on Sept. 25, 1974, compiling 164 more victories.
”Today I lost a GREAT friend,” John tweeted.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill started spring training with a heavy heart.
The pitcher reported to Boston’s camp following the death of son Brooks, who was less than 2 months old when he died on Feb. 24.
Hill says his son was born on Dec. 26 and had multiple medical problems.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) – Tiger Woods only made it through 10 holes – this time because of the weather, not his back.
The debut of the new Blue Monster, and the return of Woods, received an incomplete grade when the opening round of the Cadillac Championship was halted more than two hours because of menacing thunderstorms.
Harris English was among only six players who finished the round, hitting 5-iron into the par-3 ninth hole and rolling in a 45-foot birdie putt for a 3-under 69.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An NCAA panel approved a change to the targeting foul for next season that will wipe out the 15-yard penalty when video review overturns the ejection of a player.
The targeting rule was implemented by the NCAA last season. When a player was flagged for targeting an opponent’s head with a hit, he was disqualified from the game and his team penalized 15 yards. The foul was reviewed by replay officials and the ejection could be overturned – but the 15-yard penalty stood.
NEW YORK (AP) – Kevin Garnett will sit out a fourth straight game because of back spasms when the Brooklyn Nets visit Boston on Friday, missing his last trip this season back to his old home.
NEW YORK (AP) – The WNBA and the players’ union agreed to a new eight-year collective bargaining agreement, pending approval by the league’s Board of Governors.
The biggest change in the deal is an increase by one in the team’s maximum roster size to 12.
DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit Red Wings retired Nicklas Lidstrom’s No. 5 jersey.
Lidstrom was honored before Detroit hosted the Colorado Avalanche. A red banner – with his last name and number in white – was raised to the rafters to end the pregame ceremony.
The Swede retired after the 2011-12 season – his 20th with the Red Wings. He won four Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) – Dozens of Muslim students from the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir were expelled from their university and briefly threatened with sedition charges because they cheered for the Pakistani cricket team during a televised match against archrival India, police said, while the Indian state’s elected leader called for leniency.