National Sports | WRHL National Sports 2014-07-31T04:38:21Z National Sports NBA ref Violet Palmer to marry longtime partner Violet Palmer made her biggest call yet: The NBA referee will marry her partner of 20 years on Friday. Ginobili will not play for Argentina at World Cup Manu Ginobili walked off the court in June an NBA champion. Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days LOS ANGELES (AP) — Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus. Comm Games athlete fined for assault on rival GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — An Australian medal-winning weightlifter was convicted Thursday of head-butting another Commonwealth Games competitor in the athletes' village and Australia's athletics coach was sent home for criticizing his top star — just as the country's 20-year domination of the competition appeared to be coming to an end. Sorting out the claims after pipe break: Who pays? LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud. Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. Amputee jumper won't contest team exclusion FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A German amputee long jumper will not contest the decision by his national federation to exclude him from the upcoming European Championships. Cho to lead 2018 Olympics organizing committee SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Cho Yang-ho, the South Korean business tycoon who led Pyeongchang's successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, will take charge of the local organizing committee following the sudden resignation of the previous president. Century-old pipe break points to national problem LOS ANGELES (AP) — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles, into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities face with miles of water lines installed generations ago. Pipe that spewed 20M gallons near UCLA shut off LOS ANGELES (AP) — Work crews have stopped the last of the water gushing from a 30-inch pipe near the University of California, Los Angeles some 30 hours after it burst. American Johnson takes leave for 'personal challenges' (Reuters) - Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from golf to seek help for "personal challenges," the big-hitting American said on Thursday. "I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced," Johnson, an eight-times winner on the PGA Tour who is ranked 16th in the world, said in a statement issued by his management company. "By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion." Johnson, 30, considered one of the top players in the game, stands fourth in the PGA Tour's FedExCup points list and fifth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The PGA Tour, in a statement, said: "We have nothing to add to Dustin's statement, but we wish him well and look forward to his return to the PGA tour in the future." (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Ravens' Rice calls altercation "biggest mistake" Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, making his first public comments since being banned for two NFL games for allegedly assaulting his then-fiancee, called it "the biggest mistake of my life". Rice and Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, had an altercation in an Atlantic City casino elevator and security video posted online by showed Rice lifting a motionless Palmer out of the elevator and onto the floor. Rice apologized to his wife and all women who have been affected by domestic violence. Rice was arrested and charged with domestic violence assault. A's deal Cespedes to Boston for Lester, Gomes Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes was sent from the Oakland A's to Boston on Thursday for pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes just ahead of Major League Baseball's trade deadline. The A's, long known for a budget-minded statistical approach that inspired the movie "Moneyball", have won only one playoff series since reaching the 1990 World Series, which they lost to Cincinnati. This season, Oakland owns the best record in the major leagues at 66-41 and are a threat to capture the American League title and World Series crown for the first time since 1989. The reigning World Series champion Red Sox, well out of the post-season chase at 48-60, obtain Cespedes with a year remaining on his contract while sending the A's the talent that might enable them to capture a title in October's championship showdown. NBA-League adding @NBA social media handle to game ball (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association is adding its @NBA social media identifier to its official game ball starting with the 2014-15 season in October. The Twitter handle will appear under the "Official Game Ball" wording, just to the left of the league's logo, the NBA said in a statement. The move makes the NBA the first professional sports league to put its social media handle on the official game ball of that respective sport, according to the league. NFL's Rice publicly apologizes to wife for violent incident Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, who has been suspended by the National Football League without pay for the first two games of the 2014 season for hitting his wife, apologized to her on Thursday and vowed to speak out against domestic violence. The NFL ordered the suspension last week, determining that Rice had violated the league's conduct policy when he was arrested in February following a fight with his then-fiancee Janay Palmer. "I am going to go out there and be ambassador against domestic violence to make sure that someone doesn't have to go through what I went through and what me and my wife went through," Rice said in his first public remarks since the NFL decided to suspend him.Rice said he had failed to apologize to his wife during his last emotional public appearance, which he called awkward. Spurs refuse to release Ginobili for worlds - Argentina Buenos Aires (AFP) - Argentina NBA star guard Manu Ginobili has been refused permission to play at the world championships by the San Antonio Spurs, the Argentine basketball federation (CABB) claimed Thursday. Athletics land ace Lester in trade with Boston The Oakland Athletics acquired ace pitcher Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox ahead of Thursday's trade deadline in a three-player deal that further bolsters their status as the World Series favorites. The Athletics, who lead Major League Baseball with a 66-41 record, dealt All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Boston in order to land Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes, according to a report on both team's websites. Cardinals take Masterson from Indians ahead of deadline (Reuters) - The St Louis Cardinals beefed up their rotation for the second half of the season by acquiring starting pitcher Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. The Cardinals sent a minor league outfielder to the Indians in exchange for the 29-year-old right-hander on the penultimate day for Major League trades this season. Masterson, who was due to become a free agent at the end of the season, arrives in St Louis in the midst of a fairly disappointing campaign, posting a 4-6 record with a 5.51 ERA. The Cardinals (56-49) trail first-place Milwaukee by just two games in the National League Central and are locked in a heated divisional race. Bosh officially re-signs with the Heat (Reuters) - The Miami Heat on Wednesday officially confirmed the re-signing of nine-time All-Star forward Chris Bosh, nearly three weeks after the move had been reported by multiple media outlets. Bosh had opted out of his previous deal to become a free agent but decided to stay in Miami after the departure of fellow free agent LeBron James, who returned to his home state of Ohio by signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month. "Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league," Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. "His unique skill set makes him one of the best players in the game today." Bosh, 30, averaged 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds for the Heat last season and, with James and Dwyane Wade, was a member of the team's so-called 'Big Three' who won two NBA titles together. Bosh officially re-signs with Heat Chris Bosh made it official on Wednesday, inking a new deal with the NBA's Miami Heat that was reportedly worth $118 million over five years. After testing the free agent market, Bosh turned down a maximum offer from the Houston Rockets to return to Miami, even as superstar team-mate LeBron James opted to return from Miami to the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league," said Miami president Pat Riley. Crews clean up, repair flood damage from L.A. water main break By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Utility crews working around the clock on Wednesday labored to clean up and repair damage from a major water main break that spouted a 40-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) geyser and flooded part of the University of California campus in drought-stricken Los Angeles. The late-afternoon rupture on Tuesday beneath Sunset Boulevard, a key thoroughfare on the city's west side, opened a gaping sinkhole in the street and sent water gushing across the north end of the UCLA campus for several hours. It took crews from the Department of Water and Power (DWP) until 7 p.m. to halt most of the water flow, though shutoff valves were still stuck partially open and water continued to drain into the crater as of midday Wednesday, slowing repair efforts, DWP officials said. An estimated 20 million gallons of water has escaped from the rupture, the worst in Los Angeles since a larger and older pipeline burst in the Studio City district in September 2009, flooding nearby homes and businesses, the DWP said. Woods thinking 'win' in return to Firestone Rory McIlroy wants his British Open triumph to be a springboard to more success this season while Tiger Woods is seeking to jump start a 2014 campaign hindered by injury. Former world number one Woods is an eight-time winner at Firestone Country Club, and he sees no reason this week's World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational can't see him back in the winner's circle for the first time since he was sidelined by a March 31 back operation. "There are certain venues like here, Torrey Pines and Bay Hill where no matter what my form is going into that week, I just somehow feel good," Woods said on Wednesday. Redskins hire PR firm Burson-Marsteller amid fight over name The National Football League's Washington Redskins have hired public relations firm Burson-Marsteller as it battles criticism that its name is a racial slur, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday. "We have been retained by the Washington Redskins and the player alumni association to provide technical and editorial support to distribute information to those who inquire about the team’s history and name, which includes the website," said Burson-Marsteller spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan. A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office panel canceled six Redskins trademarks in June, saying they disparaged Native Americans. President Barack Obama has said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name. Firestone a perfect place for Tiger to salvage season (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, still tournament rusty after spending much of this year recovering from back surgery, could not have picked a better venue as he strives to turn his season around at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Woods has won the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) crown a record eight times at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio and would dearly love to add a ninth in his bid to qualify for the PGA Tour's lucrative season-ending FedExCup playoffs. Third University of New Mexico football player suspended By Joseph Kolb ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - The head football coach at the University of New Mexico has suspended a third team member in as many months after the player was arrested this week on charges of breaking into a former girlfriend's apartment, a school spokesman said on Wednesday. Starting lineman Jamal Price, 21, was charged on Monday with breaking and entering, according to a criminal complaint. UNM head football coach Bob Davie announced his indefinite suspension on Tuesday, and said he was disappointed he had to address another legal incident involving his players. "We need to concentrate on the 102 athletes coming out to our first practice Thursday." Two other players, SaQwan Edwards and Crusoe Gongbay, were arrested in April on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a female UNM student from an off-campus party. Buyers and sellers spar for deadline deals By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Visions of acquiring a difference-making player for this season or possible future stars stir the imagination of Major League Baseball fans ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. Rumors are rampant, with Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester becoming a prime figure in deadline scuttlebutt after last year's World Series winners scratched him from Wednesday night's scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays. With the struggling Red Sox (48-59) 12 games off the pace in the AL East and Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA) poised to become a free agent in the offseason, it was widely expected the southpaw would be dealt to a contending team. Another top-flight pitcher, David Price (11-7, 3.08 ERA entering Wednesday's games) of Tampa Bay, has loomed as a prominent candidate for a trade by the small-market Rays after a dismal start that left them 24-42 by June 10. Receivers Irvin, Carter named Pro Bowl captains Retired star receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin were named Wednesday as alumni captains for the 2015 National Football League Pro Bowl all-star game. The Pro Bowl will be staged January 25 at suburban Phoenix, Arizona, a week before the Super Bowl is played at the same site. Irvin and Carter each serve as television commentators on the NFL, Carter for ESPN and Irvin for the league-run NFL Network. Water main break, geyser flood UCLA campus, strand motorists By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A major water main ruptured underneath a street near the University of California, Los Angeles on Tuesday, unleashing a 20-foot-tall geyser and millions of gallons of water that flooded part of campus and stranded motorists on nearby streets. The water gushed across the north end of the campus for several hours, submerging athletic fields and pouring into an underground parking structure, where motorists were caught in water up to their wheel wells, Los Angles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. The deluge happened as California suffers through a record drought that has prompted state and local authorities to impose water-use restrictions on residents, such as fines for wasting even a few gallons on excessive lawn-watering. Workers were removing inches of standing water from the floor of the UCLA basketball team's Pauley Pavilion, which in 2012 underwent a multi million-dollar renovation, university spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said. Thai Kiradech eager to be big hit at PGA Championship again (Reuters) - Kiradech Aphibarnrat still remembers the cheers each time he reached for his driver at last year's PGA Championship and the big-hitting Thai has no plans to curb his aggressive style after earning a return invitation for the year's final major. Aphibarnrat will join Anirban Lahiri of India, compatriot Thongchai Jaidee as well as South Koreans K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Noh Seung-yul of Korea in the Asian contingent at the Aug. 7-10 tournament at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky. The burly Thai, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, finished tied for 25th place last year in his PGA Championship debut. I remember the fans cheering me on at the tee boxes and they liked to see me use my driver," the 25-year-old told the Asian Tour website ( Golf-Thai Kiradech eager to be big hit at PGA Championship again Kiradech Aphibarnrat still remembers the cheers each time he reached for his driver at last year's PGA Championship and the big-hitting Thai has no plans to curb his aggressive style after earning a return invitation for the year's final major. Aphibarnrat will join Anirban Lahiri of India, compatriot Thongchai Jaidee as well as South Koreans K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Noh Seung-yul of Korea in the Asian contingent at the Aug. 7-10 tournament at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky. The burly Thai, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, finished tied for 25th place last year in his PGA Championship debut. I remember the fans cheering me on at the tee boxes and they liked to see me use my driver," the 25-year-old told the Asian Tour website ( Open champion McIlroy not one to rest on his laurels (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy embellished his status as one of the game's best players with his wire-to-wire win at the British Open nine days ago, but has put that behind him as he strives to achieve further goals before the end of this year. "I've obviously had a bit of time to reflect after the (British) Open and everything, but just decided I wanted to move on and move forward," world number two McIlroy told reporters at Firestone Country Club on Tuesday. So I definitely wasn't going to dwell on what I'd done at Hoylake (venue for the British Open). I've never won a World Golf Championship. Raiders looking at move to San Antonio: report The Oakland Raiders, whose stadium lease expires next year, are reportedly looking at San Antonio as a possible new home should the National Football League team decide to relocate. The San Antonio Express-News, citing unnamed sources, said Raiders owner Mark Davis and two others with the team met with key people in the Texas city, including former mayor Julian Castro and city manager Sheryl Sculley. The Raiders would play in the Alamodome, which opened in 1993 and seats 65,000 for American football. Also reportedly in the talks was former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, who was San Antonio's mayor from 1981-1989 and led the push to construct the Alamodome. PGA Tour commissioner and Woods hope for big 2014 finish By Larry Fine PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, battling back from a back injury, still drives fan interest and TV ratings and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is as keen as the former world number one himself that he has a big 2014 finish. "It's a year-long competition," Finchem said at media day for next month's playoffs opening Barclays tournament at Ridgewood Country Club. "It (an exemption) kind of muddies up the comparative nature of the competition." Woods is a massive 358 points outside the cut line for the four-event playoffs having played only five PGA Tour events this season, but he has two big chances to make up ground at venues where he has had great success. Then comes the Aug. 7-10 PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, where Woods won the 2000 PGA crown. FCC chairman tells Time Warner to end Dodgers TV dispute By Tim Reid LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission told Time Warner Inc on Tuesday to end its dispute with DirecTV and other cable operators that has left most fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team unable to watch games on local television. In a strongly worded letter, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler expressed "strong concern" over Time Warner Cable's actions to charge fees to other cable networks to air the games. Time Warner Cable, which operates the SportsNet LA channel that carries Dodger games, wants other TV operators to pay SportsNet LA fees of as much as $5 a month per subscriber, which they say they have to pass onto their subscribers. In a letter to Time Warner Cable's CEO Robert D. Marcus, Wheeler wrote: "I am troubled by the negative impact that your apparent actions are having on consumers and the overall video marketplace." "Inaction is no longer acceptable," Wheeler added. NCAA to settle head injury suit with $70 million fund By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - The NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit by providing $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of student athletes in a move to change the way colleges address sports safety, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The class-action agreement, if approved by a federal judge and class members, would apply to student athletes in all sports who played at schools regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at any time in the past and up to 50 years into the future. The proposed NCAA settlement comes about three weeks after a federal judge's preliminary approval of an open-ended settlement between the National Football League and thousands of former players. While the money in the NFL settlement was intended to resolve all of the personal injury claims for the plaintiffs' out of pocket damages, Tuesday's proposed NCAA settlement was designed to pay only for research and a medical monitoring program. Man arrested in stabbing death of LA Clippers player's aunt Police in California have arrested a man wanted for the fatal stabbing of the aunt of a Los Angeles Clippers player in a crime that drew national attention after the basketball star pleaded on social media for help in finding the suspect, authorities said on Tuesday. Michael Williams, 51, was arrested in Sacramento thanks to a citizen's tip, police said in tweet. Williams was wanted for the July 8 murder of his estranged wife, 48-year-old Tanganyika Williams, who is the aunt of Clippers forward Matt Barnes. Barnes took to social media last week, posting pictures of Michael Williams to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, asking anyone who had seen the man to call his family or the police with details. Defense the key for Lakers rebuild, says new coach Scott With three Los Angeles Lakers greats looking on, newly appointed head coach Byron Scott pledged Tuesday to make defense his top priority as he bids to revive the flagging fortunes of one of the NBA's most storied franchises. Scott, a three-time NBA champion with the Lakers during their triumphant 'Showtime' era in the 1980s, also said he would look to the past as he strives to develop a "winning" mindset for a team that ended last season with a dismal 27-55 record. "I am going to do everything in my power ... everything I can to bring this team back to where we know it should it be," Scott, 53, told reporters after being formally introduced as coach at the Lakers' training facility in El Segundo. We look at (NBA) championships. In L.A. Clippers case, court does dirty work for NBA By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association was navigating uncharted and possibly treacherous waters, first when it banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for racist remarks and then when it demanded the team be sold by September. Although the notoriously litigious Donald Sterling has threatened to sue the NBA until the day he dies, legal experts say Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas has done them a favor by getting rid of Sterling without a bruising battle. "This was, in Mafia parlance, a clean hit," said Daniel Wallach, a Florida litigator who has represented professional sports franchises and has followed the case. "The NBA would have faced an uncertain legal terrain after Donald would bring a lawsuit to challenge the league's decision to strip him of the franchise," he added. Phoenix Suns player arrested for super extreme DUI in Arizona By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Phoenix Suns basketball player has been arrested on suspicion of super extreme DUI in Arizona after attempting to drive home after a night out, authorities said on Tuesday. Forward-guard P.J. Tucker, 29, was taken to jail and released following the incident, which took place in Scottsdale on May 10 but only came to light this week, according to a police report. Police said Tucker, considered a team leader by insiders, was returning home from the W Scottsdale Hotel when he was pulled over by police after allegedly running a stop sign. Super extreme DUI is .20 or above under Arizona law. US college sports group makes concussion settlement deal The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), governing body for the rich American university sports programs, reached a settlement in a concussion-related class action lawsuit Tuesday, similar to suits the NFL faced. The NCAA will provide $70 million (52.1 million euros) for concussion testing and to diagnose current and former college athletes under the deal, which must still be approved by Chicago federal judge John Lee. In all, 14 lawsuits were consolidated into one that was filed in US District Court in Illinois. A similar deal between the NFL and former players involving concussions also had benefits capped until a judge objected, saying there was no assurance the sum would be enough to handle all of the cases that might come. WRHL 2014-07-31T21:38:21Z