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Sports Log

Blackmon, Weeden return to Cowboys

January 13, 2011

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College football
All-America receiver Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden are returning to Oklahoma State, giving the Cowboys another season with the two key playmakers in one of the nation’s most dynamic offenses. Blackmon and Weeden helped propel the Cowboys to their first 11-win season and the No. 13 ranking at the end of the season, setting numerous records along the way. The Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver, Blackmon led the Bowl Subdivision with 148.5 yards receiving per game and 20 touchdown catches. Blackmon was considered a possible first-round draft pick. Weeden set school records with 4,277 yards passing and 34 TDs — both in the top four in the FBS — and was named the all-Big 12 quarterback in his first year as a starter . . . LSU and coach Les Miles have agreed in principle to a new contract that will run through the 2017 season. Miles’s annual pay of a little more than $3.75 million will remain the same . . . Georgia Tech junior offensive tackle Nick Claytor is entering the NFL draft . . . New Michigan coach Brady Hoke has lost quarterback Tate Forcier, who is no longer with the program. Forcier was academically ineligible to play for the Wolverines in the Gator Bowl. A bigger question for Hoke and the Wolverines remains the status of starting QB Denard Robinson, who chose Michigan to play for Rich Rodriguez and his spread offense. Rodriguez was fired last week. Hoke hopes to persuade Robinson to return for his junior season . . . Michael Floyd, Notre Dame’s leading receiver this season and one of the top pass catchers in school history, will return for his senior season.

Baseball
Sox-Yankees on Sunday night April 10 The Red Sox will host the Yankees April 10 in ESPN’s second Sunday night matchup of the season. ESPN released its Sunday night schedule through May, with the Sox scheduled three times, twice against the Yankees (also May 15 at New York), and a game against the Cubs May 22 at Fenway Park . . . Free agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth is approaching an agreement on a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, a person familiar with the negotiations said. The deal could be agreed to today or tomorrow and will be worth about $3.25 million, the person said. The Rays, rebuilding their bullpen after winning the AL East last season, declined comment . . . The Angels and catcher Jeff Mathis agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million, avoiding arbitration. Mathis gets a $400,000 raise despite a dismal 2010 season in which he hit .195 with three homers and 18 RBIs. He also missed nearly two full months with a broken right wrist . . . AL MVP Josh Hamilton remains hospitalized while showing signs of getting better in a bout with pneumonia. The team said Hamilton is expected to be released by the weekend . . . Catcher Koyie Hill and the Cubs agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration . . . Outfielder Ryan Raburn and the Tigers agreed to a $3.4 million, two-year contract . . . Righthander Luke Hochevar agreed to terms on a new contract with the Royals, avoiding arbitration. Hochevar, a disappointment since getting taken with the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, was 6-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 18 games last season.

Soccer
Revolution re-sign versatile Tierney The Revolution re-signed midfielder/defender Chris Tierney, who played a league-high seven positions last season. It will be Tierney’s third season with the team. Tierney, 25, had 33 appearances last season and played at left midfield, left back, central midfield, right back, defensive midfield, attacking midfield, and center back. The Revolution open preseason camp Jan. 31 . . . The US team released Chivas USA forward Justin Braun and Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu before an exhibition game against Chile because of injuries. The US opens Jan. 22 at Carson, Calif.

Softball
8 women out; they won’t play for USA Jessica Mendoza, a two-time Olympic medalist, and seven of her teammates from the 2008 Beijing Games will not play for Team USA this year, opting to play professionally. Mendoza said she and the others informed Amateur Softball Association of America this month that they were declining invitations to attend the US team’s June camp so they can play exclusively in the four-team National Pro Fastpitch league. Because the US Olympic Committee dropped funding for softball, there was no financial reward for the players. Fellow Olympians Natasha Watley, Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott, Caitlin Lowe, Lauren Lappin, Andrea Duran and Vicky Galindo also will not play for the US in 2011.

Miscellany
Nadal, Wozniacki top Australian seeds Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki will top the seedings in the Australian Open, reflecting their No. 1 rankings in men’s and women’s tennis. With seedings done purely on rankings, nine-time Grand Slam winner Nadal got the top spot, followed by Roger Federer. Vera Zvonareva is seeded No. 2 in the women’s field, followed by Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams . . . Former NBA star Allen Iverson plans to have a lesion removed from his right leg in the US and intends to rejoin his Turkish team in time for the playoffs. Iverson doesn’t plan to retire because of the painful condition, which will require surgery and rehabilitation of 4-6 weeks.

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