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College Football

STORRS, Conn. — The football coach at the University of Connecticut said Tuesday he's heard nothing to indicate members of his team were involved in a fight before player Jasper Howard was killed over the weekend.

Randy Edsall, speaking at his weekly pre-game news conference, said there may have been some "verbal jostling" but has not been told that any of his players were fighting with anyone.

Police have said Howard was stabbed to death, and another player suffered minor injuries, during a fight outside a university-sponsored dance early Sunday. Nobody has been charged with the stabbing, and UConn police said today there were no new developments in the investigation.

Hartford attorney Devon Freeman said he represents a man whose home has been searched in connection with the fight. The man, whom Freeman would not identify, and several others got into a fight "with about six" UConn football players early Sunday. Freeman said his client did not stab Howard but was present when Howard was mortally wounded.

Freeman said Monday that police told his client that he and others would be arrested, but today Freeman said he didn't know when or if charges would be filed.

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers who have been trying to prod college football to replace the Bowl Championship Series with a playoff system now have the Washington equivalent of a booster club: a political action committee.

A group of college football fans launched the Playoff PAC with the goal of electing similarly minded members of Congress. The hope is that if there's enough pressure from Congress, the BCS — a complex system of computer rankings and polls that often draws criticism — will voluntarily change to a playoff system. The BCS released its first standings of the season on Sunday.

Pro Basketball

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks have trimmed their roster to 16 players by releasing guards Juan Dixon and Mike Wilks.

Dixon, who has played eight years in the NBA with four teams, and Wilks, who spent last season on Orlando's roster, were with the Hawks as training camp invitees.

Dixon averaged 9.0 points in three preseason games. Wilks scored two points in three games.

The Hawks have a backcourt surplus. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson and backups Mo Evans and Mario West return from last season. The team acquired Jamal Crawford in the offseason and drafted Jeff Teague.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love has been scheduled for surgery on his broken left hand.

Love was scheduled to have the operation in New York on Tuesday to fix a fracture in the fourth metacarpal bone in his shooting hand. The second-year player suffered the injury on a rebound last Friday in a preseason game at Chicago.

The Timberwolves said the second-year player is expected to be out at least six weeks.

Love averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game last season. He led the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage, the first rookie in 24 years to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon.

UNDATED — The WNBA's Detroit Shock are moving to Tulsa, Okla., a team official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the announcement.

Detroit made its debut in the league in 1998 and won titles in 2003, 2006 and 2008. The Shock lost last month to the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference finals after rallying to earn a playoff spot.

Last week, a group of investors in Tulsa said they would formally apply to the WNBA to purchase a franchise. The group, called Tulsa Pro Hoops LLC, expects a decision from the league by the end of October with the goal of having a team in Oklahoma next season.


LONDON — Rio de Janeiro has a tough battle ahead combatting security problems before the 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian city's mayor said.

The challenges facing mayor Eduardo Paes since winning the Olympic vote earlier this month were underscored by a wave of violence in a city slum over the weekend that left at least 14 people dead.

When Rio was chosen over Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the Olympics in the Oct. 2 vote, its bid was the only one that pointed to security concerns.

A day after London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics, four suicide bombers attacked the city's subway and bus network, killing 52 people.


ZURICH — France will face Ireland in a two-leg playoff for a spot at next year's World Cup in South Africa, while Portugal was drawn to play Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Also, Russia will face Slovenia and Greece will play Ukraine. The draw featured the eight best runners-up from European qualifying.

France got perhaps the toughest test of the four seeded teams. The French will travel to Dublin for the first leg and host the Irish for the crucial return.

Portugal, Russia and Greece must all play at home first before facing their lower-ranked opponents on the road. The matches will be played Nov. 14 and 18.

The draw for the World Cup finals will be made on Dec. 4 in Cape Town. Next year's 32-nation tournament is scheduled for June 11-July 11.

Auto Racing

SAO PAULO — Formula One champ Jenson Button hopes to negotiate a deal that will allow him to stay with Brawn GP as the team aims to repeat its constructors' title in 2010.

Button finished fifth in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix to clinch the drivers' title and help Brawn take the constructors' championship with one race to spare.

Button was part of the Honda team that folded its F1 operations last year before being taken over by Brawn GP just before the start of the season. He took a pay cut, kept his job, and after months of uncertainty eventually took advantage of the Brawn GP car's dominance to build a huge lead in the first half of the season.

He won six of the first seven races of the season and then was consistent enough the rest of the year to maintain a comfortable lead coming into Brazil.

Horse Racing

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission is investigating the death of a Texas jockey who was thrown from his horse during a thoroughbred race at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw over the weekend.

Racetrack general manager Blaine Storey said Mark Pace, 58, died Sunday after falling off his mount, Reep What You Sow, during the first race. According to the race chart, the horse, a 60-1 long shot, hit the rail on the backstretch, lost its jockey and did not finish.

Constantin Rieger, the racing commission's executive director, said an investigator for the agency is looking into the accident. He said Pace was from Devine, Texas.

— The Associated Press