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College Football

STORRS, Conn. — The lawyer for a 21-year-old man charged with killing University of Connecticut football player Jasper Howard says his client was trying to break up a fight and was not involved in the stabbing that took the starting cornerback's life.

John William Lomax III is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit assault in connection with Howard's death outside a school-sanctioned dance on Oct. 18. He is being held in lieu of $2 million bond.

Another man, Hakim Muhammad, 20, was charged with conspiracy to commit assault. Both live in Bloomfield, around 30 miles from the UConn campus, and are scheduled to make their first court appearances Wednesday morning.


CHICAGO — The $845 million sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets from the Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family was completed, more than 21/2; years after the baseball franchise was put on the market.

The family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade, takes a 95 percent controlling interest in the baseball franchise, its storied ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet, which broadcasts many Cubs games.

After taxes and fees, Chicago-based Tribune, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angles Times, other newspapers and TV stations, expects to reap about $740 million from the deal.

Family members Pete, Tom, Laura and Todd Ricketts will control the team as its board of directors, though Tribune retains a 5 percent stake and will have a seat on the board.

Pro Football

RENTON, Wash. — Walter Jones has gone on the Seahawks' injured reserve list, ending the nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle's season and perhaps his illustrious career.

Coach Jim Mora said today the 35-year-old Jones still has pain that is "not bearable" in his surgically repaired left knee. The anchor to Seattle's offensive line for the last decade has had two knee surgeries since he last played, last Thanksgiving.

Mora is not ruling out a third surgery for the former All-Pro. The coach has no idea whether Jones can or will want to return in 2010.

Also, three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu is in Alabama having specialist Dr. James Andrews assess his torn pectoral muscle.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson issued his second apology in 12 months and was told to stay away from the team while the NFL and the Chiefs complete their investigation into his use of a gay slur.

As Johnson was releasing his apology, a national gay rights advocacy organization called on the league and the team to take disciplinary action against the two-time Pro Bowler.

The latest chapter in Johnson's stormy career began Sunday night when he questioned coach Todd Haley's football credentials on his Twitter account. He used the slur during an exchange with one of his Twitter followers. A day later, he used it again as he brushed off reporters and told them he would not comment, according to the Kansas City Star, which recorded the comment.

College Basketball

HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton University basketball player Theo Smalling died from what police call an accidental shooting outside a nightclub.

Smalling, of Tampa, Fla., died Monday night, according to a university statement.

Police said the 22-year-old team captain was shot in the abdomen early Saturday in the parking lot of a nightclub after another man mishandled a gun.

Police have charged 21-year-old Dominique Devon Smith with reckless handling of a firearm. They could not say if he has an attorney. Police are awaiting autopsy results.

HU basketball coach Ed Joyner called Smalling's death a "devastating loss." Hampton President William R. Harvey described him as a "model" student-athlete.

A campus memorial in Smalling's memory was planned Thursday night.


NEW YORK — Two golf magazines reported that Michael Whan has been selected new LPGA Tour commissioner and will be introduced Wednesday morning in New York.

Golfweek magazine obtained a memo from acting commissioner Marty Evans informing players that Whan has "extensive brand management and marketing experience, including two stints in the golf industry with TaylorMade and Wilson."

Golf Digest also reported on its Web site that Whan, most recently president and CEO of Mission Itech Hockey, was offered the job on Friday and accepted it Monday.

He will replace Carolyn Bivens, who was ousted by the players this summer.


LONDON — The International Olympic Committee will convene a special conference of medical experts to draw up guidelines for dealing with "ambiguous" gender cases in the wake of South African runner Caster Semenya's sex-test controversy.

IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist told The Associated Press that his panel will organize a symposium in Florida in January to look at gender issues and advise sports bodies how to respond.

The move comes amid intense international scrutiny on Semenya, the 18-year-old athlete who won the women's 800 meters at the world championships in Berlin in August. The International Association of Athletics Federations is reviewing gender test results to determine whether Semenya is eligible to compete as a woman.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Canadian hockey star Sidney Crosby will carry the Olympic torch in his home province of Nova Scotia next month. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain will run in the torch relay Nov. 18 in Halifax and represent Canada in the Olympic hockey tournament.

Other Canadian athletes scheduled to carry the torch include former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden, NBA star Steve Nash and golfer Stephen Ames.

Crosby will be one of 12,000 torchbearers in the relay, which begins in Victoria on Friday. Over 106 days, it will stop in every province and territory leading to the lighting of the cauldron at BC Place. The games will be held Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver and Whistler, followed by the Paralympics from March 12-21.


DOHA, Qatar — Dinara Safina has retired with an injury against Jelena Jankovic in her first round-robin match at the Sony Ericsson Championships.

She will lose her No. 1 ranking to Serena Williams if she has to pull out of the tournament in Doha, Qatar.

— The Associated Press

Safina was serving at 1-1 in the first set Wednesday when she stopped play, walked over to her chair and covered her face with a towel. She told the chair umpire she could not continue. The nature of the injury was not immediately clear.

Safina's margin over Williams is so slim that the player who performs best in Doha will end the year as No. 1. Williams won her first match Tuesday.

The tournament features the top eight players in the world, with a group stage before the semifinals.