In Brief | Nation and World


Saban: four arrested Bama players dismissed from team

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Four Alabama players have been dismissed from the team following their arrests after two robberies on campus.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that linebackers D.J. Pettway and Tyler Hayes, safety Eddie Williams and H-back Brent Calloway “are no longer associated with the football program.”

Saban says the players’ “actions do not reflect the spirit and character we want our organization to reflect.”

Pettway, Williams and Hayes are charged with two counts of second-degree robbery. Williams and Calloway are charged with fraudulent use of a credit card.

Williams confessed to robbing a student who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back. He said Pettway and Hayes watched him commit another robbery from a nearby vehicle about an hour later.

Berkman set to make his spring debut for Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Lance Berkman is set to make his spring training debut for the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

Berkman has been bothered by a mild right calf strain, and the Rangers have been cautious with the 37-year-old switch-hitter. He played only 32 games with St. Louis last season because of two operations on his right knee and a left calf strain.

While being held out of the first six spring games, Berkman has still been going through workouts and some base-running drills. He is scheduled to be the designated hitter Thursday against Cleveland.

Berkman said Wednesday that he feels good and is looking forward to getting into games.

The Rangers say Adrian Beltre is “still progressing well” from his calf strain, though they haven’t said yet when he will play.

Giants, tackle Will Beatty agree to five-year deal

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have agreed to a five-year deal with left tackle Will Beatty, who could have become a free agent.

The deal gives the Giants some continuity on the offensive line. Beatty is entering his fifth season with the Giants. He played in all 16 games last season after missing much of training camp with a sore back.

Beatty was a second-round pick in 2009 from Connecticut. He has played in 50 games with the Giants. He’s made four starts at left tackle, four at right tackle and one as an extra tight end.

He missed the Giants’ Super Bowl championship during the 2011 season, when he had a detached retina that required surgery and sidelined him for the last part of the regular season and the playoffs.

Holdsclaw indicted on aggravated assault charge

ATLANTA — Prosecutors say former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting.

Fulton County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday that a six-count indictment charges the 35-year-old with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with former Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Police say Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy’s car and shot at it. No one was injured.

After a late-November court appearance, Holdsclaw’s attorney said he talked with Lacy and they were trying to resolve the case. The attorney said Wednesday he wasn’t aware of the indictment.

Holdsclaw is out on bond.

Canucks’ Kesler out up to six weeks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Ryan Kesler lasted only seven games before being forced out of the Vancouver Canucks’ lineup again.

The Canucks said Wednesday that Kesler will be out up to six weeks because of a broken right foot. The fracture was revealed on a CT scan.

It is unclear when the injury occurred, but coach Alain Vigneault said Kesler might have been playing with it before it was diagnosed. Kesler played over 19 minutes against Phoenix on Tuesday and earned an assist.

Kesler didn’t practice on Wednesday and was seen wearing an air cast. He returned to action two weeks ago after taking longer to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. He had a goal and four assists in seven games before being injured again.

Kesler has 154 goals and 188 assists in 568 NHL career games, all with the Canucks.

Stars activate starting goalie Kari Lehtonen

DALLAS — The Dallas Stars have activated Kari Lehtonen from the injured list, and the goalie says he expects to play Thursday against Edmonton.

Lehtonen has missed five games because of a groin injury after leaving in the first period of a 4-3 win over Vancouver on Feb. 15.

The 29-year-old Lehtonen was among the NHL leaders in wins when he was injured. He is 7-2-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

To make room on the roster, the Stars sent goalie Cristopher Nilstorp to Texas of the American Hockey League. Nilstorp is 1-3-1 with Dallas and 17-10-5 with Texas this season.

Mardy Fish hopes to play full schedule in return

Mardy Fish hopes to put together a complete tournament schedule for the rest of 2013, including the three remaining Grand Slam events, after he ends a six-month absence brought on by a heart condition.

Off the tour since September, the former top-10 player plans to return to competition at the hard-court event in Indian Wells, Calif., which begins March 7, followed by the Key Biscayne, Fla., tournament, which starts March 20.

“And then, after that, we’ll re-evaluate, but he has every intention of playing a full schedule the rest of the year,” Fish’s agent, John Tobias, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Jockeys Antley, Borel lead racing hall finalists

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel and Chris Antley, the talented two-time Derby winning rider who died of a drug overdose in 2000, were among the finalists announced Wednesday for election to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

The other finalists are jockeys Garrett Gomez, Craig Perret and Alex Solis, trainer Gary Jones and thoroughbreds Ashado, Housebuster, Invasor and Lure.

Borel is the only jockey to win the Derby three times in a four-year span, standing in the winner’s circle in 2007 with Street Sense, 2009 with Mine That Bird and 2010 with Super Saver. Only three other riders, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack with five and Willie Shoemaker with four, have more Derby wins. All three are in the Hall of Fame. The 46-year-old Borel has earnings of more than $120 million, and was one win shy of 5,000 for his career through Tuesday’s races.

Antley won the Derby in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1999 with Charismatic, who he also guided to victory in the Preakness. The pair came up short of sweeping the Triple Crown, though, finishing third in the Belmont Stakes. The race was memorable because it was Antley who hopped off the injured Charismatic just past the finish line and kept the horse’s leg still while it hobbled down the track. Owner Bob Lewis said Antley likely saved Charismatic’s life that day.

Nadal may pull out of Indian Wells to spare knees

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Rafael Nadal may pull out of next week’s tournament at Indian Wells, Calif., to spare his fragile knees from the hard courts.

Nadal said he loves the tournament he won in 2007 and 2009 but has to think about protecting his knees and staying healthy for the European clay-court season, which ends at the French Open.

He didn’t say whether he would play at Key Biscayne, Fla., where he’s reached the final three times, after Indian Wells.

“My intention is to go to Indian Wells,” Nadal said after reaching the second round of the Mexican Open late Tuesday. “This is the truth because I love this tournament and the priority is to play. But if I don’t feel comfortable playing and decide to wait to play on the hard courts, that’s how it will be and I’ll rest for the clay-court season (in Europe). But today I can’t answer.”

Federer, Djokovic reach quarterfinals in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Defending champion Roger Federer and top-seeded Novak Djokovic are on course to face each in the Dubai Championships final after each moved into the quarterfinals Wednesday with straight set victories.

The world’s two best players were joined by Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych, who also won in straight sets. Berdych saved 12 of 14 break points to beat Tobias Kamke 7-5, 6-1, and Del Potro defeated Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain 6-1, 7-6 (4). He now plays seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy who beat Lukas Rosol 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Federer beat Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, looking much more confident than he did in his opening, three-set victory over Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri. He won 84 percent of first serve points, and he was much more aggressive, winning several key points at the net. Federer will next face Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Rain postpones singles matches at Delray Beach

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Rain postponed most of the singles matches at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

The second-round match between eighth-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium and qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain was tied at 2-2 in the first set when rain stopped play. Two other singles matches — second-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany versus Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, and third-seeded Sam Querrey of the U.S. against Ernests Gulbis of Latvia — were also postponed until Thursday.

Top-seeded Wozniacki loses at Malaysian Open

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki has lost to Wang Qiang 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 Wednesday in the first round of the Malaysian Open.

The 186th-ranked Wang will next face Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria in the next round of the tournament.

Also, fourth-seeded Ayumi Morita beat Cagla Buyukakcay 6-1, 6-1, and Eleni Daniilidou defeated Yuliya Beygelzimer 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Babos beats Scheepers at Brazil Tennis Cup

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil — Timea Babos beat fourth-seeded Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Brazil Tennis Cup on Wednesday.

The 133rd-ranked Babos broke Scheepers’ serve five times. Scheepers, ranked 60th in the world, had eight break points but converted only one.

Venus Williams is the top-seeded player at the tournament. The 20th-ranked Williams is playing her first tournament since losing to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open in January.

From wire sources