IN BRIEF | NATION & WORLD SPORTS | 2-28-14


Warrant for former NFL safety Sharper

NEW ORLEANS — An arrest warrant has been issued for former NFL safety Darren Sharper and another man, accusing them of raping two women in New Orleans last year.

Sharper also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office and New Orleans Sex Crimes detectives Thursday obtained warrants for the 38-year-old Sharper and 26-year-old Erik Nunez. Each faces two counts of aggravated rape.

New Orleans police say the two women were raped at the same location on Sept. 23.

Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and a second with the Saints.

Giants and Bills to play in Hall of Fame game

NEW YORK — The Buffalo Bills and New York Giants will kick off the 2014 NFL preseason in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

The league announced Thursday the matchup for the Aug. 3 game.

The contest will be played a day after the Hall of Fame inducts seven new members, including one each from the Bills and Giants.

Wide receiver Andre Reed played 15 of his 16 seasons with the Bills from 1985-99. Defensive end Michael Strahan spent his 15-season career with the Giants from 1993-2007, winning a Super Bowl in his final season.

This is the first time the Bills and Giants will meet in the Hall of Fame Game.

Police: Incognito damaged own car

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Police checking on reported damage to a car belonging to Richie Incognito, the player at the center of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal, said Incognito told an officer he did the damage himself.

Sgt. Mark Clark said the Dolphins guard took responsibility when police contacted him Thursday.

Clark said police first went to Incognito’s home Wednesday after being contacted by TMZ Sports and being given a photo of a black Ferrari with several dents in its hood.

Clark said more details are unavailable on account that no report was filed because no crime was reported. He said Scottsdale police are done with the matter.

An investigation conducted for the NFL determined Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.

Rockies LHP Aquino hit in head by liner

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Colorado Rockies pitcher Jayson Aquino was taken to a hospital for tests after being hit in the head by a line drive during an intrasquad game.

The left-hander didn’t go down and was able to walk off the field Thursday after Rafael Ynoa’s liner hit him just above the ear.

Asked whether Aquino may have sustained a concussion, manager Walt Weiss called it a “possibility.”

The 21-year-old Aquino is on Colorado’s 40-man roster. The Dominican Republic native made 10 starts for Class A Asheville at the end of last season, going 0-9 with a 4.78 ERA.

Shea, Onyewu, Williams back on US roster

CHICAGO — Midfielder Brek Shea and defender Oguchi Onyewu are returning to the U.S. national team roster for Wednesday’s exhibition game against Ukraine for the first time since last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Midfielder Danny Williams could play his first national team game since the World Cup qualifier at Honduras on Feb. 6 last year. Defender Tim Ream, who hasn’t been with the team since August, also was among the 24 players picked Thursday for the match, which was moved to Larnaca, Cyprus, from Kharkiv because of violence in Ukraine.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected just three players not based in Europe: Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, Tijuana defender Edgar Castillo and Seattle forward Clint Dempsey, who is completing a two-month loan to England’s Fulham.

FA bans player five games for gesture

LONDON — The English Football Association gave West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka a five-game ban and $133,000 fine after finding him guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic.

Anelka had denied his use of the gesture, known in France as a “quenelle” and described as an “inverted Nazi salute,” was anti-Semitic.

But an FA disciplinary panel, which heard the case this week, decided otherwise for the former France international who made the gesture during a Premier League match in December.

The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, who has been convicted multiple times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism.

By wire sources