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Sports briefs, Oct. 16, 2011

From wire reports

NASCAR’s Kenseth still searching for sponsor

CONCORD, N.C. — Roush Fenway Racing will run Matt Kenseth’s team next year even if the 2003 NASCAR champion does not have a sponsor.

Kenseth won Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was his third victory of the season and moved him into the thick of the championship race.

After the race, he dryly thanked his sponsors and noted it’s not too late for the companies to change their mind and return to the No. 17 Ford next season.

Kenseth does not have a primary sponsor in place for next year. But team owner Jack Roush says he’ll run the car out of pocket if necessary.


Steelers S Polamalu has concussion-like symptoms

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers removed All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu from the game in the fourth quarter of a 17-13 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday after Polamalu sustained “concussion-like symptoms.”

Polamalu did not play in Pittsburgh’s final two series. He stood on the sideline with his helmet on and watched as the Steelers held on to win their second straight.

Polamalu made a key stop on Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew midway through the quarter, forcing Jacksonville to punt. The 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year dived at Jones-Drew’s legs to stop him for no gain.


Norman says he would not have picked Woods

FORT MEYERS, Fla. — Greg Norman doesn’t think much of the way Tiger Woods plays golf these days, saying he would not have picked him to play in the Presidents Cup.

Norman, who in a recent magazine interview said he didn’t think Woods will win another major, told the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press that PGA champion Keegan Bradley would have been a more logical choice for U.S. captain Fred Couples.

Norman is the International team captain for the Presidents Cup, to be played Nov. 17-20 at Royal Melbourne.

“I can understand the name of a Tiger Woods and his history of what he’s done on the golf course,” Norman said. “But I pick the guys who I think are ready to get in there and play and have performed to the highest levels leading up to it.”

Couples said Bradley would be added to the team if Steve Stricker’s neck injury prevents him from playing.


German team launches look into abuse of ex-ref

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Schalke has launched an investigation to find fans who threw objects at former referee Markus Merk during a Bundesliga game.

Merk was an on-pitch panel expert for Sky’s live coverage of Schalke’s 2-1 loss to Kaiserslautern on Saturday when he was sprayed by beer during the halftime break. Lighters and other objects were also thrown in his direction before and after the game.

Schalke condemned the abuse, saying on its website Sunday that while fans have a right to freely express their opinions “this right does not allow the throwing of objects toward the pitch.”

Gelsenkirchen police spokesman Konrad Kordts told the Sunday edition of the Bild newspaper that three individuals would be “arrested shortly. They will be charged with attempted aggravated assault.”

The Bild newspaper reported that a snooker ball was among the items thrown.

Merk has been unpopular with Schalke fans since the last game of the season in 2001, when Bayern Munich scored from a free kick he awarded in injury time against Hamburg to snatch the title from their side.


Saints’ Payton injured on sideline collision

TAMPA, Fla. — New Orleans coach Sean Payton appeared to injure his left leg during a collision early in the first quarter of the Saints game Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Payton fell to the ground and appeared to get his left leg caught underneath Saints tight end Jimmy Graham when he was tackled by a Bucs defender on the New Orleans sideline.

Payton stayed down while receiving attention from medical staff before being helped to the bench.

He remained there with his leg propped on the bench, but still had on his headset.

The Saints players alternated clearing out their two sideline benches between possessions to allow Payton to see from his seat until he was driven off the field on a golf cart after the Bucs took a 20-7 lead with 3:40 left in the first half.


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