Sports briefs, Feb. 9

Posted Feb. 09, 2012, at 7:21 p.m.

Bucksbaum named Gatorade Player of Year

Caitlin Bucksbaum of Falmouth High School has been named the 2011-12 Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Player of the Year, it was announced Thursday.

The junior midfielder scored 10 goals and notched 11 assists last fall, leading the Yachtsmen to a 13-4-1 record and the Class B state championship. She was a first-team all-state choice.

The award recognizes athletic excellence along with academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.

Maine Baseball hall seeks nominations

The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame seeks nominations for its 2012 class of inductees.

The organization honors players, coaches, umpires, organizers and benefactors from across the state who have achieved prominence in or have made valuable contributions to baseball in Maine.

Nominations, which should include a resume or supporting documentation, should be sent to Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 1062, Yarmouth, ME 04096 or via email at ddouglas@douglastitle.com.

The deadline for nominations is March 1 and the induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 5, 2012.

Rangers, Cruz strike $16M, 2-year deal

AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz has agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract with the Texas Rangers.

The deal includes $500,000 in performance bonuses over the two years. With the agreement, negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson, Cruz avoids an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for next week.

A 31-year-old slugging outfielder, Cruz had asked for $7.5 million in arbitration and the team had offered $5.5 million. He made $3.65 million last year.

The deal came one day after Elvis Andrus and the Rangers completed a $14.4 million, three-year contract that avoided a hearing.

Mets GM: ‘Big fundraiser tonight for gas money’

NEW YORK — Even Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can’t resist pointing out the team’s financial difficulties.

The team tweeted Thursday afternoon that Alderson had started a Twitter account (at)MetsGM.

Alderson’s first tweet: “Getting ready for Spring Training-Driving to FL but haven’t left yet. Big fundraiser tonight for gas money. Also exploring PAC contribution.”

Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Alderson was playfully responding to a New York paper that pointed out the GM was driving to Port St. Lucie — Horwitz said Alderson drives because he takes his dog.

Coming off their third straight losing record, the Mets have cut payroll by about $25 million since the start of 2011. A trial is scheduled next month on the lawsuit filed by the trustee seeking to recover money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. He is seeking $386 million, claiming the team’s owners were net winners from their investment.

Cavaliers guard Irving recovering from concussion

CLEVELAND — Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving is being evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic as he recovers from a concussion.

Irving missed his first game of the season Wednesday night with the concussion. He was kept out after the team diagnosed him with the head injury, which he sustained Tuesday night in Miami when he was accidentally kneed in the head by the Heat’s Dwyane Wade. Irving complained of a headache while warming up before Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Cavs coach Byron Scott said.

Irving remained in the locker room as his teammates won without him. Ramon Sessions started for Irving and scored a season-high 24 points with 13 assists.

There is no timetable for Irving’s return.

The Cavaliers host Milwaukee on Friday and Philadelphia on Saturday.

Report: Ohio State needs ethics office

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A report given to an Ohio State board of trustees committee Thursday recommends that the university hire a vice president to oversee a new office and new committee responsible for monitoring ethics and rules compliance across the university system.

The report by consultants is a response to the school’s football memorabilia scandal that led to the resignation of coach Jim Tressel, but its recommendations would apply to numerous departments including athletics. The trustees’ audit committee accepted the recommendations, and they head to the full board on Friday.

If approved, the next step would be implementing the recommendations during the next six to 12 months, said university Chief Financial Officer Geoff Chatas.

He said a university-wide ethics office would help provide consistency among the university’s department-level compliance teams that make sure various regulations are followed.

“We’re always trying to be better at Ohio State and trying to be best in class,” Chatas said.

The university would maintain its compliance offices for athletics, research, the medical center, financial aid, disability services and information security.

University-wide compliance offices are a growing trend across the country, said Ada Meloy, general counsel at the American Council on Education. She said they likely started at schools with hospitals and Medicaid regulations and then expanded as the number of regulations governing higher education in general mushroomed.

Landon Cassill gets seat with new team

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Landon Cassill has a job for the Daytona 500 for the first time in his career.

Cassill says he’s been hired to drive for a team that purchased assets and last year’s points from the now defunct Red Bull Racing team. Those points guarantee Cassill a spot in the first five races of the season, and Cassill says he has a deal with the new team to drive all year.

The new team is made up of investors who had previously backed TRG Motorsports. Cassill says the owners will announce the team name and sponsorship in the coming days.

Cassill has made 48 Sprint Cup Series starts over the last two seasons, but has never raced in the Daytona 500. His best finish was 12th at Michigan last season.

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