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Sports briefs for Aug. 2

BDN staff and wire reports

Maine-Boston College tickets on sale Aug. 8

ORONO, Maine — Tickets for the University of Maine’s Sept. 8 football game at Boston College go on sale Aug. 8 at 8:30 a.m. in the UMaine athletic ticket office. Season ticket holders, Black Bear Club members and alumni will receive priority to purchase tickets ($20 each) by calling 581-2327 or 1-800-756-8326.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Aug. 13 at 8:30 a.m.

Fans also may sign up for a bus trip package that includes tickets to the Sept. 7 Boston Red Sox game and the Sept. 8 UMaine football game. The cost is $119 and does not include hotel.

A block of hotel rooms is available for participants. Fans should call the athletic marketing office at 207-581-1086 or email to GoBlackBears@yahoo.com to sign up for the trip.

The University of Maine Alumni Association (UMainealumni.com) also will conduct a pregame party at BC.

Hockey East extends Bertagna’s contract

Wakefield, Mass. — Hockey East athletic directors have extended the contract of Commissioner Joe Bertagna an extra year, putting him under contract through the 2014-15 season. Bertagna is starting his 16th season with the league.

Hockey East enjoyed a 2011-12 season that was highlighted by announcements it would expand from 10 members to 12 with the additions of Notre Dame and Connecticut. Boston College also became the fourth HE team in five years to win the national title.

Hockey East also negotiated multiyear contracts with three television networks: NESN, NBC College Sports and CBS College Sports. The conference also sold out Fenway Park in Boston for the second “Frozen Fenway.”

A native of Arlington, Mass., Bertagna started with a 15-year tenure at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). He moved to Hockey East in 1997 and has served as the Executive Director of the American Hockey Coaches Association since 1991.

Patriots add depth to line, sign LG Dennis

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots signing rookie free agent Derek Dennis, an offensive lineman, on Thursday.

Dennis, 24, played at Temple, and was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent before being released July 26. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound left guard started all 13 games last season for the Owls.

The Patriots open the preseason on Aug. 9 vs. New Orleans.

Ark. trooper fired over Michael Dyer traffic stop

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas State Police have fired a trooper accused of illegally confiscating a gun and dumping marijuana found during a traffic stop involving running back Michael Dyer, a former MVP of the national championship game who is now without a team.

A termination letter from state police commander Col. J.R. Howard released Thursday listed several actions by Cpl. Royce Denney during the March 10 traffic stop that suggested he was “unable to conform to the standards of professionalism” expected of a trooper. Denney has appealed and his attorney, Jeff Rosenweig, declined comment

The letter cites Denney for failing “to conform to law and (using) poor judgment” by confiscating without legal justification a gun found during the traffic stop of a car driven by Dyer, not long after the former Auburn star joined Arkansas State and coach Gus Malzahn. The letter says the trooper disposed of potential evidence by dumping the alleged marijuana at the roadside and improperly turned off the video recorder in his cruiser during the stop.

Audio and some video from the 58-minute stop was recorded and revealed that Denney spoke at length with Dyer about how he should handle getting in trouble.

Funeral set for Minn. coach’s infant son

MARSHALL, Minn. — A funeral is set for the 5-month-old son of Southwest Minnesota State men’s basketball coach Brad Bigler and his wife Heather.

Services for Drake Bigler will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at First Lutheran Church in Marshall.

The boy was killed Saturday when a pickup collided head-on with an SUV carrying Bigler family members.

Brad Bigler’s surgeon says the coach continues to improve. His wife’s 74-old-grandmother, Sharon Schuler, also is making progress.

The pickup driver, 38-year-old Dana Schoen (shohn) of Starbuck, faces three criminal vehicular homicide or operation charges. The complaint says Schoen had a blood-alcohol content of 0.351 percent — more than four times Minnesota’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Schoen was released from jail after making bail Tuesday. A court hearing is set for Oct. 17.

Werth returns after missing nearly 3 months

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals activated Jayson Werth from the 15-day disabled list Thursday.

Werth, sidelined nearly three months by a broken left wrist, called general manager Mike Rizzo on Wednesday night after a rehab assignment at Class-A Potomac to say he was ready to return.

Werth, batting .276 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, is playing center field and batting sixth in Washington’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Nationals placed right-handed pitcher Henry Rodriguez on the disabled list because of a sore back. Rodriguez is 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA and nine saves in 35 games.

Rex, Jets quash tensions over Cromartie comments

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Rex Ryan put a quick end to a budding controversy.

The New York Jets coach addressed his players during a meeting Wednesday, reminding them to “be mindful” of what they say in public in the wake of cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s remarks that he’d rank himself the second-best wide receiver on the team.

A day after wide receiver Chaz Schilens said he felt the comment was a “slight” to the players at his position, he backtracked Thursday, saying he cleared the air with Cromartie.

“Antonio Cromartie is a hell of an athlete,” Schilens said with a smile. “He could play wide receiver anytime he wants to.”

Schilens also spoke individually with Ryan, who thought Cromartie’s comments were mostly a joke and recognized that Schilens didn’t take them as they might have been intended — causing a mini-feud for the Jets (No. 17 in the AP Pro32).

“I think everyone laughed about it except Chaz,” Ryan said. “That’s the truth. Chaz should know (Cromartie’s) not the No. 2 receiver, you know what I mean? How many balls has Cromartie caught? How many routes has he run? Now is he an unbelievable athlete? Yes.

“I was just shocked he didn’t say he was the best receiver.”

Cromartie chose to not speak to reporters for a second straight day, but Schilens was willing to acknowledge that he was partially in the wrong.

“I think it was a teachable moment,” Schilens said. “I understand what I could do differently.”

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