CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina is investigating how what appears to be a transcript for former football star Julius Peppers surfaced on the university’s website.
In a statement Monday, the school said it has removed the link and that it couldn’t discuss confidential student information covered by federal privacy laws. The school didn’t confirm the authenticity of the partial grade summary, which lists Peppers’ name at the top.
“Student academic records should never be accessible to the public, and the university is investigating reports of what appears to be a former student transcript on the university’s website,” the school said.
The link, which surfaced late Sunday, showed Peppers received some of his highest grades in classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM). A school investigation has since found fraud and poor oversight in 54 AFAM classes between summer 2007 and summer 2011, with football players making up more than a third of the enrollments and student-athletes making up 58 percent of the overall enrollments in those suspect classes.
Nine of the 10 classes in which Peppers earned a B-plus, B or B-minus that could’ve helped ensure his eligibility came in the AFAM department, according to the possible transcript. Three were listed as independent study classes, another problem area cited in the school’s probe for a lack of supervision of work performed by students.
Yankees sign RHP Derek Lowe for bullpen
NEW YORK — The Yankees signed Derek Lowe to a major league contract on Monday and said they planned to use the right-hander in the bullpen.
Lowe, a 39-year-old sinkerballer, has spent time as a reliever, but mostly has pitched in the rotation for various teams, most recently the Indians. Cleveland designated him for assignment on Aug. 2 and released him on Friday.
Lowe has a 4.01 ERA in 655 major league games with the Mariners, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves and Indians.
State Police: No evidence of Saints wiretapping
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana State Police investigators have found no evidence that the Saints or general manager Mickey Loomis rigged Superdome wiring so opposing coaches’ radio communications could be intercepted.
“This has been an intensive investigation, and after numerous interviews we have determined that there is no evidence that state laws have been violated,” State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday after meeting with Saints owner Tom Benson in New Orleans to brief him on the status of the probe.
State police investigators have been working in conjunction with the FBI since the eavesdropping allegations surfaced in news reports in April.
“We found no corroborating evidence that Mickey Loomis or anybody in the Saints was engaged in wiretapping or eavesdropping,” Edmonson said.
Edmonson said it was only fair to hold a news conference about the status of the State Police probe because he had talked about it when his investigators first began looking into the allegations.
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks taken off the PUP list
ALBANY, N.Y. — Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been taken off the physically unable to perform list by the New York Giants and can start practicing with the team.
The Super Bowl champions made the move Monday after Nicks passed his physical. The four-year veteran will be limited for his first three workouts. His first could be Tuesday.
Nicks missed the first two weeks of training camp at the University at Albany while completing rehabilitation on a broken right foot that he hurt in May during Organized Team Activities. Last week, he started running some pass patterns for trainers and felt good.
Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot on May 24. He had a screw surgically inserted into the broken bone the next day.
A first-round draft pick in 2009, Nicks caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He was outstanding in the playoffs, catching 28 passes for 444 yards (a 15.9 yard average) and four touchdowns.
Nicks hopes to be ready for the Giants’ season opener against Dallas on Sept. 5.
Braves moving to 6-man rotation for 2 weeks
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are moving to a six-man rotation for two weeks.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez says he’ll pick the best five starters at the end of August.
The Braves created a surplus in their rotation last month by trading for Paul Maholm, signing Ben Sheets and moving Kris Medlen from the bullpen. Right-hander Tommy Hanson, who leads Atlanta with 12 wins, returns from the disabled list this week and will start on Friday against the Dodgers.
Medlen is 2-0 while allowing only three earned runs in three starts. Gonzalez says Medlen will stick in the rotation if his success continues. Sheets is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in six starts in his comeback from elbow surgery.
The six-man rotation includes Tim Hudson, Mike Minor, Maholm, Sheets, Medlen and Hanson.
Giants to decide in fall on future Albany camps
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Super Bowl-champion New York Giants are going to wait until the fall to decide whether to keep the University at Albany as their preseason training camp site.
Giants co-owner John Mara said Monday that the franchise would discuss returning for a 17th season in the next couple of months and reach a decision in the fall.
Mayor Gerald Jennings was hopeful that the Giants and the university could reach an agreement on a new contract.
“I am sure it is on their mind,” Jennings said Monday during a visit to training camp. “We haven’t sat down and had any talks. The university probably has. They seem to enjoy it up here. The fan base has been great and as far as I am concerned, I would love to keep them here.”
Mara said it’s great to be wanted, but the Giants (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) have concerns, too.
The biggest is the university’s lack of an indoor practice facility for inclement weather. The Giants, who trained at their headquarters in East Rutherford, N.J. last year because of the lockout, have a multimillion dollar indoor field at the Timex Performance Center.
Coach Tom Coughlin was upset early in training camp when rain made the grass fields slippery and lightning forced one outdoor practice to move into the university gymnasium for a walkthrough.
Colts lose Angerer for 6 weeks, Lutrus for season
INDIANAPOLIS — Chuck Pagano’s first NFL win came at a pretty steep cost.
Less than 24 hours after beating St. Louis 38-3 in the preseason opener, the Colts’ new coach said starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer, last year’s leading tackler, could miss at least six weeks because of a broken foot.
It’s a big loss for a team trying to make a turnaround after a dismal 2-14 season gave them the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
“He’s the signal-caller, he’s the guy that stands in front of the huddle,” Pagano said Monday. “When you lose your middle backer for an extended period of time, it hurts a lot, and the guy is a warrior, he’s a Colt, he’s got all of Colt traits you’re looking for. Now it will be up to somebody else to step up and fill that void until we get him back.”
Angerer led the Colts with 146 tackles last season after replacing captain Gary Brackett, who missed most of the season with a torn rotator cuff.
Orioles get veteran LHP Romero from Indians
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles have acquired left-hander J.C. Romero from the Cleveland Indians for minor league infielder Carlos Rojas.
Romero began the season with St. Louis, going 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA in 11 games before being released May 14. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Orioles and went 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 17 appearances for Triple-A Norfolk. He was then signed by the Indians to a minor-league deal July 21 and pitched in eight games for Triple-A Columbus.
Romero’s contract will be purchased Tuesday, and he will be added to the 25-man roster, according to the Orioles.
He is 34-28 with a 4.15 ERA over a 14-year career.
Rojas batted .226 in 48 games with Double-A Bowie and Norfolk this season.