Sports briefs for Nov. 27, 2012

Posted Nov. 27, 2012, at 6:24 p.m.

MCI-Nokomis faculty benefit game set Friday

NEWPORT, Maine — Maine Central Institute’s Key Club students are sponsoring a faculty challenge basketball game between MCI vs. Nokomis at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Nokomis High School gym.

Proceeds from the contest will benefit Nokomis high athletics, clubs and activities.

Admission is $3 for children and students, $5 for adults and $12 for a family of four or more. There will be activities for youngsters between periods and a raffle for tickets to a Boston Celtics game.

Fans also are encouraged to sponsor a favorite faculty member for each point that he or she scores during the game.

UMaine-URI women’s hoop tickets on sale

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine is selling tickets for its Dec. 8 women’s basketball game against Rhode Island at the Portland Expo. The game tips off at 1 p.m.

Tickets, which are $8 for adults, $4 for youth and $ per person for groups, are available by calling 581-2327 and at GoBlackBears.com. All seating is general admission.

Phils’ Ruiz suspended 25 games after positive test

NEW YORK — Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was suspended Tuesday for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine.

The 33-year-old was an All-Star for the first time this year when he hit .325 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs.

“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”

Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.

Ruiz became the eighth player suspended this year under the major league testing program, the second for amphetamines following Baltimore shortstop Ryan Adams. The eight suspensions are the most since 2007.

Tulane, ECU to join Big East in ’14, leaving C-USA

The Big East moved quickly to replace Rutgers and braced for more possible departures, getting Tulane and East Carolina to agree to join the re-invented conference in 2014.

Tulane, in New Orleans, and East Carolina, in Greenville, N.C., will make it six Conference USA schools to join the Big East in the last two years.

Rutgers announced one week ago that it would leave the Big East for the Big Ten. Cowen and athletic director Rick Dickson said serious talks with the Big East began about a week ago.

Rutgers would like to join the Big Ten by 2014, along with Maryland, but the Scarlet Knights have left their departure date from the Big East ambiguous. Conference bylaws require members to give the league notification of two years and three months before departing, but the Big East has negotiated early exits for Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the past year.

West Virginia joined the Big 12 this year. Syracuse and Pitt will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference in September.

Woods not interested in European membership

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Tiger Woods says he won’t be joining the European Tour.

Woods had floated the possibility while in Turkey last month, especially now that the tour would count the Ryder Cup toward the minimum requirement of 13 events for membership. When asked about it Tuesday, Woods said, “I’m not going to play the European Tour next year.”

He says even adding a few extra tournaments would be too much for him.

Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald have won the money titles on the European Tour and PGA Tour in the last two years. Woods could have done that at least four times in the last decade if he had been a member. He says that was never important to him, and it might have detracted from his preparation for the majors.

Lions’ Suh gets traffic ticket in Detroit suburb

DETROIT — Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was issued a traffic citation by a police officer who said Suh was driving fast and passing cars from the right lane of a suburban Detroit roadway.

The Lathrup Village officer gave Suh the ticket on Nov. 15 for driving without due care and caution, but Police Chief William Armstrong told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was not sure the citation would hold up.

The chief was awaiting a call back from the city attorney to discuss the case, which he said was “in limbo.”

“From my bird’s eye view, taking a quick glance at it, I’d say the charge doesn’t fit,” Armstrong said after watching video footage of Suh’s driving that day. “Just looking at the tape, Mr. Suh was traveling faster than the cars around him, but I don’t think it was to the extent of driving without due care and caution.”

Suh was not available for comment after practice Tuesday. Coach Jim Schwartz did not appear too concerned about the citation.

Yankees, pitcher Pettitte close in on deal

NEW YORK — A person familiar with the negotiations says Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees are nearing agreement on a one-year contract in the range of $10 million to $12 million.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because talks are ongoing.

Pettitte, who turns 41 in June, retired after the 2010 season and then decided to come back this year and signed a contract guaranteeing $2.5 million.

He went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts, missing nearly three months with a broken left leg after he was hit by a liner drive off the bat of Cleveland’s Casey Kotchman broke his left fibula on June 27.

Kentucky hires FSU assistant Mark Stoops as coach

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky has hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops as the Wildcats’ football coach.

Stoops replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky and the Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this year.

Kentucky made the announcement on Tuesday and the 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced here at a news conference on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Stoops’ hiring concludes a quicker-than-expected coaching search by the university. After Saturday’s season-ending loss at Tennessee, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said he had no timetable to find a replacement for Phillips.

But it didn’t take long for Barnhart and the Wildcats to make a move. The decision makes Stoops a head coach for the first time in his career.

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