Sports briefs for Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2012

Posted Dec. 04, 2012, at 5:49 p.m.

MFHA Hall inducts UMaine 1975 team

ORONO — The 1975 University of Maine field hockey team was inducted into the Maine Field Hockey Association’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony held on Sunday. Under the guidance of head coach Jeanne Walsh, the 1975 Black Bears finished their season at 14-5-1, one of the most successful seasons in Maine field hockey history.

The team finished second at the regional championship tournament at UMass and went on to place eighth at nationals. The team, playing just years after Title IX took effect, was the first women’s team allowed to participate out of state for the University of Maine.

The team consisted of Lisa Haritas Calmus, Cyndi Chadwick, Deb Chase, Kim Coombs, Candy Fallon, Lyn Foster, Donna Chadbourne Jordan, Paula Noyes Kunaniec, Nita Lambourghini, Beth Neal, Linda Clark Ruman, Lynn Shostak, Dr. Georgia Tuttle, Mona Sylvester Vorce, Jane Woodbrey, Walsh and assistant coach Daryl Fleming.

Large portion of A-Rod’s money insured

The New York Yankees won’t be in dire straits should Alex Rodriguez miss 2013, or be forced to retire because of a hip injury, according to an ESPN report.

The team is insured for a sizable amount of the $114 million owed to Rodriguez over the next five seasons, and could recover from 75 percent to 100 percent of the money, a baseball source with knowledge of the contract told ESPN.com.

Rodriguez would have to miss at least one full season before the Yankees could collect on the policy. ESPN.com said it was unclear whether the contract is insured for its entire length, or whether it included any exclusion regarding certain injuries.

Urlacher could miss 3-4 weeks; Bears sign DeCicco

The Bears signed linebacker Dom DeCicco to the 53-man roster Tuesday, bringing back a player who had been released three months prior with an injury settlement, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The signing suggests that the team expects to be without linebacker Brian Urlacher for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Tribune cited two unnamed sources that referred to Urlacher’s injury as a Grade-2 strain, though the Bears haven’t commented on the severity of the injury.

Urlacher hurt his right hamstring during overtime of the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and head coach Lovie Smith told reporters Monday that Urlacher had a pulled hamstring.

DeCicco isn’t likely to fill Urlacher’s role should the veteran sit out against the Vikings.

Nazi slur results in Israeli team captain suspension

JERUSALEM — Israel’s leading basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv has suspended its captain for calling a rival player a Nazi.

Guy Pnini, who was caught on video unleashing a string of insults at an Israeli opponent during a game earlier this week, was ousted from his position as captain until the end of the season, suspended until further notice, and forced to pay about $26,000 to a charity.

The incident touched a raw nerve with Israelis sensitive to the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

Pnini, whose own family, like many others in Israel has members that survived the Holocaust, has since apologised and said his outburst came in the heat of the game.

He broke into tears in front of reporters after being given his punishment.

Olympian Alex Morgan named female soccer athlete of year

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cal graduate Alex Morgan was named U.S. Soccer’s female athlete of the year Monday while Santa Clara junior Julie Johnston was honored as young female athlete of the year.

Morgan, a rising star on the U.S. national team after helping lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, won the award in her first time on the ballot. She led the Americans with 28 goals, which was third-best all-time in a calendar year behind Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) and Michelle Akers (39 in 1991).

Johnston edged her under-20 World Cup teammates Kealia Ohai of North Carolina and Illinois midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. Johnston started all six games on the backline and earned the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third-best player, a rarity for a defender.

Lakers’ Gasol to sit due to tendinitis in knees

The Los Angeles Lakers, still trying to find their way this season, will be without Pau Gasol when they try to snap the Houston Rockets’ five-game home winning streak on Tuesday.

Gasol, averaging an NBA career low in points with 12.6 per game, will take a rest on the bench due to tendinitis in both knees, the Lakers said.

The Lakers have gone 3-4 under new coach Mike D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll system since he took over.

Green Bay Packers great Starr collapses during speech

MILWAUKEE — Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr collapsed on Tuesday after giving a motivational talk at an economic development conference in Wisconsin.

The 78-year-old football legend fell to the floor after his 45-minute keynote speech at the Monona Terrace conference center in downtown Madison.

Starr refused medical care from paramedics and left the conference with his wife, Cherry, in a limousine, Fischer said.

Starr, who lives in Alabama, is Packer royalty, having led the team to seven titles, including the first two Super Bowl championships.

Grady Allen, father of Raiders’ coach, dies

The father of Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen died Monday from heart problems.

Allen had left the team Sunday night to be with his father, former NFL player Grady Allen He plans to return Wednesday night and coach the team against Denver on Thursday, the team said.

The Raiders are 3-9 in Allen’s first year with the team.

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