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Sports briefs for Jan. 14

By BDN Staff and Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Husson to add men’s swimming/diving for 2013-14

BANGOR, Maine — Husson University is adding a men’s swimming and diving team as its 18th varsity sport for the 2013-14 season, the school announced in a press release Monday.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to add men’s swimming and diving as our 18th varsity sport. This is the fifth sport we’ve added since 2010, and it really comes down to President (Robert) Clark buying into and supporting our vision for the athletic department,” Husson University Director of Athletics Bob Reasso said in the release. “Bangor, the surrounding area, and the state of Maine have a great swimming community, and we are honored to offer our incoming student-athletes and current students a chance to compete in this sport.”

Husson’s head women’s swimming and diving coach and director of aquatics Bruce Babin has been selected to serve as Husson’s first men’s swimming and diving coach.

“We already have a top-notch facility and coach to lead the program, and I’m sure it will flourish under Butch’s leadership,” Reasso said.

Pats’ Gronkowski faces surgery

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski was to undergo surgery Monday on the broken right forearm that he re-fractured Sunday in the Patriots’ AFC playoff win over Houston, according to reports.

The injury occurred as Gronkowski braced himself on an out-of-bounds catch. He immediately left the game and then went to the locker room for X-rays. It’s expected that he will be out for the remainder of the postseason.

Gronkowski missed five games after breaking the arm in November before returning for the regular-season finale against Miami. He had two catches and a touchdown against the Dolphins.

Meanwhile, injured running back Danny Woodhead should be able to play in Sunday’s AFC championship game against Baltimore, according to several reports. Woodhead suffered a thumb injury on the Patriots’ first play from scrimmage Sunday against Houston.

Spurs’ Ginobili out 10-14 days with hamstring

The San Antonio Spurs will be without guard Manu Ginobili for 10-14 days while he recovers from a hamstring injury suffered in the first half of Sunday’s 106-88 win over Minnesota. The Spurs veteran said via Twitter on Monday that an MRI showed a Grade 1 strain in his left hamstring.

“Just finished with the MRI,” Ginobili tweeted. “Grade 1 strained left hamstring. 10/14 days out. Will be back shortly. Thanks 4 ur support!!”

Ginobili, 35, is averaging 12.9 points and 4.6 assists this season.

McIlroy signs multi-year deal with Nike

ABU DHABI — World number one golfer Rory McIlroy has signed a “multi-year” sponsorship agreement with U.S. sportswear giant Nike, the company said on Monday at a joint news conference with the Northern Irish athlete.

Commercial terms were not disclosed but the deal is reported to be worth as much as $250 million over 10 years, one of the most lucrative in global sports. It means McIlroy will endorse a range of Nike golfing equipment including clubs, clothing and footwear.

Two more reports say Kings could be close to Seattle move

SEATTLE — Two more national reports published Monday suggested a sale of the Sacramento Kings to the Chris Hansen-led group that would relocate them to Seattle might be imminent.

In Sacramento, meanwhile, grass-roots efforts designed to keep the team there began in earnest.

A report from Yahoo.com stated that the NBA held a conference call with members of the league’s relocation committee last week to brief them on the outlines of a proposed sale.

The report said Hansen’s group, which also includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, would buy 65 percent of the team, with the team given a value of $525 million, and that discussions have continued in the past week to clear the way “for the franchise to move to Seattle.”

A lengthy report Monday from NBA.com detailed the state of the negotiations and quoted what it called an industry source saying the Kings and their owners “have got a clean path to Seattle.” NBA.com is the league’s official website but its content is not controlled by the league.

A’s reward manager Melvin with two-year extension

The Oakland Athletics rewarded manager Bob Melvin with a two-year contract extension after he led the team to a division title and was voted American League Manager of the Year, the team said on Monday.

The extension will keep Melvin, who led Oakland to a 94-68 record in 2012 that was a 20-win improvement over the previous campaign, with the A’s through the 2016 Major League Baseball season, the team said in a statement.

It was Melvin’s first full year at the helm in Oakland. He was named interim manager in June 2011 before signing a three-year pact three months later.

Louisville takes over top spot in AP poll

After the last undefeated teams in college basketball fell last week, Louisville ascended to No. 1 in the Associated Press rankings on Monday.

The Cardinals (15-1) climbed to the top of the AP poll for the second time in school history. The first came at the end of the 2008-09 season.

Louisville was one of five teams to receive first-place votes. The Cardinals, who have won 10 in a row since losing to previously No. 1 Duke, totaled 65 points in the balloting.

Preseason No. 1 Indiana moved from fifth to second and Duke dropped to third after its loss to North Carolina State on Saturday.

Kansas and Michigan, which suffered its first loss Sunday at Ohio State, rounded out the top five. Each had one first-place vote.

The rest of the top 10 included Syracuse, Arizona, Gonzaga, Minnesota and Florida.

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