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Sports briefs for Feb. 19, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Play 4Kay finale Wednesday

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine women’s basketball team will attempt on Wednesday to reach its fundraising goal with a final push for the Play 4Kay program. The effort at Alfond Arena was postponed Feb. 9 because of a snowstorm.

Play 4Kay is a nationwide initiative supported by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association that aims to heighten awareness of breast cancer and raise money to support research.

Coach Richard Barron last year rallied the UMaine community to raise more than $10,000. He shaved his head to celebrate the effort.

As of Tuesday afternoon, UMaine had raised approximately $5,100 toward its goal of $10,000. Barron has again promised to shave his head at center court if the goal is met.

For more information or to donate, visit the website at

Bulls’ Thibodeau says Rose could miss season

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged during an ESPN Chicago radio program that franchise player Derrick Rose could miss the entire season, but said the team is prepared to move forward either way.

“I think in any situation like this you hope for the best but you plan for the worst,” Thibodeau said. “That’s a possibility that he could miss the entire season and if that’s the case then that’s fine. We just want him to be healthy and ready to go. Whenever that is we will deal with that. For our team nothing is going to change.”

The Bulls need Rose to return to his MVP form, but also were aware that he was going to miss significant time after getting hurt during the playoffs.

Prison group secures FAU naming rights

Florida Atlantic University is expected to announce a marketing deal Tuesday with the GEO Group, a private correctional facilities management corporation, according to a report from

The deal would include the naming rights to the school’s on-campus stadium.

The report said that GEO Group’s CEO George Zoley is an FAU alum.

FAU had been seeking a corporate naming rights sponsor for years, and OwlAccess reported that the agreement was “believed to be valued at around $5 million.”

The deal comes with controversy, as GEO Group has paid out millions in fines and penalties as a result of numerous lawsuits. The company formerly operated Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi, where a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into abuses concluded that “due to the unconstitutional operation of WGYCF, youth were sexually preyed upon by staff and all too frequently suffered grievous harm, including death.”

Bad weather gives Donald a Match Play boost

MARANA, Arizona — Possible snow showers forecast for Wednesday’s first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship could be a good omen for Luke Donald, who says he would embrace such conditions in Arizona’s high desert.

Two years ago, Donald won the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event with a 3&2 victory over Germany’s Martin Kaymer in the final after the day had dawned with almost an inch of snow blanketing Dove Mountain.

The Englishman went on to enjoy the most successful year of his career, winning four times worldwide and becoming the first player to clinch the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic after spending much of 2011 as world number one.

“Obviously I have very fond memories from a couple of years ago,” Donald told reporters at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Tuesday. “That was kind of a springboard for what was my best year out on tour.

“Winning here gave me a huge amount of confidence. I went on to become No. 1 in the world and won a bunch of tournaments, and a lot of that was the result of winning here against a great field.”

Athletics’ Colon apologizes for PED use

Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon apologized Tuesday for the steroid use that caused him to be suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last season.

“The only thing I can say about last year is I apologize to everyone, even the fans, the team, the front office about what happened,” he told the media through interpreter Ariel Prieto.

It was the first time Colon discussed the suspension, which will continue for the first five games of this season.

Colon thanked the A’s for allowing him to pitch for them again. He said he didn’t speak to any other teams before he resigned with them on a one-year $3 million contract.

He said he knew the suspension was coming six weeks before it was announced.

“I continued to pitch, but my mind wasn’t good,” said Colon, who would not give details about the effects of the substance he took.

Colon said he will apologize to each of his teammates during spring training, which A’s manage Bob Melvin thinks is a good idea.

NFLPA president: Trust issues are HGH testing hurdle

Dominique Foxworth, president of the NFL players association, said Tuesday that trust issues have driven a significant divide between the league’s players and commissioner Roger Goodell. That includes any advancement in stalled talks to implement human growth hormone testing.

“They don’t trust anybody on Park Avenue,” Foxworth said in reference to the NFL’s administrative offices in New York City.

Goodell said at the Super Bowl in New Orleans earlier this month that he was hopeful HGH testing would be established before the start of the 2013 season.

Foxworth doubts the widening bridge between players and NFL braintrust can be crossed in a timely fashion and said outside neutralities are necessary.

“Some neutral arbitration is needed,” he said.

The deterioration of trust, Foxworth claimed, goes back to the bounty issue with the Saints last season. He said last month that he takes responsibility as the players’ voice to help rebuild a relationship with Goodell, but it won’t come quickly or easily.

NFL salary cap to grow to $122 million

The NFL salary cap will increase by at least $1.4 million per team, reported Tuesday citing a source with knowledge.

The report said the new salary cap will be at least $122 million per team.

Next year’s salary cap is expected to spike far higher because revenue from new television deals is expected to start flowing into the league.

LSU legend hospitalized after stroke

LSU football legend Billy Cannon has been hospitalized after a stroke, but is alert and resting, his family told LSU Tuesday afternoon.

Doctors will conduct tests to determine the extent of the stroke, according to the family. Cannon will remain in ICU tonight. The family expressed its thanks for the prayers and concerns of friends and fans.

Cannon, 75, won the Heisman Trophy in 1959 and was a 2008 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. He also played for the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.

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