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Sports briefs for May 24, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Two divers commit to UMaine team

ORONO, Maine — Divers Tori Leonard of Kennebunk and Hayli Weitz of Long Beach, N.Y., have completed their National Letters of Intent and will be joining the University of Maine swimming and diving team this fall, head coach Susan Lizzotte announced in a press release Friday.

Leonard, looking to major in engineering when she joins the Black Bears, spent four years diving at Kennebunk High School. She was named to the 2013 all-star team and was the 1-meter Class A State Diver of the Year and Diving Champion in 2012 and 2013.

Weitz, who plans to study childhood education at the University of Maine, joins the Black Bears after competing for Long Beach High School, the Long Island Divers and the Oceanside Green Flies. Weitz, who captained her squad in 2012-13, was a state qualifier in 2013 and a division champion in 2012-13. She won a pair of coaches awards, was a county qualifier from 2007-2013 and was a founding Surf Team member and captain.

The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Sox put Victorino, Middlebrooks on disabled list

The Boston Red Sox got catcher David Ross back on Friday, but they placed outfielder Shane Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list.

Victorino has a strained hamstring, and Middlebrooks has lower back spasms.

Victorino is hitting .283 with two home runs in 34 games, and Middlebrooks is batting .201 with eight homers.

Ross is back after being sidelined with a concussion. He’s hitting .209 with four home runs.

The Red Sox also called up infielder Jose Iglesias and right-handed pitcher Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A.

Bears to retire Ditka’s No. 89

The Chicago Bears announced Friday that they will retire Mike Ditka’s No. 89.

Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end with the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, also coached the Bears.

His number will be retired during a halftime ceremony on Dec. 9 when the Bears take on the Cowboys at Soldier Field.

Ditka coached the Bears to a Super Bowl title in January 1986. He was also part of an NFL championship the team won in 1963.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Ditka said in a statement. “It’s something that I didn’t anticipate or expect, but it’s a great honor. When you think of all the great Bears players who have had their jerseys retired, I can’t say that there’s any greater honor. I’m very humbled by it and very thankful that George (McCaskey) made the decision to go ahead and do that because it’s really great.”

Ditka was drafted with the fifth pick overall by the Bears in 1961. In six seasons, he was named to five Pro Bowl and two All-Pro teams. He was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1961 after making 56 catches for 1,076 yards with 12 touchdowns. He had 316 receptions for 4,503 yards with 34 touchdowns overall with the Bears.

Celtics won’t let Nets talk to Rivers

The Boston Celtics will not grant the Brooklyn Nets permission to speak to Doc Rivers about their vacant head coaching job.

ESPN Boston reported that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will not allow the Nets to speak to Rivers, who is under contract with the Celtics.

Ainge would not comment on the report and said he expects Rivers to return to the Celtics as coach next season.

“Doc has told me he’s coming back,” Ainge said. “I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward.”

The Celtics are reportedly looking to rebuild but that does not include letting Rivers go. Ray Allen left for the Miami Heat last season and the Celtics may look to trade Paul Pierce.

Phil Jackson and Lionel Hollins have been mentioned as candidates to coach the Nets, who fired P.J. Carlesimo after they were eliminated from the playoffs.

Ex-Bronco Nalen admits to trying to hurt another player

Former Denver Broncos center Tom Nalen said that he intentionally tried to injure a player in 2006.

Nalen made the admission while being introduced at a press conference Thursday as the newest member of the Broncos Ring of Fame.

Nalen said he purposely tried to hurt San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Igor Olshansky.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a dirty player,” Nalen said. “I know people will bring up the Igor Olshansky play in 2006, but if people would look at the play before that and realize why I did what I did — and even on that play I missed the cut — so you know definitely, I wanted to blow his knee out on that play because of what happened the play before. But that, you know, is that dirty? I don’t know. It’s revenge, kind of, so.”

The Broncos were lined up to spike the ball and stop the clock, but Nalen dove into Olshansky’s knees. Olshansky threw two punches at Nalen and was ejected from the game. Nalen was fined $25,000 for the play and Olshansky was fined $10,000 for retaliating.

Indians activate Swisher from paternity list

The Cleveland Indians announced Friday that first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher was activated from the paternity list.

Swisher was placed on the list Tuesday. His wife gave birth to a daughter Tuesday.

The Indians optioned infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A Columbus.

Swisher is batting .274 with six home runs and 16 RBI this season.

Phelps is 0-for-9 in four games with the Indians.

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