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Sports briefs for May 26, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Rain cancels racing at Speedway 95, Wiscasset

For the second time this month, poor weather conditions have forced Saturday night racing at Speedway 95 in Hermon and Wiscasset Speedway to be cancelled.

With the forecast showing no promise, track officials called the program early in the day in Hermon to give drivers and fans as much notice as possible that the racing program would not be held.

Racing will resume this Saturday at Speedway 95 (5 p.m.) and Wiscasset Speedway (6 p.m.).

Golson apologizes, hopes to play for Irish in 2014

Even though he no longer is enrolled at Notre Dame and will not play in 2013, former starting quarterback Everett Golson is planning on returning to school and playing in 2014.

In a statement released by the school Sunday afternoon, Notre Dame’s starting quarterback in 2012 took responsibility for “poor choices” and “poor academic judgment” as the reasons for his suspension. He pledged to do whatever necessary to “regain the trust of my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the entire Notre Dame community.”

“My parents and the community I grew up in have instilled values in me that have and will continue to allow me to be successful in the future,” he said in the statement “There have been many lessons learned as I worked to become the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and each was a result of Coach (Brian) Kelly’s belief in me as an athlete and a person.

“At this point, I understand how my integrity could be in question but I want to reassure my supporters that through this experience I will return a better student athlete as well as a better individual.

“Lastly, I want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the opportunity already granted and also the opportunity going forth to regain my eligibility in the winter of 2014.”

Penguins’ Crosby drops extra shield

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby no longer has to wear an extra shield on his helmet that covered his jaw area.

Team doctors cleared Crosby this weekend to go without the protective piece that was designed to safeguard the broken jaw he suffered when hit by a puck in the mouth area by a deflected puck late in the regular season. Crosby missed 12 games plus the playoff opener while recovering from jaw, mouth and dental injuries.

The Penguins captain practiced without the shield on Sunday as Pittsburgh prepared to face the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals. The date of the first game has not yet been set.

“They’re comfortable with it coming off, being hit and things like that,” Crosby said. “That’s what it came down to. It doesn’t really change anything. It’s nice to see a little bit better.”

The extra shield hasn’t affected his performance during the playoffs. In 10 postseason games, he has seven goals and eight assists. But Crosby did say the face guard restricted his vision and breathing.

New Rutgers AD faces more questions about past

The troubled Rutgers athletic program is facing a fresh batch of controversy with new questions arising regarding the past of new athletic director Julie Hermann.

Hermann resigned as the head volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee 16 years ago after all of her players on the 1996 team combined to write a letter alleging she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse, The Star-Ledger reported.

Confronted by the players, Herman reportedly said, “I choose not to coach you guys,” and turned and left the room, with many of her players saying they never saw the coach again.

Hermann has already been questioned about a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former assistant coach who claimed she was fired because she became pregnant and was told a baby would affect her job performance. Hermann said the assistant was fired due to underperforming.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi ordered an investigation of that lawsuit, and on Friday the school released a statement saying: “We have looked at the totality of Julie’s record in athletics administration and we look forward to her continued success as she leads Rutgers’ transition into the Big Ten.”

At the very least, it’s a rocky beginning for the woman who was hired by Rutgers at an annual salary of $450,000 to clean up the program’s image, which was tarnished amid allegations that former men’s basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abused his players, followed by the resignation of Hermann’s predecessor, Tim Pernetti.

Heat’s Wade avoids suspension

The NBA did not suspend Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade for hitting Indiana guard Lance Stephenson with a forearm during the fourth quarter in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Wade was assessed a flagrant foul-1 on Sunday after a league review, meaning he was available for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series on Sunday night in Indianapolis.

The league also reviewed an elbow by Indiana’s David West to the shoulder of Miami’s Mario Chalmers during Game 2 on Friday night in Miami but took no further action.

“We think it was just a play that happens sometimes during a game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said during the morning shootaround of the play when Wade leaped and made contact with Stephenson’s head. “He was scrambling.

“That was during a very competitive time of the game. He was scrambling just to get play and it was just one of those inadvertent collisions.”

Wade did not speak with reporters on Sunday morning.

Pitcher Weaver set to return for Angels

Angels right-hander Jered Weaver could be back on the mound by Wednesday or Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Weaver has been out since early April after suffering a fractured elbow in his non-pitching left arm but is expected to be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the Angels’ rotation.

The 30-year-old pitcher worked 5 2/3 innings in an extended spring training game on Wednesday, throwing 75 pitches, and apparently showed the Angels that he’s ready. No other rehab assignment is planned, the Times reported.

He will return to a team that had won seven straight games entering Sunday and moved up to third place in the American League West standings

The Angels designated Billy Buckner, who started Saturday’s game, for assignment and hope to have right-hander Tommy Hanson back soon. Hanson has been out since May 4 after the death of his step-brother.

Suns, Hornacek in talks for coaching job

The Phoenix Suns are engaged in negotiations with former player Jeff Horncek to become their new coach, according to reports.

Hornacek, who lives in the Phoenix area, and Houston Rockets J.B. Bickerstaff interviewed with the team this week for the vacancy, USA Today reported.

There’s also interest in Hornacek, 50, from Charlotte and Philadelphia for their head coaching openings. The Utah Jazz assistant reportedly impressed the Bobcats in an interview with the team.

Hornacek began his 14-year playing career as a second-round draft pick by the Suns. His six seasons in Phoenix culminated with an All-Star season in 1992 and two trips to the conference finals.

In 1992, Hornacek was traded to Philadelphia iin a deal that brought Charles Barkley to Phoenix. Hornacek, a shooting guard, then moved on to Utah.

In 2007, Horncek was hired as a shooting coach by the Jazz and became a full-time assistant two years ago, focusing on developing Utah’s young players. That would satisfy the Suns’ expressed desire to hire a coach who works well with young talent and has ties to the franchise.

The Suns fired Alvin Gentry as coach in January and replaced him on an interim basis with Lindsey Hunter, who guided Phoenix to a 12-29 record after taking over.

The team also parted ways with general manager Lance Blanks in April after a last-place finish in the Western Conference at 25-57, the fourth-worse record in the NBA. .

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