Report: Muhammad booted from rookie program
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Shabazz Muhammad was booted out of the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program in Florham Park, N.J., after violating of a rule by bringing a woman to his hotel room, USA TODAY reported Wednesday.
Muhammad, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, was participating with about 50 fellow rookies in four-team program that is designed to ease the transition to professional basketball through a series of seminars and instructions.
No guests, unless they are approved by program administrators, are allowed into a player’s room.
Muhammad, who left UCLA after his freshman season to enter the draft, will be required to pay a fine and return next year with a new crop of rookies and others who are required to complete the program.
Moore changes mind, retires
Longtime New York Jets guard Brandon Moore decided to retire on Wednesday after signing with the Dallas Cowboys the previous day, according to multiple reports.
Moore and the Cowboys had reached a deal on a one-year contract Tuesday night before his abrupt change of heart. He walked away from a $1.25 million salary, a $500,000 signing bonus and incentives.
The 33-year-old Moore would have rejoined former Jets offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, who now holds the same position with the Cowboys.
Moore spent 11 seasons with the Jets and started 142 of 144 games during his career. He had started every game since 2005 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Heat announce deal with Oden
The Miami Heat confirmed the return of center Greg Oden to the NBA, signing the oft-injured center to contract on Wednesday.
The team did not disclose the terms of the contract, but ESPN reported last week that the deal was a minimum of two yars with a player option in the second year.
“After many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was the Oden, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, has played in 82 games during his career but none since 2009 because of repeated knee injuries.
The 7-foot Oden worked out for several teams during the past few weeks. The 25-year-old has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. He underwent his third microfracture surgery in February 2012.
Schools address Miller, Clowney autographs
Ohio State and South Carolina determined that NCAA violations were not committed by quarterback Braxton Miller and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after the schools were made aware of signed memorabilia from the star players appearing for sale online.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday that Miller, a junior, had no knowledge of the items being sold. Smith added that the university discussed the matter with Miller after learning about it on Sunday.
South Carolina associate athletics director Chris Rogers said the school also found no wrongdoing on Clowney’s part.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier stood behind Clowney while speaking with reporters. He has closed South Carolina’s practices in part to keep autograph seekers away.
The autograph issue has received heightened attention in the past week after ESPN’s report that the NCAA is investigating the possibility that Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M received money for signing autographs in January. An East Coast autograph broker told ESPN on Tuesday that the quarterback was paid $7,500.
Report: Mo Williams head to Blazers
Veteran point guard Mo Williams agreed to a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.
Williams, a free agent, averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists in his only season with the Utah Jazz. He was limited to 46 games in 2012-13 because of injuries.
The 30-year-old Williams was an All-Star when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also has spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz added Trey Burke in the 2013 NBA Draft and plan to hand him the starting point guard job this season. Williams had said he would re-sign with the Jazz only if he received assurances that he would remain the starter.
Tigers release Valverde
Right-hander Jose Valverde was given an unconditional release by the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, the team announced.
The 35-year-old reliever converted nine of 12 save opportunities with the Tigers earlier this season but had a 5.59 ERA and was sent to Triple-A Toledo in June.
The Tigers turned to Joaquin Benoit as their closer and added Jose Veras from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline last week.
In 11 major league seasons with the Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, Valverde has a 26-32 record with 286 saves and a 3.19 ERA.
Report: Bulaga needs ACL surgery
Green Bay Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga is facing surgery on his injured knee, ProFootballTalk.com reported Wednesday.
Bulaga and the Packers were hoping to find a way for him to play through the injury this season, but a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews confirmed that Bulaga needs an operation on his torn anterior cruciate ligament.
That means the Packers are likely to place Bulaga on injured reserve, which will sideline him for the 2013 season.
The fourth-year pro suffered the injury during a training camp scrimmage on Saturday night but stayed on the field after it happened.
Salazar called up by Indians
The Cleveland Indians recalled right-hander Danny Salazar from Triple-A Columbus to start Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers in Progressive Field.
Salazar won his major league debut for the Indians on July 11 against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing one hit in six innings. In that game, he became the first Indians pitcher since 1964 with at least seven strikeouts in a debut.
In 21 games with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season, Salazar is a combined 6-5 with a 2.71 ERA. He had not allowed a run in his last 15 innings with Columbus.
To clear space on the roster, the Indians optioned right-hander Matt Langwell to Triple-A.
Knicks sign C Tyler
The New York Knicks signed free agent center Jeremy Tyler to a contract on Wednesday, the team announced.
Terms of the deal were not revealed by the team.
The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Tyler has averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 63 NBA games, including 23 starts), the past two seasons with the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks. He played in 21 games last season for the Warriors and Hawks and also for San Cruz in the NBA Developmental League.
Bears lose Hayden to hamstring tear
The Chicago Bears took a hit on defense Wednesday, losing cornerback Kelvin Hayden for the season because a torn hamstring,
Hayden will undergo surgery to repair the damage, the team announced. The eight-yar veteran had signed a one-year contract with the Bears during the offseason.
Hayden was used primarily as the Bears’ nickel back last year. He had one interception and 37 tackles and started one game. Hayden was expected to see increased action this year.
Mavericks sign DeJuan Blair
Free agent center DeJuan Blair has signed with the Dallas Mavericks, the team announced Wednesday.
Length of the deal and monetary terms were not announced.
A four-year NBA veteran, the 6-7, 270 pound Blair comes to Dallas from San Antonio, where he was the 37th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. During four seasons with the Spurs, Blair averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 18.9 minutes in 288 career games (166 starts).
He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team squad in 2010 and became the Spurs’ starting center in his sophomore season. From 2010-2012, Blair started 127 of 145 games and averaged 8.9 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Torn ACL sidelines Florida’s Debose
Florida wide receiver Andre Debose is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL, the school confirmed Wednesday.
The non-contact injury occurred during practice on Tuesday night. Coach Will Muschamp said Debose will undergo surgery when swelling in the knee goes down.
A redshirt senior, Debose will have the option to apply for a sixth year of eligibility through a medical waiver if he decides to return for the 2014 season.
A former five-star recruit who missed his freshman season because of injury, Debose has played in 31 games and started eight the past three years for the Gators. His greatest value is as a kick returner, having taken a school- and Southeastern Conference record-tying four kickoffs back for touchdowns during his career.