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Sports briefs for Sept. 5, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Sea Dogs’ Linares named EL player of month

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Sea Dogs outfielder J.C. Linares has been selected as the Eastern League Player of the Month for August.

In 28 games in August, Linares hit .368 (42-for-114) with 12 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 25 RBI, 20 runs scored, a .416 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage. During the month, he led all Eastern League players in total bases (74) and OPS (1.065) and tied for the league lead in batting average (.368), hits (42), doubles (12) and slugging percentage (.649).

Overall this season, Linares batted .276 (83-for-301) with 24 doubles, eight home runs, 51 RBI and 44 runs scored in 81 games for the Sea Dogs.

Linares, a native of Cuba, was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent on July 8, 2010.

Sports agent might have violated law

Even though the NCAA closed its investigation of the North Carolina football program, a separate probe by the state of North Carolina determined that laws relating to sports agents might have been violated.

Current Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little, a former Tar Heel who was declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits, told investigators that a Georgia-based sports agent gave him a $2,200 monthly allowance in 2010, according to a search warrant that was unsealed earlier this week.

According to a search warrant, which was unsealed this week, Little used some of that money to repay a tutor who was a central figure in an academic misconduct scandal involving a number of Tar Heel football players.

The NCAA punished North Carolina in March 2012 by placing the program on probation, banning it from the postseason and reducing scholarships by 15 over a three-year period.

The North Carolina sports agent law is supposed to protect athletes from agents who offer money and gifts to try to get players to sign with them before they are permitted.

Davenport heads list of tennis hall nominees

Former American world number one Lindsay Davenport, a winner of three grand slam singles titles, headlined the list of nominees up for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Davenport was announced as a nominee along with two-times grand slam winner Mary Pierce of France and 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez of Spain, the Hall of Fame said in a statement on Thursday.

The 37-year-old Davenport produced 55 singles titles and a 753-194 record over a 17-year career that included grand slam titles at the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and 2000 Australian Open.

Frenchwoman Pierce, known for her hard-hitting game, won 18 singles titles while compiling a 511-237 record that included triumphs at the 1995 Australian Open and 2000 French Open.

Martinez, 41, had 33 singles titles during her career, none bigger than her win over Martina Navratilova in the 1994 singles final at the All England Club to become the only Spanish woman to ever win the title.

Also nominated in the recent player category is Dutchwoman Chantal Vandierendonck, 48, who became the first ITF World Champion for wheelchair tennis in 1991.

Nominated in the contributor category for their work toward the growth and development of the sport are: tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has guided 10 players to world No. 1 status; Jane Brown Grimes, who has held executive leadership roles with the WTA, USTA, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame; and British tennis broadcaster and author John Barrett.

Arizona State assistant AD arrested, placed on leave

Arizona State has placed an assistant athletic director for recruiting on administrative leave after he was charged in a domestic-violence incident.

The Arizona Republic reported that Sherman Morris has been charged with one count of aggravated assault-serious physical injury and one count of aggravated assault-strangulation.

According to a court document, Morris choked his wife in their Chandler, Ariz., home on Aug. 29. When police arrived to the home, Morris’ wife was bleeding from a laceration, had broken teeth and bruises were visible. Morris’ adult stepson told police that Morris punched his wife in the face and upper back.

“We have put a football-staff employee on administrative leave pending the outcome of a review of the facts in the case,” an Arizona State spokesman told the Republic.

Morris, who had spent six years at LSU as director of player personnel, was hired by Arizona State in March.

Panthers vote Newton a team captain

The Carolina Panthers voted quarterback Cam Newton a team captain, coach Ron Rivera said before practice Thursday.

Newton, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, is in a captain’s role for the first time in his NFL career.

The move was considered a surprise because his leadership has been called in question during the preseason.

Rivera named six captains in all, also including wide receiver Steve Smith, left tackle Jordan Gross, center Ryan Kalil, linebacker Thomas Davis and linebacker Luke Kuechly.

The Panthers had five captains in 2012. Rivera added one after finding out the NFL allows up to six per team. He named the team’s top six overall vote-getters as captains. Last year, he named the top two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams.

Newton being voted in is symbolic of the team’s support, despite having losing seasons both years with Newton as quarterback.

“I’m excited about who he’s becoming,” Rivera said. “Last year, you could see he was growing. Cam is still growing, but he’s also a little more mature, a little more comfortable, a little more savvy.

Kings hire Chris Mullin as adviser

The Sacramento Kings hired Hall of Famer Chris Mullin as advisor to the chairman, the team announced Thursday.

Mullin, 50, will advise owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D’Alessandro in basketball operations responsibilities, including player transactions and apprising front office and coaching personnel of the team’s collegiate and professional scouting efforts.

“Chris Mullin is an incredible addition to our organization,” Ranadive said in a statement. “I have great respect for his accomplishments and understanding of the game. From day one, we have focused on making the Sacramento Kings a first-class franchise built for the 21st century. Chris brings the experience, knowledge, and influence to help us achieve our ultimate goal — bringing a championship to the fans and city of Sacramento. As we prepare for the new season and a new era in Kings basketball, I’m really excited about the group of visionary leaders we’ve brought together.”

Mullin, a five-time All-Star and two-time Olympian, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. In his NBA playing career with the Golden State Warriors (1985-97 and 2000-01) and Indiana Pacers (1997-2000), Mullin averaged 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.60 steals and 32.6 minutes in 986 games.

“It isn’t every day that a franchise has the opportunity to add an individual of Chris’ caliber and reputation,” D’Alessandro said in a statement. “His passion for the game, unflagging work ethic and will to win, ever-present characteristics which helped define him as one of the NBA’s premier players for nearly 20 years, will have a contagious effect on our entire organization.”

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