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Sports briefs for Sept. 23, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

MAC fall basketball league begins Oct. 6

The Maine Athletic Club’s fall basketball league will begin Sunday, Oct. 6 with three levels of play for girls and boys teams.

High school varsity, sub varsity (junior varsity and freshman) and middle school divisions will be held at sites in eastern, central and western Maine. The regular season is Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, and Nov. 3, followed by the Taylor Tipoff on Sunday, Nov. 10.

The cost is $595 per team for a 12-game schedule. Teams will be matched by level of play and will play two games each Sunday.

Those seeking more information may contact Marc LeClerc at 592-9268 or email

Season ends early for Twins’ Mauer

Joe Mauer’s winter vacation is starting a little early this year.

On Monday, the Minnesota Twins announced that because Mauer continues to suffer symptoms from a concussion suffered on Aug. 19, the All-Star catcher will not play again this season.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Mauer had been making progress and the decision to shut him down wasn’t caused by a setback. But with only a week remaining in the season, the Twins don’t think there is any need to bring him back.

“He’s making steady progress, and a lot of favorable things going on. But with the calendar and the schedule about ready to run out, it’s unrealistic for us to think we’re going to get him on the field this year,” Ryan told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “So we’re going to work toward the 2014 season.”

Mauer hit.324 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 113 games this season.

O’Neal takes stake in Sacramento Kings

SAN FRANCISCO — Former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has become the newest minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, which California investors bought in May after a tug-of-war with a Seattle group, a team spokeswoman said on Monday.

O’Neal now holds a minority stake of the Kings and will be introduced as the newest of the basketball team’s owners at a practice facility in California’s capital on Tuesday, said Kings spokeswoman Donna Schwartze.

She declined to give further details ahead of Tuesday’s event, including the size of the stake or what role O’Neal might play with the team.

A basketball player turned rapper and sports analyst, O’Neal joins an ownership group led by tech developer and philanthropist Vivek Ranadive, which bought a 65 percent stake in the Kings in a deal valuing the team at $535 million.

NCAA president says changes coming

NCAA president Mark Emmert took the podium in Grapevine, Texas, on Monday and told more than 100 Division 1 faculty representatives that in a year, the NCAA could look much different than it does now.

With October and January meetings on the horizon, Emmert told the assembled to expect a lot of changes of how the organization is run..

“(The board is) going into their October and January meetings expecting to look at a whole different governance model for Division I. I think it will be significantly different. That’s certainly the board’s intention,” Emmert said via the Dallas Morning News.

There has been mounting pressure from BCS power conferences for the NCAA to change the way it operates.

Earlier this month, Emmert signaled that significant changes within the NCAA were likely to occur in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as early as the spring of 2014.

But one thing that will remain a constant: Players will not be paid.

49ers place LB Smith on reserve/NFI list

The San Francisco 49ers placed linebacker Aldon Smith on the reserve/non-football injury list Monday.

Smith was arrested Friday on suspicion of DUI. He started Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. He flew to a treatment center Monday, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. It is not clear where he headed, but he will spend the next several weeks getting treatment.

Smith is out indefinitely, starting with Thursday’s game at St. Louis.

“I am taking a leave of absence to address my health,” Smith said in a statement. “I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans.”

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh declined to speculate whether Smith will play again this season.

Ravens WR Jones injured on bus

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was hurt early Monday morning after a brawl broke out on a party bus filled with teammates celebrating offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie’s birthday, according to TMZ.

Jones was reportedly hit in the head with a bottle and was bleeding.

Baltimore defeated the visiting Houston Texas 30-7 on Sunday. Jones has been sidelined with a knee injury.

Pacers, George agree on $90 million extension

Small forward Paul George agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract extension with the Indiana Pacers, according to Yahoo! Sports.

George, who had one year left on his contract, gets a maximum deal to stay with the Pacers and avoid free agency.

The contract is expected to be signed later this week. The extension kicks in next season.

The Pacers advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat last season. George was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

He averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 79 games.

Bucs coach back in Tampa after family emergency

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said Monday he did not fly back with the team on Sunday night because he was tending to his ill father.

Schiano stayed in the Boston area to be with his father, who became ill during the Buccaneers’ 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots. He remained there until other family members arrived.

He said tests were still being taken on his father.

Schiano returned to work at the team’s facility on Monday morning.

The 0-3 Buccaneers host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday.

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