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Sports briefs for Nov. 19, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Vonn crashes in training run

Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn crashed Tuesday on a training run at Copper Mountain in Colorado and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Vonn’s condition was not immediately clear. She left the slope on a sled.

“She is being evaluated. We’ll have a report once we know more,” said Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Vonn, 29, was preparing to return to competitive racing after a serious knee injury this year.

Vonn was airlifted to a hospital in February after she landed heavily on her right knee on the opening day of the Alpine Ski World Championships in Austria. She underwent surgery for knee reconstruction after she tore her ACL and MCL.

Vonn, a four-time overall world champion, became the first American woman to win the Olympic downhill title at the Vancouver Games in 2010.

Pats expected to be without CB Dennard

New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is not expected to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

Dennard did not play in Monday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers because of a knee injury.

The Patriots got cornerback Aqib Talib back for Monday’s game after he had missed three games with a hip injury. But he struggled late in the game, apparently aggravating his injury.

Cornerback Kyle Arrington also aggravated a groin injury in the game, and the Patriots are still without safety Steve Gregory with a broken thumb.

Stewart gets new crew chief in Johnston

Tony Stewart will have a new crew chief when he returns to the Sprint Cup Series next season after a disappointing season when he was sidelined with a broken leg.

Chad Johnston was named Stewart’s crew chief on Tuesday for the No. 14 team, replacing Steve Addington, who is expected to join Phoenix Racing. Addington had been Stewart’s crew chief for the past two seasons.

Johnston, formerly of Michael Waltrip Racing, had been the crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. since June 2011.

ACC wins ruling to pursue penalty against university

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Atlantic Coast Conference can proceed with a lawsuit seeking a $52 million payment from the University of Maryland over the school’s decision to leave for the Big Ten Conference, a North Carolina appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The school, an original member of the 60-year-old ACC, has refused to pay the exit penalty, which it considers excessive.

The university sought to have the ACC’s legal challenge dismissed, arguing the North Carolina courts did not have jurisdiction to require the payment, which amounts to three times the conference’s total operating budget.

A state Court of Appeals panel rejected the university’s request and agreed with a trial court that the case filed in Greensboro, N.C., home of the conference’s headquarters, could move forward.

The ruling on Tuesday did not address the merits of the ACC’s lawsuit, which was filed in November 2012.

Aucoin retires after 18 NHL seasons

Defenseman Adrian Aucoin announced his retirement Tuesday after 18 seasons in the NHL with seven teams.

Aucoin, 40, recorded 121 goals and 278 assists in 1,108 NHL games for the Vancouver Canucks, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

He had four assists in 36 games with the Blue Jackets last season.

LB Thomas Howard killed in car crash

EditorsNote: Updates with family statement LB Thomas Howard killed in car crash

Linebacker Thomas Howard, a former member of the Oakland Raiders who had been waived by the Atlanta Falcons last week, was killed in a car crash on Monday in Oakland, Calif.

Howard, 30, was driving his BMW on the freeway when he lost control of the vehicle and collided with a semi-truck, according to the report. Howard was believed to be traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol.

He and a passenger, Zeng Long Liu, were killed.

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