Sports briefs for Dec. 20, 2013

Posted Dec. 20, 2013, at 5:04 p.m.

Hairston’s playing career with Tar Heels over

The University of North Carolina announced Friday it will not apply to reinstate forward P.J. Hairston, ending his playing career with the Tar Heels.

Hairston, a junior, was suspended while the NCAA investigated his link to cars he drove in the offseason that were rented by an ex-convict.

“Unfortunately P.J. made a number of mistakes that placed his eligibility at risk and the University’s joint review with the NCAA made it clear that seeking reinstatement for P.J. would not be possible,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.

Hairston led the Tar Heels in scoring last season with 14.6 points per game. His 89 3-pointers were second-high in school history in a single season.

Notre Dame playing Boston College at Fenway in ’15

Notre Dame’s 2015 schedule includes a Nov. 21 date against Boston College at Fenway Park.

The Fighting Irish begin playing a set of ACC teams next year as part of scheduling agreement with the conference. They compete in the conference in every sport accept football.

The agreement is supposed to include five games against ACC teams each year but a scheduling quirk limits Notre Dame to only four next year.

In 2015, however, the schedule includes six ACC teams for the Fighting Irish to play, highlighted by the contest against Boston College as part of the Shamrock Series at Fenway, home of the World Series-champion Boston Red Sox.

Balfour deal with Orioles is off for now

Baltimore Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed that the deal with relief pitcher Grant Balfour is off, and the club will try to find another closer.

“The Orioles were disappointed that we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour,” Duquette said, according to MASNSports.com. “The reason is the club’s not satisfied with the results of the physical exam.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the Orioles cancelled a news conference Friday to introduce the reliever after team doctors expressed concern with Balfour’s right shoulder during his physical.

Orioles’ Patton banned 25 games for failed drug test

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Troy Patton was suspended 25 games after testing positive for an undisclosed amphetamine, Major League Baseball (MLB) said on Friday.

The 28-year-old lefthander, a one-inning reliever in the middle of a bullpen, went 2-0 with a 3.70 earned-run average (ERA) in 56 games last season.

Patton, who broke into the majors in 2007 with the Houston Astros, has compiled a 5-1 record and 3.04 ERA since getting his first action with Baltimore in 2010.

Fowler, Matsuyama, Molinari among 14 to get Masters invite

American Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Italy’s Francesco Molinari are among 14 players who have been invited to compete at the U.S. Masters in April.

Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Matteo Manassero, David Lynn, Thongchai Jaidee, Peter Hanson, Victor Dubuisson, Joost Luiten and Branden Grace are the other 11 invitees, the European Tour said on its website (www.europeantour.com) on Friday.

The 14 earned their places in the first major championship of the year at Augusta as a result of their positions in the final world rankings list of the season published on Monday.

Ninety golfers have already secured a spot at the Masters, raising the prospect of more than 100 players competing in the event for the first time in almost half a century.

Kubina retires after 13 NHL seasons

Czech defenseman Pavel Kubina, a Stanley Cup champion, All-Star and three-time Olympian has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after 13 seasons, the players association said on Friday.

Taken by Tampa Bay in the seventh round of the 1996 draft, Kubina played 970 NHL games with the Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers, scoring 110 goals and making 276 assists.

The big defenseman also played in three Olympics for the Czech Republic winning a bronze at the 2006 Turin Winter Games. He was also a member of three gold medal-winning teams at the world championships.

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