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Sports briefs for Jan. 4, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Library to host talk about tennis and the King of Jordan

ROCKLAND, Maine — Maureen O’Keefe will give a talk, “The King and I: I Taught Him How to Serve,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the Community Room at the Rockland Public Library.

When her husband started his first USAID posting in Jordan in 1980, Maureen O’Keefe had no idea that within weeks she would be whisked off to the palace in a royal Mercedes for an astonishing experience as King Hussein’s personal tennis coach. She taught him at his Amman palace as well as his weekend palace at Aqaba. She organized doubles games with his friends — other Heads of State. She also became the first national tennis coach for the Jordanian Tennis Federation, and developed a team which traveled to several Arab countries for competitions.

The event is co-sponsored by the Camden Conference Community Events Series. Admission is free. For information, call the Library at 207-594-0310.

Cowboys’ Brown not intoxicated prior to death

Dallas Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown Jr. was not intoxicated at the time of his death, according to an autopsy released by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday.

Brown, 25, died as a passenger in a single-car accident. Teammate Josh Brent, who has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, was the driver of the car.

The report said Brown had a blood alcohol level of 0.056, below the legal limit of 0.08, during the night of the Dec. 8 crash. The report said he died of a dislocated neck and spinal cord bruising, the result of “blunt force injuries of the head and neck.”

Brent’s blood-alcohol content level was 0.189, more than twice the legal limit, according to Irving, Texas, police.

Brent and Brown were teammates at the University of Illinois and, since Brown joined the Cowboys, the two roomed together in Brent’s house.

Penn State’s O’Brien won’t leave school for NFL

Bill O’Brien will remain Penn State University’s football coach after leading the team to an 8-4 record in its first season since unprecedented penalties in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.

O’Brien, 43, received calls from five National Football League teams but no discussions advanced past the initial conversations, his agent, Joe Linta of JL Sports, said Friday in a telephone interview. O’Brien’s decision to stay at the State College school was an easy one, the agent said.

A former assistant with the NFL’s New England Patriots, O’Brien was hired in January to follow Joe Paterno, who coached the Nittany Lions for 46 years before being fired for his inaction following the disclosure of molestation of boys by Sandusky, a former coach.

In June, the National Collegiate Athletic Association handed the school and football team unprecedented sanctions for its handling of those allegations, including a $60 million fine, and a four-year postseason ban.

Pioli out as Chiefs general manager

The Chiefs announced Friday that general manager Scott Pioli had agreed to step down.

“After several productive conversations, we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities,” Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said. “Scott has been an invaluable member of the Chiefs family since joining us in 2009, and we sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions over the last four years.”

The move comes with the Chiefs reportedly close to reaching an agreement with Andy Reid to become their new head coach, replacing the fired Romeo Crennel. Reid was ousted earlier this week by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pioli, 47, became the Chiefs general manager in 2009 after moving over from the New England Patriots. The highlight of his four-year stay with the Chiefs’ trip to the playoffs in 2010 after a 10-6 regular-season record.

Clarke, Cabrera to tee off in T20-style Indian league

NEW DELHI — Darren Clarke and Angel Cabrera will be among four major winners teeing off in a city-based golf league in India next month in a format modelled on the country’s Twenty20 cricket league.

Masterminded by Indian golfer Shiv Kapur, the league would also feature former US Open champion Michael Campbell, 2002 PGA Championships winner Rich Beem, multiple European Tour winner David Howell and Asian Tour stalwart Thaworn Wiratchant, organisers said on Friday.

“When I saw the Indian Premier League (Twenty20 tournament), I thought it made cricket look cool. I wanted to do the same in golf, without taking away the seriousness of course,” Kapur, whose lone Asian Tour win came in 2005, told a news conference.

Scheduled on Feb 8-10 at a course near Mumbai, the inaugural league will feature two day-night rounds of stroke play, followed by the third and final round of best-ball format.

Each round will be played over 14 holes, instead of the regular 18, by the teams comprising four golfers, both local and international.

Family and practice leave Federer ready for another slam

SINGAPORE — Weeks of practice and family time have left Swiss maestro Roger Federer fit and refreshed ahead of what the 17-times major winner believes could be an unpredictable Australian Open in the absence of old foe Rafa Nadal.

Federer, 31, opted to skip his usual Australian Open warm-up tournaments in the Middle East this year and instead spent it working on his game and parenting, all part of a shorter 2013 schedule that he hopes will extend his career but has left him hungry for matches.

“I am very happy that the year is starting. It’s a bit of a different preparation for the Australian Open this year but I’m confident I am mentally refreshed, which I am, and physically I am fine and that I will play a good Australian Open,” Federer told reporters in Singapore on Friday.

“I have been practising really hard the last few weeks and didn’t play a leading up tournament this year just because I thought practice is very important for me coming up in the next year, year-and-a-half.”

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