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Sports briefs for April 5, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

J.W. Parks GC open for season; two ranges set

The J. W. Parks Golf Course in Pittsfield has opened for the season. All nine holes are open for walking. For more information, call 487-5545.

In Holden, the driving range at Traditions Golf Club and Learning Center will open at 9 a.m. Saturday and the golf course will open early next week.

In Winterport, Sonny’s Par 3 & Driving Range will open at 9 a.m. Saturday and the golf course will open on April 14. For more information, call 223-5242 or visit

Two minor leaguers suspended 50 games

Two minor league players were suspended by Major League Baseball on Friday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Pitcher Vaughn Covington, who is on the roster of the Cincinnati Reds’ rookie-level Arizona League Reds, received a 50-game suspension after a second violation of the drug policy.

His suspension takes effect at the start of the season.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minor league catcher Carlos Ramirez also was suspended for 50 games for a second violation of the drug policy.

Ramirez is on the roster of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.

Fullmer to help East Tennessee relaunch football

Hall of Fame coach Phil Fulmer is returning to college football — at East Tennessee State.

The former Tennessee coach, who led the Vols to a 152-52 record from 1992 to 2008 and a national championship in 1998, will become a consultant and special assistant to East Tennessee athletic director Richard Sander.

The school is resurrecting its football program, which it discontinued in 2003 because of financial concerns.

“When you have a chance to use the knowledge and skill of a Hall of Fame coach who has won a national championship and is revered as one of the truly great coaches in college football, you have to jump on that opportunity,” Sander said. “Phil Fulmer will make a huge contribution to the success of ETSU football.”

Jeter’s return unlikely until May

Derek Jeter’s return to the New York Yankees might not come until May.

Manager Joe Girardi indicated Friday that Jeter needs more spring training-like work before his surgically repaired left ankle is ready for a major-league game. Jeter has remained in Florida for rehabilitation since the season started Monday.

In his place at shortstop in the Yankees’ lineup, Eduardo Nunez was hitting .400 entering Friday’s game against the Detroit but left after he was hit by a pitch from Doug Fister.

The 38-year-old Jeter last played in a minor-league game on March 23 as a designated hitter. He complained of stiffness and soreness in the ankle and has experienced difficulty in running while playing in only five games during the spring.

Michigan’s Burke named Wooden Award winner

Michigan sophomore Trey Burke won the John R. Wooden Award as the outstanding player in college basketball this season, edging Indiana’s Victor Oladipo in a close vote.

Burke, a point guard who led the Wolverines to the Final Four, received 2,808 points to Oladipo’s 2,718. The results were announced Friday at the Final Four in Atlanta.

Rounding out the top five were Creighton’s Doug McDermott with 2,344 Georgetown’s Otto Porter (2,144) and Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk (2,079).

There were questions about whether Burke would win the award after Michigan lost some games down the stretch in the Big Ten, but Burke quieted the doubters in the NCAA Tournament. He buried a 28-foot 3-pointer to tie the score against No. 1 seed Kansas in the final seconds of a Sweet 16 game and the Wolverines went on to win in overtime. Burke scored 23 points in that game after halftime.

Burke, also the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2013, averages 18.8 points and 6.8 assists per game and is shooting 38.1 percent on 3-pointers for the Wolverines (30-7).

49ers sign OT Davis to five-year, $37M extension

The 49ers signed offensive tackle Anthony Davis to a five-year, $37 million contract extension. A 2010 first-round picki, Davis is part of a road-grading offensive line that returns intact in 2013.

“Anthony is a very hard working, dedicated and talented young player who has earned the respect of our entire organization,” said 49ers GM Trent Baalke. “Having already made significant strides early in his career, Anthony is just beginning to realize his full potential. We look forward to watching him achieve even greater results in the years to come.”

Part of the blessing of having talented young core players is the curse of trying to keep them together by satisfying their contract needs, as the San Francisco 49ers are soon to find out.

The Super Bowl runner-up plans to begin taking steps toward long-term roster stability, Baalke said last month, and his plan was put back into motion Friday. On the heels of long-term deals with linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis and running back Frank Gore, Baalke turned his attention to another young veteran.

Offensive guard Mike Iupati, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and outside linebacker Aldon Smith could soon be in line for contract extensions.

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