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Sports briefs for May 15, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Former Chargers RB Muncie dies at 60

Former running back Chuck Muncie, a three-time All-Pro has died at the age of 60 from a heart attack.

A star at the University of California, Muncie finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior, then was the third overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1976 NFL draft.

He was traded to the San Chargers during the 1980 season. In 1981, he scored a league-leading 19 touchdowns.

“Everyone at the Chargers is deeply saddened by the passing of Chuck Muncie, one of the greatest running backs in Chargers history,” the team said in a statement. “We will remember him as a tremendous athlete with a larger-than-life personality. It’s a sad day for all of us and all Chargers fans.”

In nine seasons, Muncie rushed for 6,702 yards and 71 touchdowns. In 2009, he was chosen as one of the 50 greatest Chargers of All Time.

His career ended in 1984 when he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle for the rest of that season following a positive test for cocaine after the first regular-season game.

A comeback attempt in 1985 with the Minnesota Vikings ended when he quit, saying he had to get his personal life in order.

He established The Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation in 1997 to counsel youths and offer alternatives to gangs, which included paying for a tattoo-removal program for gang members.

Muncie also mentored athletes at his alma mater.

Vikings unveil glass-top stadium plan

Plans for the $980 million Vikings Stadium in downtown Minneapolis will not include a retractable roof, but a majority of the top of the building is see-through thanks to a transparent membrane that gives the appearance of a large windows to allow views of the city skyline.

The roof will have an exaggerated slope to abate concerns about snow building up, an issue that helped put the Metrodome out of commission on more than one occasion.

The advanced architecture implementation was used in the plans for the Beijing Olympics “Water Cube” structure in 2008.

Affordability was the biggest detriment encountered in the Vikings’ wish for a fully retractable roof, with an estimated cost of $40 million to $50 million. The new structure will have five retractable doors on the west side to create an “open feel” according to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which oversees contstruction of the project.

The sliding windows aren’t unusual in football stadiums. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium near Dallas have almost identical features.

The 65,000-seat stadium is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 season at the current Metrodome site.

Hinkie hired as 76ers GM

Former Houston Rockets executive Sam Hinkie was named Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations and general manager on Tuesday afternoon, the team confirmed in an announcement.

Reports circulated for several days that Hinkie, who served as vice president of basketball operations for the Houston Rockets since 2010 and worked in the organization for eight years, had emerged as the Sixers’ choice.

Hinkie replace general manager Tony DiLeo, who had been with the Sixers for 23 years.

“Sam is a proven innovator and holds values that align with those of our ownership group,” Sixers managing owner Josh Harris said.

“Hinkie is known as an expert in analytics. The Rockets relied on extensive data to evaluate the NBA Draft, free-agent prospects, trades and game strategy. Hinkie also was in charge of operations management, the team’s salary camp and scouting.

Eagles’ McCoy accused of assault

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has been sued for assault following an alleged incident on a “party bus” in December 2012, according to CourthouseNews.com.

Filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and negligence.

“The allegations against LeSean McCoy are completely, unequivocally false,” a representative for McCoy said in a statement. “There are no criminal charges pending and no probable cause was ever found. This is sadly an attempt to extract money and LeSean will vigorously defend any attempt to collect money through a personal injury claim.”

The Eagles said they are aware of the incident, but had no comment.

McCoy allegedly rented the vehicle for a trip from Philadelphia to New York City.

The plaintiff, a female suing under the “Jane Roe,” claims McCoy and/or his bodyguard struck her in the face, held her down and poured a drink over her, and ejected her from the bus.

NFL sets preseason dates, game times

The annual NFL Hall of Fame game, this year matching the Miami Dolphins against the Dallas Cowboys, is set for 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 4, the league announced Tuesday.

Dates and starting times for all 65 NFL preseason games also were released. The preseason schedule was previously announced on April 4.

The Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, will be telecast by NBC. It is one of 11 national broadcasts during the preseason that will air on CBS, ESPN, FOX or NBC. The NFL Network also will carry live broadcasts during the four weeks of the exhibition season.

Capitals’ Ovechkin to join Russia at championships

Though the Washington Capitals were eliminated in a seven-game series to the New York Rangers, star Alex Ovechkin will continue playing.

The Capitals announced that their captain will head to Finland to join his teammates on the Russian National team competing at the 2013 World Championships.

“This morning they just called me and asked if I’m healthy and ready to go,” Ovechkin told reporters during his final press conference of the season. “I said ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go.’ I’m still wanting to play. I don’t want to take off, I don’t want to watch games. I want to play hockey. Mentally I think I’m ready.”

This will be Ovechkin’s ninth appearance in the tournament. He helped Russia win the gold medal last year and in 2008.

Ovechkin led the NHL with 32 goals during the regular season, but only scored one during the first-round loss to the Rangers.

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