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Sports briefs for May 28, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Hawks name Budenholzer head coach

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer has been named head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.

President of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry made the hire official Tuesday afternoon.

“We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful,” said Ferry, who played for the Spurs under Gregg Popovich and began his NBA personnel career with the organization. “His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team.”

Budenholzer, 43, spent the past 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including the final 17 seasons as an assistant coach. For the past six seasons, he has been the right-hand man to Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in major professional sports and third-winningest coach (.681 winning percentage) in NBA history behind only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham. Budenholzer is the 12th head coach in Hawks franchise history.

Struggling Suns name former player Hornacek as head coach

The Phoenix Suns named Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach on Tuesday, hoping the former player can turn around a struggling team coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

Hornacek, who will be introduced later on Tuesday, had been serving as an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz and will replace interim Suns coach Lindsey Hunter, who took over the team when Alvin Gentry and the club agreed to part ways in January.

The 50-year-old Hornacek, who spent the first six NBA seasons of a 14-year playing career in Phoenix, faces a daunting rebuilding job after the Suns (25-57) finished last in the Western Conference with their second-worst record ever.

“I’m really excited to have gotten Jeff as our head coach,” Sun General Manager Ryan McDonough, who has been in charge for just three weeks, said on the team’s website.

“For a guy who has not yet been a head coach in the NBA, he has a very diverse skillset, and a lot of experience that he brings to the Suns, so I am thrilled that he is going to be our next head coach.”

Brown to take new role with Browns

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown is returning to the Cleveland Browns in a new role the team will announce at a press conference Wednesday.

Owner Jimmy Haslam is expected to introduce Brown formally, though specifics of the role with the franchise are unknown. Brown has worked for the team in several capacities since ending his nine-year career at age 29.

He hasn’t been an official employee of the franchise since he was asked to accept a pay reduction and lesser role under vice president Mike Holmgren in 2010. So annoyed was Brown that he opted not to attend his Ring of Honor induction.

It’s expected Brown will have a role similar to the executive advisor position he held under Randy Lerner.

According to ESPN Cleveland, Brown agreed to a new role in March before the controversy surrounding Haslam’s Pilot Flying J corporation became a more pressing matter for the new NFL owner.

Brown, 77, lives in Los Angeles and might not be as visible around the team as he once was. He’s likely to appear at most home games and select away dates.

Gymnast Galiulina gets two-year ban after WADA wins case

Uzbek gymnast Luiza Galiulina, expelled from the London Olympics for doping last year, will have to serve a two-year ban after the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA won its dispute with the ruling body of gymnastics.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) had imposed a six-month ban on Galiulina, who tested positive for the banned diuretic furosemide at a pre-Games doping control.

WADA appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December for the sentence to be increased to two years. On Tuesday, the FIG said that it had lost the case at sport’s highest tribunal.

“The CAS has also considered with sympathy the stance taken by the FIG and the arguments it has developed in this case,” said the tribunal’s verdict.

“FIG argued that the gymnast had already suffered adequate punishment by being excluded from the Olympic Games, and that a long suspension would effectively mean the end of her career.

“However, having considered these arguments, CAS ruled in favour of WADA’s appeal and confirmed a two-year suspension for Galiulina.

Suspension failure caused Massa’s Monaco crash

LONDON — Suspension failure caused Felipe Massa’s Monaco Grand Prix crash at the weekend, Ferrari said on Tuesday.

The Brazilian’s race crash looked like a carbon copy of one he had in final practice which he said was caused by the front wheels locking after he braked and hit a bump on the pit straight before the Sainte Devote corner.

However the Italian team said Sunday’s was different.

“The findings validated the first impressions of the engineers, confirming that the accident was caused by an element of the front left suspension breaking,” they said on their website (www.ferrari.com).

Massa’s car first hit the metal guardrail and was then pitched nose first into the energy-absorbing barriers. The driver was put into a neck brace on the spot and taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

Ferrari said Massa would need a few days’ rest but was already preparing for next week’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and his presence there was not in doubt.

Georgia suspends safety for opener

Georgia will open the regular season against Clemson on Aug. 31 without safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who was suspended one game for a violation of team rules.

Multiple reports indicated Harvey-Clemons, a projected starter who was rated as a top-10 national recruit, was involved in a marijuana-related incident in his dorm room on May 14. He and tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith were present when university police entered a dorm room because they smelled marijuana.

Both players admitted to smoking marijuana. Because no marijuana was found, no arrests were made.

Kings’ sale approved by NBA Board of Governors

The sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive has been unanimously approved Tuesday the NBA Board of Governors.

The transaction is expected to close soon.

Ranadive led a group that invested more than $341 million to buy 65 percent of the team from the Maloof family, which assured that the franchise will remain in California.

A competing bid by a Seattle group including hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, was voted down 22-8 by the NBA’s Board of Governors. The Maloofs had supported the relocation bid, but NBA commissioner David Stern said Sacramento had proven it was a worthy market to keep the team.

In order to assume ownership, Ranadive divested his minority stake in the Golden State Warriors. He is the first owner of Indian descent in the NBA.

Colorado AD Bohn resigns

University of Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn resigned less than two years into his recent five-year contract extension.

The Denver Post reported Bohn’s resignation has been accepted by chancellor Phil DeStefano, ending Bohn’s eight-year tenure at the university. The Boulder native who graduated from Boulder High School in 1979 was responsible for moving Colorado from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 in 2010 and hired nine head coaches.

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