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Sports briefs for June 9, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Worker killed at Canadian Grand Prix race

MONTREAL — A marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal was killed on Sunday when he was run over by a mobile crane at the end of the Formula One race, the sport’s governing body said.

The International Automobile Federation released a statement saying the marshal, a member of the Notre Dame Automobile Club, had died in a Montreal hospital from the injuries he sustained.

The marshal died while removing the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, who crashed out on lap 63.

The FIA did not identify the marshal but said he was “the victim of an unfortunate accident.”

“The worker was helping to recover a car which had stopped during the race,” said the statement.

“The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up.

“As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.”

The FIA said the worker was transferred by helicopter to the Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal for treatment but his injuries were too severe and he died.

“Unfortunately, the worker succumbed to his injuries at the hospital,” said the statement.

Ref who ejected Duncan to work Game 2

Veteran NBA referee Joey Crawford will work an NBA Finals involving the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night for the first time since he ejected center Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench during a regular-season game in 2007.

Crawford, 61, will be one of a three-member officiating crew for Game 2 between the Spurs and Heat in Miami. The Spurs held a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Joining Crawford, an NBA referee since 1977, on the crew will be Ed Malloy and Ken Mauer.

After Crawford ejected Duncan from the game in 2007, he was suspended for the remainder of the regular season that year and also the postseason for improper conduct and inappropriate comments toward Duncan. The Spurs went on to win the NBA title that year, sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James in the Finals.

Crawford’s most recent playoff work came in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a 99-92 Miami loss at Indiana. James was whistled for a technical and fouled out of that game.

Oilers to name Eakins as coach

The Edmonton Oilers apparently are moving quickly to hire a new coach.

One day after announcing that the team had fired Ralph Krueger, reports indicated Sunday that Dallas Eakins would be hired to fill the vacancy.

Eakins is the coach of the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey Association. He also is considered a candidate for coaching jobs with the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers.

Krueger lost his job after one season, reportedly informed of the decision via Skype. The Oilers were 11-22-7 in 2012, finishing third in the Northwest Division and 12th in the Western Conference. Edmonton has not made the playoffs since it reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.

“This was about me making a decision where I thought this was the best decision for the betterment of the club,” Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said Saturday after letting Krueger go. “We’re very close with a coaching candidate, but at this point we haven’t formalized the deal.”

Eakins would be Edmonton’s fourth coach since 2009. MacTavish coached the Oilers from 2000 until 2009. He led the Marlies, who are the Maple Leafs’ top minor-league team, to the Calder Cup finals last year. Before that, he was an assistant with the Maple Leafs from 2006 to 2008.

Krueger had served as the Oilers’ associate coach for two sesons before he was elevated to head-coaching post last June.

Jim Brown: NFL lags behind NASCAR in safety

When it comes to safety, NASCAR is well out in front of the NFL, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said Sunday.

The former Cleveland Browns running back, was on hand at Pocono Raceway for the Sprint Cup race as a guest of legendary driver and car owner Richard Petty. Brown likes what NASCAR has done to make the sport safer for its drivers with collapsible walls, head and neck restraints and cars with crush panels.

“NASCAR stepped up their safety concepts, and I think the drivers feel NASCAR is doing everything that can be done,” Brown said, according to ESPN.com. “”So we are a little behind NASCAR in that respect.

“Someone in NASCAR realized there were certain things that could be done to make it safer. The same thing has to happen in football. It’s two different sports, but you want to make sure it’s as safe as you can make it.”

While the NFL has a ways to go, Brown said, he sees positive signs that the league is taking player safety seriously.

“Part of that was forced on them because of the concussion lawsuits, but I think when we come out of this we’ll have a much safer game without taking away from the impact of the game,” Brown said.

One step the NFL has taken that Brown doesn’t like is the penalty for players, specifically running backs, lowering the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box.

“I understand they have to make changes, but some of the rules are made by people who didn’t play the game,” Brown said.

Report: Shapiro says UM coaches fed info to help place bets

Nevin Shapiro, the convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind currently serving a 20-year prison sentence, reportedly told Sports Illustrated that he received inside information from University of Miami football coaches that helped him gamble on Hurricanes games.

Multiple sources told the Miami Herald that the new allegations levied by Shapiro are part of an expose Sports Illustrated is close to publishing looking into the NCAA and its investigation into the university’s athletic program. Miami is due to have a hearing in front of the NCAA’s infractions committee Thursday through Saturday, defending itself and answering questions before an eight-person committee.

The NCAA has explored the gambling allegation previously and found nothing, according to the Herald, so it’s unlikely the case would be re-opened. However, Shapiro reportedly was frustrated that more effort was not put into the gambling allegation. An admitted gambler, Shapiro has said he lost $9 million betting on sports.

He told the Herald last month he would soon unleash a “Category 5 tsunami” against the university that implied he would bring new allegations to light. Miami has already self-imposed two bowl bans and expects to learn about potential additional sanctions later this summer.

Jets invite Kellen Winslow Jr. to try out

The Jets have invited tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to try out at this week’s minicamp, according to a source.

The 29-year-old hinted the news when he tweeted “J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!” on Saturday afternoon.

Winslow, the sixth overall pick in 2004, spent his first four years in the NFL in Cleveland. He caught 82 passes for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns with the Browns in 2007. During his three-year tenure with Tampa Bay (2009-11), Winslow recorded 2,377 receiving yards. But he played in only one game (one catch, 12 yards) for the New England Patriots last season.

Winslow has 438 receptions and 4,848 receiving yards in his eight-year career.

With the departure of tight end Dustin Keller, who signed with the Miami Dolphins, the Jets currently have Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland and former rugby star Hayden Smith on their roster.

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