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Sportshorts for Monday, Dec. 3, 2012

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NFL

Linebacker murders girlfriend, kills self

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend briefly lived apart before he killed her and then committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, a friend of the woman said Sunday.

But Brianne York, 21, said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had gotten back together by Thanksgiving.

When she learned Saturday that Belcher had fatally shot Perkins at the couples’ home, York said, she thought someone must have been mistaken.

Afterward, Belcher drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they’d done for him. Belcher then fatally shot himself in the practice facility’s parking lot, police said.

Four teams clinch playoff spots

On the first weekend of December, four teams made the NFL playoffs

With 4 weeks to go in the regular-season, New England owns the AFC East title, Denver has the AFC West and Atlanta won the NFC South.

Houston has not clinched the AFC South, although it has a three-game lead over Indianapolis, but it secured at least a wild-card spot on Sunday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

South Florida fires Holtz after 3 seasons

One day after a season-ending loss, South Florida fired coach Skip Holtz after three disappointing seasons.

Holtz posted a 16-21 overall record in three seasons at South Florida. The Bulls struggled in Big East play, finishing 1-6 in the conference each of the past two seasons and failing to qualify for a bowl for the first time since 2004.

Northwestern to play in Gator Bowl

Northwestern is headed to Jacksonville to play in the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl, a source confirmed Sunday to the Tribune.

Most expected the Capital One Bowl, second on the Big Ten chain, to select the Wildcats, especially after Nebraska’s awful performance in the conference title game. But the Capital One got pressure from Big Ten officials to select the Huskers.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Longtime coach dies of heart condition

Outspoken, humorous and a basketball tactician, coach Rick Majerus died Saturday night from a heart condition. He was 64.

Majerus was taken off of life support Saturday night after dealing with a heart condition that caused him to take an indefinite leave of absence from Saint Louis.

Ross has double-double in loss

Matt Ross, a Dixon High School graduate, scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds for Chicago State in a 71-57 loss to SIU-Edwardsville Saturday in Edwardsville. He shot 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-7 from 3-point range.

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