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Weekend Sportshorts for Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013

Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 11:41 p.m. CST

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Sterling’s Billings earns IAC honor

Wartburg senior Ryan Billings was named the Iowa Conference’s defensive player of the week for his performance last weekend in a 16-14 win over Central College.

Billings, a 2010 Sterling graduate, made a team-high 10 tackles, including six for loss, 1½ for loss and ½ a sack, and also had the interception which sealed the Knights’ comeback victory.

Illinois upholds ban of Scheelhaase’s dad

Nate Creer, father of Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, has lost his appeal of a 1-year ban from campus stemming from his arrest Oct. 26.

Creer was cited for resisting arrest after an altercation in the Memorial Stadium stands during the Illini’s loss to Michigan State. Campus police captain Roy Acree said Creer filed the appeal approximately 2 weeks ago through email, which is standard procedure.

D-II game canceled after assault

Saturday’s Division II football game between Winston-Salem State and Virginia State was cancelled Friday after the starting quarterback from one of the teams was assaulted, according to police and university sources.

Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson was attending an on-campus luncheon promoting the game when an altercation broke out with Virginia State players in a bathroom. He suffered a swollen eye and a laceration above his eye, according to an arrest warrant, and was treated at a local hospital and released.

Virginia State junior running back Lamont Britt was arrested by Winston-Salem campus police and charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury. He was being held at the Forsyth County jail, with bond set at $7,500.

About 2 hours after the attack, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association cancelled the game between the two 9-1 teams, which was set to be the conference championship.

BASKETBALL

Alexander, Okafor, Snider make choices

Cliff Alexander reached to his right and picked up an orange Illinois hat. Then, the 6-foot-8 forward from Curie High School in Chicago said, “I’m going to the University of … Kansas.”

The nation’s No. 4-ranked recruit said later of the feint that infuriated Illini fans, “It’s something my teammates thought I should do.”

It was even more deflating because, just hours earlier, point guard Quentin Snider did his second about-face of the recruiting period, decommitting from Illinois for his original choice of hometown Louisville. He had reneged on his oral commitment to the defending national champion Cardinals in July to say he would play at Illinois.

Also Friday, Whitney Young’s Jahlil Okafor, the consensus No. 1 player in the nation, officially announced on ESPNU that he would be attending Duke, after months of the 6-11 superstar being linked with the Blue Devils. It’s the second straight season that Illinois’ best player has chosen Duke; Simeon star Jabari Parker is faring well early in his freshman season in Durham.

Okafor will be joined at Duke by point guard Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, Minn., as the two made good on their pledge to attend college together.

NASCAR

Kenseth claims Homestead pole

Matt Kenseth turned a lap at 177.667 mph Friday to win the pole for the NSCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Kenseth, who sits in second place 28 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, called his third pole of the season and 11th of his career “a confidence booster” after a 23rd-place finish last weekend at Phoenix hurt his title hopes.

Johnson, who needs only to finish 23rd or better Sunday to win his sixth championship, qualified seventh. Kevin Harvick, the only other driver mathematically eligible to win the title, qualified sixth; he sits in third place in the standings, 34 points behind Johnson.

OLYMPICS

WADA ups drug punishments

The World Anti-Doping Agency has adopted a new code that would ban drug cheats for 4 years, twice the previous penalty.

The revised legislation was unanimously accepted at an international conference in South Africa on Friday.

Cheaters would now miss at least one Olympics under the new rules.

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