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Sportshorts for Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 12:01 a.m. CDT

RUNNING

Newman to host 5K fundraiser

Newman High School will hold a 5K run on Saturday, April 19, at 9 a.m., to raise money for the school.

Entry fee is $20 before April 19, and $23 between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m. day of the race. Every participant will receive a t-shirt, and prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female, as well as the top three finishers in each of eight different age groups. The course is out and back on the bike path along Lynn Blvd.

For more information, or to obtain a registration form, contact the high school at 815-625-0500, ext. 114.

NBA

League exploring bigger court, 4-pointer

The NBA reportedly is exploring the possibility of expanding the dimensions of the basketball court to accommodate the growing size and increased athleticism of players.

The NBA has employed a 94-by-50-foot court since the 1940s.

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe also acknowledged in an interview with ESPN.com that the league office had informally weighed the possibility of introducing a four-point shot.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former Wildcats counter Colter

Three former Northwestern football players spoke at a labor board hearing Tuesday of a supportive coach who moved practice times so they could attend classes and relaxed rules so they could study for tests, contrasting former quarterback Kain Colter’s description of a grueling football schedule that led him to choose an easier major.

On Tuesday, the fifth and final day of testimony before an officer of the National Labor Relations Board, Colter’s claims were refuted by former Northwestern players Doug Bartels, a walk-on who earned a scholarship and became a starting offensive lineman while majoring in pre-med; John Henry Pace, a former walk-on long snapper who is now a mechanical engineer with Ford Motor Co.; and Patrick Ward, who started at left tackle and blossomed into an Academic All-American before his career as a mechanical engineer with Boeing.

The testimony will be forwarded to the regional director of the NLRB, who is expected to rule within 4 to 6 weeks whether football players are employees of the university. That distinction is significant in determining whether the players can continue fighting for union protection through the NLRB process.

GOLF

Elkington makes inappropriate tweets

Steve Elkington, the 51-year-old former PGA Championship winner, made inappropriate comments on Twitter today about Michael Sam, the NFL prospect who came out publicly as gay 2 weeks ago.

Elkington began by tweeting “ESPN covering Michael Sam as a gay athlete is embarrassing ...”

He continued, “ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine ... No one else expected to throw today.”

And then he posted, “I’m for Sam I’m against ESPN telling me he’s gay ...”

All the tweets were deleted within several hours.

Feds to investigate Michigan rape case

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation into how the University of Michigan handled rape allegations against a former football player.



The department notified former Michigan professor Douglas Smith of the investigation in an email late Monday. Smith filed a complaint with the department about the matter in August 2013.

The email noted investigation of Smith’s complaint will be consolidated with another unidentified complaint filed about the situation and will also include examination of the university’s Title IX grievance procedure.

In December, the university’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, reported kicker Brendan Gibbons was expelled Dec. 19 for violating the university’s sexual misconduct policy. The paper cited a letter sent to Gibbons’ Florida home from the university’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution.



The incident that spurred the expulsion and federal investigation dates to November 2009. Gibbons was arrested but no criminal charges were filed.



Gibbons was Michigan’s starting kicker for three seasons and much of the 2013, but didn’t travel to the team’s bowl game in December.

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