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Sportshorts for Friday, June 20, 2014

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 12:18 a.m. CDT

WORLD CUP

South American teams on roll

Before the World Cup, Uruguay was worried about Luis Suarez’s knee, and Colombia was fretting over injured Radamel Falcao. Considering the wild celebrations Thursday, neither should have.

Less than a month after surgery, the incomparable Suarez came back Thursday to score two vital World Cup goals, and Colombia is through to the second round despite missing its star striker. Both South American teams won 2-1 Thursday, Uruguay pushing England to the brink of elimination, and Colombia beating Ivory Coast to advance from Group C after Greece and Japan played to a scoreless draw.

The results further underscored South America’s dominance of the World Cup in Brazil. The continent’s teams now have 25 points out of a possible 30.

NFL

Bears cut DL Idonije, QB Johnson

The Bears released defensive lineman Israel Idonije on Thursday evening, ending the veteran’s short second tenure with the club.

They also waived quarterback Jerrod Johnson. That positions Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen to battle for the backup quarterback spot during training camp, with sixth-round rookie David Fales also in the mix.

NBA

Riley discusses Heat’s future

The Big Three era in Miami could be on the brink of collapse, and that probably explains why Heat President Pat Riley lobbed a less-than-subtle challenge at LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh during the team’s season-ending news conference on Thursday.

“You’ve got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts,” Riley said. “You don’t find the first door and run out of it if you have an opportunity.”

With his three best players in a position to potentially test the free-agent market this off-season, Riley broke away from his typically polished and restrained public persona to discuss the team’s shortcomings this season and his efforts to maintain his roster.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Pay would destroy college sports

NCAA President Mark Emmert stuck to his contention that amateurism is the core of college athletics, saying any effort to pay players would destroy a framework that has been in place for more than a century, and cause many schools to either abandon sports or refuse to play other schools that do pay.

Emmert said college athletes themselves wouldn’t want to play against other athletes who were getting paid.

Emmert took the witness stand Thursday in a landmark antitrust trial against the NCAA to say college sports would be fatally flawed if players were allowed to receive a portion of the billions of dollars in basketball and football television revenues now flowing into big conferences and colleges.

CYCLING

Armstrong must face doping lawsuit

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected Lance Armstrong’s bid to dismiss a federal whistleblower lawsuit claiming that he and his former cycling team, which had been sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, had defrauded the government through a scheme to use banned, performance-enhancing drugs.

U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins in Washington, D.C., said the complaints brought by the government and Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis were “rife with allegations that Armstrong had knowledge of the doping, and that he made false statements to conceal the doping and the attendant obligation which would have resulted if the government had known of the doping.”

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