Around The Nation (Dec. 25): Bengals sign former OSU star Sanzenbacher

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Associated Press

FOOTBALL

Bengals sign former OSU star Sanzenbacher

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals have acquired wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on waivers from the Chicago Bears and placed first-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick on injured reserve.

Sanzenbacher was released this week by the Bears and was picked up Tuesday by the Bengals. He played in five games with one catch for 7 yards this season.

Kirkpatrick, the 17th overall selection in the 2012 draft, has been sidelined with a knee injury. He played in five games this season, with two tackles on defense and two on special teams.

Auburn names Smith as cornerback coach

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has hired longtime Southeastern Conference assistant Melvin Smith as cornerbacks coach.

Gus Malzahn announced the hiring Tuesday of Smith, who spent the past seven seasons coaching cornerbacks and the secondary at Mississippi State.

Malzahn says Smith “is an outstanding secondary coach and is one of the top recruiters in the Southeastern Conference.”

Smith has spent 18 of his 31 years in coaching working at SEC schools. He coached Johnthan Banks, the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner.

The Bulldogs’ defense led the SEC with 30 forced turnovers this season.

Smith has worked previously with co-defensive coordinators Ellis Johnson and Charlie Harbison and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes.

Smith’s college coaching stops have included Texas A&M, Alabama, Mississippi and Delta State.

BASKETBALL

Heat’s Miller reaches 10,000-point milestone

Heat forward Mike Miller is the 48th active player with at least 10,000 points in his NBA career.

Miller reached the milestone with a 3-pointer with 10:25 left in the second quarter on Tuesday, when Miami hosted Oklahoma City in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals.

Miller entered the game only one point shy of the mark. He’s the second former Florida player to score 10,000 points, according to STATS LLC, and the 313th player in NBA history to reach that total.

The Heat have six players with at least 10,000 points, with Miller joining Ray Allen, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh. Only one other NBA team — the Los Angeles Lakers — have six 10,000-point scorers on their roster.

James’ foulless streak ends at 254 minutes

MIAMI — LeBron James’ foul-free streak is over.

The Miami Heat forward was called for a foul against Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka with 7:57 left in the first quarter of the teams’ NBA Finals rematch on Tuesday, marking the first time since Dec. 8 that James was whistled for a personal.

James went 254 minutes, 7 seconds of on-court time without being called for any personals, though was assessed one technical during that span for arguing a play where he thought he was fouled. He was called for backing into New Orleans’ Lance Thomas with 2:30 left in the first quarter of that game on Dec. 8.

His first foul on Tuesday came when he tried to block a dunk attempt by Ibaka, who made one of the two resulting free throws.

BASEBALL

Former Rangers owner Corbett dead at 75

HOUSTON — Brad Corbett, who owned the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1980 and had six managers in six years, has died. He was 75.

Corbett’s daughter, Pamela Corbett Murrin, told The Associated Press that her father died peacefully in his sleep on Monday. She said he had not been sick recently.

The Rangers said in a statement they were “saddened” to hear of Corbett’s death.

The team’s website says Corbett was directly involved in decision making, including player transactions. The Rangers had three pitchers during his tenure, Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry and Bert Blyleven. All three were elected to the Hall of Fame. As owner, Corbett traded all three.

Corbett also was part-owner of a Fort Worth company that sold PVC piping to the oil and gas industry.

Former Braves star arrested for battery

ATLANTA — Jail records show that former Atlanta Braves star center fielder

Andruw Jones is free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta on a battery charge.

Gwinnett County Detention Center records say Jones was booked into the county jail around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday and had been released on $2,400 bond by 11 a.m.

No one was available at the Gwinnett County sheriff’s office to give details about the circumstances surrounding his Christmas Day arrest.

Once one of the premier players in the big leagues, Jones broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-07 as their center fielder. He has 434 career home runs over 17 seasons in the majors.

Jones signed a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League earlier this month.

TENNIS

Nadal’s return delayed by stomach virus

MADRID — Rafael Nadal’s return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus.

The Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee. But he said on his Facebook page Tuesday that his doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever, telling him his body needed rest.

“My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,” he said.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.

The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold at the Olympics in London, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray were also scheduled to play at Abu Dhabi.

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