Around the Nation (Jan. 23): Meyer, Buckeyes lose two players off OSU roster

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

FOOTBALL

Meyer, Buckeyes lose two players off roster

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State has announced that two players will no longer play for the Buckeyes, one because of injury and another who wishes to play closer to his home in Colorado.

Sophomore linebacker Conner Crowell, from Waldorf, Md., has decided to give up football. He has had two microfracture surgeries while at Ohio State for an injury that occurred while he was in high school. Ohio State medical staff had not cleared him to play.

Freshman offensive lineman Joey O'Connor, from Windsor, Colo., requested a transfer to play closer to home. He was redshirted last fall as the Buckeyes went 12-0 under first-year coach Urban Meyer.

BASKETBALL

BG coach Orr to meet teen graffiti suspects

BOWLING GREEN -- A judge has ordered two teens accused of scribbling racist graffiti on a sidewalk in front of Bowling Green men's basketball coach Louis Orr's house to meet with him.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they would set up a meeting within a few weeks.

The boys were in juvenile court Tuesday on charges of ethnic intimidation and criminal mischief. Authorities say they wrote "white power" and drew a swastika with chalk in front of the black coach's house in October.

Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson says Orr is very interested in talking with the teens.

Orr has been Bowling Green's coach since 2007. His son Chauncey is a starter on this year's team.

The teens are again due in court Feb. 14.

UNC suspends guard McDonald for three games

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina has suspended guard Leslie McDonald for three games.

The specific reason for the suspension was not disclosed in a statement issued Wednesday, roughly five hours before the Tar Heels' game against Georgia Tech.

Coach Roy Williams says McDonald "did not do what we expect of our student-athletes," and McDonald says he did not take care of his responsibilities as a student-athlete.

McDonald missed the past three games with an injured right knee. Williams says the junior guard would have been medically cleared to return this week.

The school says McDonald will return Feb. 2 when UNC plays Virginia Tech.

He missed all of last season with a right knee injury and is averaging 8.4 points this season while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range.

Sources: Hornets plan to become Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- People familiar with the decision say the New Orleans Hornets have decided to change their name to the Pelicans next season.

The people spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the Hornets have not announced the decision. One person says the proposed name change and color scheme of blue, gold and red is scheduled to be announced Thursday.

Hornets owner Tom Benson has said since buying the Hornets last spring that he wanted a new name representing New Orleans and Louisiana.

The brown pelican is the state bird and has become symbolic of efforts to restore Louisiana's fragile coast, which has been hit hard by the 2010 BP oil spill and erosion from major storms.

Forbes: Knicks most valuable NBA team

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have surpassed the Los Angeles Lakers as the most valuable team in the NBA, according to Forbes' annual study.

Boosted by renovations to Madison Square Garden, the Knicks' value increased 41 percent to $1.1 billion. The Lakers were second at $1 billion.

The report released Wednesday estimated the average NBA team's value at $509 million, a 30 percent increase from last year.

The Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks round out the top five.

The Milwaukee Bucks were the least valuable at $312 million. The Nets' value increased 48 percent to $530 million, ranking ninth, after their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

TENNIS

Federer wins, moves on to Australian semis

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Roger Federer has beaten No. 7-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 to reach the Australian Open semifinals for a 10th consecutive year.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will next play U.S. Open winner Andy Murray, who advanced in straight sets earlier Wednesday over unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France.

The 31-year-old Swiss star hadn't dropped a service game in his first four rounds, but Tsonga ended that streak by breaking him the sixth game.

Federer was narrowly in front for most of the match but Tsonga stayed in touch with some powerful groundstrokes and a big serve.

BASEBALL

Motte, Cardinals agree to $12 million deal

ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

The 30-year-old right-hander had a career-high 42 saves in 49 chances last year, when he was 4-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He made $2 million.

Motte is 17-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 54 saves since his major league debut in 2008. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

He gets a $1 million signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the contract's approval by Major League Baseball, and salaries of $4 million this year and $7 million in 2014. For 2014 only, Motte can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses: $250,000 each for 50 and 60 games finished.

ICE HOCKEY

Edmonton, Oilers agree on plan for new arena

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers and the city have agreed to resurrect a deal to build a new downtown arena.

City councilors have voted to accept a cost-shared deal for a $480 million rink. After surrounding infrastructure is added in, the final bill will be $601 million.

The money will come from taxpayers, Oilers owner Daryl Katz and a ticket tax. The deal is still more than $100 million short, which is money Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel hopes will come primarily from the provincial government.

The plan is for construction to start this fall and the building to open in 2016.

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