Around the Nation (April 12): SEC set to reveal plans for network with ESPN

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

COLLEGE

SEC set to reveal plans for network with ESPN

The long-awaited announcement of the Southeastern Conference network is days away.

The SEC says that it will hold a news conference with ESPN executives on Tuesday in Atlanta. The network is to be launched in a partnership between the SEC and ESPN.

Sports Business Journal reported Friday that the conference and the network would detail plans Tuesday to have the SEC cable channel up and running by August 2014. A person familiar with the announcement confirmed that to the AP on condition of anonymity because no details of the news conference had been made official.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper will be among those in attendance. Slive said earlier this year he expected an announcement on the network by the middle of April.

Loyola-Chicago hires Swoopes as coach

CHICAGO -- Sheryl Swoopes, one of the top players is women's basketball history, is the new coach at Loyola of Chicago.

The school announced the hiring Friday.

A standout at Texas Tech in the early 1990s and the first three-time MVP in the WNBA, Swoopes will try to boost a struggling program.

The Ramblers only finished higher than fifth in the Horizon League once under former coach Eric Simpson, who resigned after leading them to a 57-66 record in four seasons. They went 17-15 this past season and reached the Horizon championship game.

Swoopes says she is "honored and humbled" and calls Loyola "a special place."

A three-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA champion, Swoopes stopped playing in 2011, and spent the past season as a TV analyst for Texas Tech women's games.

BASEBALL

Greinke likely to miss eight weeks for surgery on broken collarbone

SAN DIEGO -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke will need surgery to repair his broken left collarbone, and the team says he is expected to return in eight weeks.

Greinke was hurt Thursday night when San Diego's Carlos Quentin charged the mound after he was hit on the arm by a pitch.

The Dodgers say that Greinke was examined Friday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles and had a CT scan. ElAttrache and Dr. John Itamura will operate Saturday at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles to place a rod in the clavicle to stabilize and align the fracture.

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, signed a $147 million, six-year contract with the Dodgers during the off-season.

FOOTBALL

Ravens sign former Raiders LB McClain

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Inside linebacker Rolando McClain has signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

McClain passed his physical Friday before signing. He comes to the Ravens as a free agent after being released by the Oakland Raiders this month.

The 6-foot-4, 259-pound McClain spent three years with Oakland after being selected eighth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. In 41 career games, he has 274 tackles, 61⁄2 sacks and one interception.

AP source: Winfield to sign with Seahawks

SEATTLE -- A person with knowledge of the deal says cornerback Antoine Winfield is set to join the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal.

ESPN.com first reported Winfield reaching an agreement with the Seahawks on Friday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been announced by the team.

Winfield joins one of the most talented defensive backfields in the NFL, likely as an extra cornerback to play in the slot. He is joining a secondary that features two All-Pro's in cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas.

BASKETBALL

Durant fined $25,000 for 'menacing gesture'

NEW YORK -- The NBA has fined Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant for making a "menacing gesture," when he pretended to slice his throat after throwing down a big dunk during the Thunder's victory against the Golden State Warriors.

The play that led to Durant's costly celebration occurred with about 1:45 left in the second quarter of Oklahoma City's 116-97 win at Golden State.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook blocked Stephen Curry's layup, and Durant corralled the ball and went in for a soaring dunk at the other end of the court. He then made throat-slashing gesture and crossed his hands in prayer.

"Kill 'em and pray for 'em after the game," Durant said.

"It's nothing against the team I'm playing against," Durant added. "Come out with a mindset and be friends after the game."

Spurs waive forward Stephen Jackson

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs waived forward Stephen Jackson on Friday, ending his second stint with the team.

The 13-year NBA veteran averaged 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 19.5 minutes in 55 games this season.

Knicks waive Thomas, oldest player in NBA

NEW YORK -- The Knicks have waived center Kurt Thomas, the oldest player in the NBA.

The 40-year-old Thomas was waived on Friday. He was sidelined last month by a stress fracture in his right foot and missed 12 games.

New York general manager Glen Grunwald says "due to a rash of injuries to our big men, we felt that it was important for us to free up a spot on our roster."

Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin sat out Thursday's loss to the Chicago Bulls that ended the Knicks' 13-game winning streak. The Knicks are already without big men Rasheed Wallace and Amare Stoudemire, and backup center Marcus Camby has missed most of the season with foot problems.

The 18-year NBA player averaged 2.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 10 minutes in 39 games with the Knicks.

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