Four former Vanderbilt players indicted for rape
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Four former Vanderbilt football players have been indicted on five counts of aggravated rape each of an unconscious 21-year-old co-ed at a campus dormitory in June.
Nashville police and the district attorney sent out a release announcing the indictments Friday.
Safety Cory Batey, defensive back Brandon Banks, receiver Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and tight end Brandon Vandenburg also have been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery for an incident tipped to campus officials by surveillance video. Vandenburg also is charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.
Attorney Worrick Robinson says Batey has been taken into custody.
Vanderbilt dismissed the players June 29 and kicked them off campus pending the investigation by the Metro Nashville Police Department's sex crimes unit.
Michigan's radio voice to retire after season
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Frank Beckmann, the radio voice of Michigan football who began calling play-by-play for the Wolverines in 1981, is retiring at the end of this season.
The school announced Beckmann's retirement Friday.
Athletic director Dave Brandon says Beckmann's voice has become synonymous with some of the great calls in Michigan football history. Beckmann succeeded Bob Ufer as the play-by-play announcer for Michigan football in 1981.
Beckmann is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
Wake Forrest gets top RB back from ban
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest running back Josh Harris has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season.
The school declared him ineligible last week and sought a waiver from the NCAA to restore his eligibility.
Team spokesman Steve Shutt said Friday that the waiver has been granted.
Harris says he will be back with the team Saturday.
He has led the team in rushing in two of his three previous seasons with the Demon Deacons.
Harris has rushed for 1,760 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career and led the team with 608 yards rushing in 2012.
Steelers WR Burress gets shoulder surgery
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress will have surgery on Monday to repair an injury in his right shoulder and is out indefinitely.
Coach Mike Tomlin called the damage to Burress' shoulder "significant" but declined to specify the exact nature of the injury. ESPN and NFL.com reported Burress has a torn rotator cuff.
Burress landed awkwardly while trying to haul in a pass over cornerback Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith near the end of Thursday's practice at Saint Vincent College. The 35-year-old Burress remained bent over on the ground for several moments before getting up and walking to the sideline. He was carted off the field and sported a sling over his right shoulder late Thursday evening.
The Steelers, who open the preseason on Saturday night against the New York Giants, had hoped Burress would become the big red zone target they need while tight end Heath Miller recovers from knee surgery.
Burress signed with Pittsburgh last November and caught three passes in limited action. He was battling Jerricho Cotchery, David Gilreath and rookies Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown for a spot behind starters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Castroneves OK after car crash in Brazil
SAO PAULO -- IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves sustained minor injuries after crashing during practice for a stock car race in Brazil.
The three-time Indy 500 winner sustained cuts on his legs and had neck and back pain after the crash Friday in Ribeirao Preto.
He left the wrecked car on his own but was taken to a medical center in an ambulance as a precaution.
Castroneves' spokesman, Americo Teixeira, said the Penske Racing driver was doing well and the injuries were not serious. He said Castroneves was expected to compete in Sunday's race, although clearance from doctors would not be given until more tests were conducted on his neck and back.
Seeking his first IndyCar title, Castroneves has a 31-point lead over Scott Dixon.
NCAA enforcement staff to go to school
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA will soon be sending enforcement staff members back to school.
Interim enforcement chief Jonathan Duncan told The Associated Press it's part of a broader plan to give investigators a firsthand glimpse into what campus leaders contend with every day.
Duncan took over as the department head in March after an embarrassing scandal led to the ouster of Julie Roe Lach.
In five months, Duncan has devised a plan that includes more intensive staff training on NCAA rules, investigation and interview techniques, and the ever-changing world of campus life. He also plans to hire a director of quality control, a newly-created position that he hopes will help improve NCAA relations with school leaders in an attempt to help restore the department's tattered public image.
Obama rejects boycot of Russian Olympics
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says it would be wrong to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi despite frustrations with Russia.
At a White House news conference Friday, Obama said that American athletes are training hard and it wouldn't be fair to deny them the chance to compete in the Games next February.
Obama says he has been offended by Russia's new law cracking down on gay rights activism that sports officials have said would be enforced during the Games.
Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has roiled the already uneasy U.S.-Russia relationship.
NBC reassures gay employees on Olympics
NEW YORK -- NBC is assuring its gay and lesbian employees who may cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi that it will do everything possible to keep them safe following Russia's passage of anti-gay law.
The network said in a memo that it finds Russia's law and the prejudices it represents to be "deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolize." The note by Craig Robinson, NBC Universal's executive vice president and chief diversity officer, was sent Thursday to all company employees who have identified themselves as gay or lesbian.
Russia's law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and sets fines for those who hold gay pride rallies. It is a growing issue leading up to the Feb. 7-23 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
NBC and its cable partners are telecasting the Olympics in the United States. It's not sure how many employees they will be sending to Sochi. In past Olympics, some 3,000 people worked during the games for NBC, although some of them were not in the host country.
Robinson wrote in his memo that "your security is paramount and we will do everything possible to protect the rights, safety and well-being of our employees."
He said that Russia's law violates the International Olympic Committee's charter calling sports a human right that every individual must be able to practice without discrimination.
"The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our very strong hope that spirit prevails," Robinson wrote. "Until then, we have and will continue to cover these human rights violations on our broadcast and cable news networks as the story continues to evolve."
Some gay and lesbian rights organizations have called for a boycott of the Olympics over the issue.