Around the Nation (Jan. 10): Kiffin to join Alabama as offensive coordinator

Associated Press Published:

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLLEGE

Alabama names Lane Kiffin new offensive coord.

Alabama hired former Southern California coach Lane Kiffin on Friday as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Kiffin replaces Doug Nussmeier, who left Alabama for Michigan.

Kiffin spent a week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last month exchanging ideas with coach Nick Saban and his staff and observing Alabama's offense.

The 38-year-old Kiffin was 28-15 in three-plus seasons with USC. He was fired five games into last season. He also was head coach at Tennessee and for the Oakland Raiders.

Kiffin spent six seasons (2001-06) at USC under Pete Carroll as an assistant, including the final two as offensive coordinator. He also called plays during his time as a head coach. He spent one season at Tennessee (2009), and went 7-6 before leaving to replace Carroll.

BASKETBALL

Suns' Bledsoe has meniscus surgery

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

The Suns say Friday's surgery by team doctor Thomas Carter was successful. No timetable was given for Bledsoe's return but the team said in a news release that he "will pursue a possible return to action during the second half" of the season.

Bledsoe was having the finest season of his career after being acquired by the Suns from the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason, averaging 18 points and 5.8 assists per game.

He and Goran Dragic formed the double-point guard backcourt that had been the catalyst of the Suns' surprising start to the season.

Pelicans' Holiday has stress fracture

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Pelicans say starting point guard Jrue Holiday is sidelined indefinitely with a lower right leg injury.

The team says the injury is a stress fracture in his tibia. It is not clear when or how the injury occurred. Holiday played 29 minutes in Wednesday night's 102-96 loss at home to Washington, making three of 11 shots for eight points to go with three assists, three rebounds and three steals.

In 34 games this season, the 6-foot-4 Holiday is averaging 14.3 points, 7.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds. His injury comes while New Orleans struggles to overcome the absence of leading scorer Ryan Anderson, who has been out indefinitely with a herniated disk since last weekend.

New Orleans hosts Dallas on Friday night.

FOOTBALL

Kyle Shanahan, Lazor interview with Dolphins

MIAMI -- Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor have interviewed for the job of offensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins.

Both are candidates to replace Mike Sherman, fired Monday after two seasons with Miami.

Shanahan worked for four seasons in Washington with his father, Mike, the head coach, until both were fired Dec. 30. Kyle Shanahan became the NFL's youngest offensive coordinator at age 28 when he was promoted to the position with the Texans in 2008. His predecessor there: Sherman.

Lazor joined the Eagles a year ago when Chip Kelly was hired as head coach. Lazor was offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia from 2010 to 2012, and he has worked for the Seahawks, Redskins and Falcons.

NFL: Two players violated protocol

BOSTON -- Two players violated league concussion protocol in last weekend's wild-card games, according to a letter sent by the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen to all team doctors and trainers.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press, Dr. Hunt Batjer and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen say that one player actually re-entered the game and another refused to leave the sideline. The doctors did not identify the players, but Green Bay tackle David Bakhtiari returned to his game for an extra-point try despite being examined for a concussion.

Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis remained on the sideline but did not get back on the field.

The doctors "emphasize that we find no fault in how the team medical staffs conducted themselves last weekend."

GOLF

Shoulder injury sidelines Rose

ORLANDO, Fla. -- U.S. Open champion Justin Rose has mild tendinitis in his right shoulder and will delay the start of his season.

Rose will not play the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship next week or the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines the following week. His agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, says Rose is likely to start his year in February.

Rose won his first major at Merion last summer. He played deep into 2013 by finishing the European Tour season in China, Turkey and Dubai. He also played in South Africa.

Steinberg says reports from the doctors are encouraging. But with rest and rehabilitation as the only means of treatment, Rose thinks it is best to not compete for at least a few weeks.

ICE HOCKEY

Sprained knee keeps Jackets' Comeau out

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Blake Comeau on injured reserve with a sprained knee sustained in Thursday's practice.

Comeau is expected to be out for four to six weeks.

The 27-year-old leads the Blue Jackets in hits with 131. He has three goals and eight assists with 21 penalty minutes in 43 games this season.

OFF-ROAD

Belgian Palante dies in Dakar Rally

CATAMARCA, Argentina -- Organizers say Belgian motorcycle rider Eric Palante has died at the Dakar Rally.

Organizers said they found Palante's body Friday morning when a truck went out looking for him. He was discovered on a part of the fifth stage, which most riders completed on Thursday.

The cause of death was being investigated, and officials offered few details.

Two other rally-related deaths were reported earlier Friday. Police said two people following the race died on Thursday when their vehicle overturned in rough terrain in northern Argentina.

AUTO RACING

Fans to vote on Sprint Unlimited

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Fans will again decide the format of the exhibition Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.

The race Feb. 15 will allow fans to vote on three major elements via NASCAR.com and the use of the NASCAR Mobile application. Voting for each element will close at different times on race day.

Fans will vote on how the three segments of the race are broken down, the starting order and the final segment restart order.

For the final segment restart order, fans can decide between the fastest lap during the first two segments, most laps led during the first two segments and determined by mandatory pit stop results.

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