Around the Nation (March 10): Ohio State's Aaron Craft named Big Ten Defensive POY

Published:

Associated Press

COLLEGE

Michigan's Nik Stauskas named Big Ten POY, Ohio State's Craft named Defensive POY

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Michigan's Nik Stauskas is the Big Ten's Player of the Year.

Stauskas led the Big Ten with 13 games of 20 or more points.

Wolverines' head coach John Beilein was named by the media Coach of the Year, while Tim Miles of Nebraska gained the honor from his peers.

Beilein led the Wolverines (23-7) to their first outright Big Ten Championship since 1986. Under Miles, Nebraska (19-11) earned the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.

In other honors, Indiana's Noah Vonleh was named Freshman of the Year by coaches and media. Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named Defensive Player of the Year and Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes was voted the Sixth Man of the Year by coaches.

Kansas expects Embiid to play

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas coach Bill Self says he expects center Joel Embiid to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Embiid is in Los Angeles to get a second opinion from a back specialist about his ailing lower back, a trip Self said was planned.

Self says he hopes to know late Monday whether Embiid will play in this week's Big 12 Tournament. Embiid is averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for 10th-ranked Kansas, which will open the tournament Thursday.

FOOTBALL

Lions say Ford's wife to run team

DETROIT -- The wife of William Clay Ford will take over his controlling interest in the Detroit Lions after the longtime owner's death.

The Lions announced Monday that Ford's interest in the team passes to Martha Ford, pursuant to "long-established succession plans."

William Clay Ford died Sunday. The 88-year-old Ford was the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford.

William Clay Ford married the former Martha Parke Firestone, an heiress to the Akron, Ohio, rubber fortune. Her grandfather, Harvey Firestone, was a close friend of Henry Ford.

The team says William Clay Ford Jr. remains in his role as vice chairman of the Lions.

Jets release WR Santonio Holmes

NEW YORK -- The New York Jets have parted ways with wide receiver Santonio Holmes, cutting the talented but injury-plagued playmaker after four seasons.

The move Monday, which had been expected, saves the Jets $8.25 million, which Holmes was due to make as his base salary this season. He was scheduled to have a $10.75 million cap number, a lofty total for a one-time Super Bowl MVP who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency the last two seasons.

Holmes, who turned 30 last Monday, had 23 catches for 456 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last season. He missed five games midway through the season with a hamstring injury. Holmes played in just four games in 2012 and was sidelined for several months after a career-threatening foot injury.

Source: Dolphins owner will pay for stadium renovations

MIAMI -- A person familiar with the situation says Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is set to announce he's going to pay for up to $400 million in renovations to the team's stadium, which will help keep South Florida competitive in bidding for Super Bowls and college football's championship games.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because Ross hasn't spoken publicly about his plan. The person said Ross is talking with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez about the plan.

The person said Ross has decided to pay for the work himself because Super Bowl applications are due in August and he wants to get the process started. Renovations will include a canopy to shade seats that are now exposed.

ICE HOCKEY

NHL GMs to meet; overtime, video review on agenda

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Overtime changes and video review are expected to be on the agenda when NHL general managers begin meeting in Boca Raton.

The general managers want to reduce the number of shootouts that decide regular-season games. This year, 122-of-967 games have gone to a shootout.

Proposals include adding more time to the current four-on-four overtime, instituting a three-on-three element and having teams switch ends with the hope that the long line change leads to more mistakes and odd-man rushes.

Expanded video review became a bigger issue in January when the Detroit Red Wings scored a goal against the Los Angeles Kings that should not have counted because the puck hit the protective netting first.

This is the first of three days of meetings in Florida.

SOCCER

MLS referees claim unfair labor practices

NEW YORK -- The organization that manages game officials for Major League Soccer has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union it locked out, accusing the referees of attempting to intimidate replacements.

The Professional Referee Organization made the filing with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, three days after the lockout began. The Professional Soccer Referees Association previously filed a pair of unfair labor practice charges against PRO, which also are pending.

"PSRA had inaccurately told replacement officials in a March 7 e-mail that they would not be eligible to work for PRO in the future if they chose to work as replacements in games on March 8," Pro general manager Peter Walton, a former English Premier League referee, said in a statement Monday. "This is not true and the threat is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act."

BASEBALL

Smoltz to call games for Fox MLB telecasts

NEW YORK -- Former pitcher John Smoltz will work as an analyst for Fox's Major League Baseball telecasts.

Smoltz will be paired with broadcaster Matt Vasgersian on Fox and Fox Sports 1, the networks said Monday.

They join a group that includes Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Erin Andrews, Ken Rosenthal, Kenny Albert and Thom Brennaman.

An eight-time All-Star and the 1996 NL Cy Young Award winner, Smoltz will continue to work for the MLB Network.

Bonds back with Giants as coach

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Bonds is wearing a San Francisco Giants uniform once again, now as a hitting coach at spring training.

The career home runs leader joined his former team Monday at camp for a weeklong stay.

The 49-year-old Bonds appeared slimmer than he did during his big years with the Giants. He spent his last 15 seasons with San Francisco, finishing in 2007 with 762 homers.

"It feels really good to get back to the game that I love," Bonds said, sitting alongside Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

"I don't even know if I'm good at" working with hitters, Bonds said. "I only have seven days, but I welcome younger guys and veterans to pick my brain."

Bonds' contract with the Giants had a 10-year services deal that included spring training visits. The seven-time MVP was involved in legal trouble stemming from the BALCO steroids investigation over the years.

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