Around the Nation (May 19): President of Tenn. company owned by Haslams ousted

Published:

Associated Press

FOOTBALL

President of Tenn. company owned by Haslams ousted

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The president of a Knoxville, Tennessee-based company owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is out amid an ongoing federal investigation into a scheme to defraud customers.

The Knoxville weekly newspaper Metro Pulse obtained an email sent from Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam to staff on Monday announcing Mark Hazelwood's immediate departure. The email did not say why Hazelwood was leaving.

Pilot attorney Aubrey Harwell said it is company policy not to publicly discuss personnel matters.

Pilot in November agreed to pay out nearly $85 million to 5,500 trucking companies that were cheated out of promised rebates and discounts. Ten former employees have so far pleaded guilty in the scheme, and an FBI affidavit states that Hazelwood was aware of it.

Hazelwood's attorney could not be reached for comment.

BASEBALL

Tigers arrive late in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The Detroit Tigers had mechanical problems with their team plane, keeping them in Boston for an extra night and delaying their arrival to play the Indians.

The Tigers didn't get to Progressive Field for Monday's game until shortly after 4 p.m. -- about three hours before the first pitch of the series opener.

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus says he and his players are "a little sleepy, but we'll be fine."

The Tigers played at Fenway Park on Sunday night and were to leave following their 6-2 win over the Red Sox. However, some issues with the plane delayed their departure.

Still, the Tigers all seemed in good spirits as they drank coffee and ate while wearing pajamalike, orange-and-black striped travel suits.

Suspended Tejada signs with Marlins

MIAMI -- Suspended infielder Miguel Tejada has signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins.

Tejada is serving a 105-game suspension he began last year for testing positive for an amphetamine.

He would be eligible to play in the Marlins' 65th game, which would be June 10 at Texas if they don't have any other games rained out and postponed until after that date. He could appear in minor league games at Double-A or lower beginning May 31.

Tejada was with the Kansas City Royals last year when he drew one of the longest penalties handed down by Major League Baseball. The six-time All-Star was the AL MVP in 2002.

GOLF

Woods doesn't set date for return

BETHESDA, Md. -- Tiger Woods says his back injury was so debilitating that it caused him to doubt whether he would play golf again.

Woods said Monday that the surgery he had March 31 erased those doubts, although he still has no timetable for his return.

Woods said before the surgery he had trouble just getting out of bed.

Said Woods: "I was certainly doubtful at that point. What's it going to feel like? Am I going to be pain-free? Am I going to be able to actually do this again, where I'm able to get out of bed, play with my kids and play golf?"

Speaking at the media day for the Quicken Loans National, Woods says he's now excited about playing again, although he's still restricted to chipping and putting.

COLLEGE

Notre Dame selling stadium turf

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame is selling rolls of grass from its football stadium to the public as it prepares to install an artificial surface before the upcoming season.

The school announced Monday it is selling 2-foot-by-5-foot sections of grass from Notre Dame Stadium for $149.95, which includes two-day shipping and a certificate of authenticity. The school says the grass will be removed from the stadium Tuesday and shipped on Wednesday.

Notre Dame announced last month it was switching to FieldTurf because of problems with the playing surface in recent seasons. The university installed new sod at the stadium four times last year, including twice during the season.

Hearing delayed for confrontation with Ohio State fans

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A judge has delayed the arraignment of Tennessee Titans' first-round draft pick Taylor Lewan in a Michigan assault case.

The judge granted a request by Lewan's attorneys for more investigation. The new date is June 16.

The former Michigan offensive tackle missed off-season camp in Tennessee to be in Ann Arbor District Court on Monday. The 6-foot7, 309-pound Lewan was charged after a confrontation with two Ohio State fans after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last fall.

The 22-year-old Lewan is charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery. Lewan has said he breaking up a dispute and wasn't involved in a fight.

Lewan, the 11th draft selection overall, is expected to back up tackles Michael Oher and Michael Roos.

BASKETBALL

Grizzlies fire two front office execs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have parted ways with team CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash. The front-office shake-up comes after the Grizzlies were eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Grizzlies announced the moves on Monday.

General manager Chris Wallace assumes interim responsibility for basketball operations. Jason Wexler, the Grizzlies' chief operating officer, remains responsible for business operations.

Erie named Magic's minor league squad

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando Magic officials say they're entering a three-year deal which designates the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League as the NBA club's minor league affiliate.

Orlando is now the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

The deal allows the Magic to run the BayHawks' basketball operations while the minor league franchise's local owners continue to oversee off-the-court business including ticket sales, marketing and community initiatives.

TELEVISION

AT&T eyes football in DirecTV buy

LOS ANGELES -- One of the hidden benefits of AT&T's planned purchase of DirecTV is that it raises the possibility of making DirecTV's programming crown jewel, NFL Sunday Ticket, available on mobile devices.

Making exclusive live NFL game programming available on AT&T smartphones could trump Verizon's deal with the NFL for certain live game streams on its phones. That's because NFL Sunday Ticket involves all NFL games, not just ones on certain nights of the week.

AT&T Inc. announced Sunday that it has agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion.

DirecTV CEO Michael White says he's "confident" that it can renew its Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL.

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