Around the Nation (June 18): Tiger Woods signs new endorsement deal

Associated Press Published:

GOLF

Woods signs bag endorsement with MusclePharm

DENVER -- Tiger Woods will have a new sponsor on his bag when he returns to competition.

MusclePharm Corp. announced Wednesday on its website that it has signed the 14-time major champion to an endorsement deal that includes sponsorship of his golf bag. The new deal starts July 1.

Woods has not played since March 9. He had back surgery three weeks later and hasn't said when he will return. His agent said he's started to take full swings at home in Florida.

MusclePharm is a sports nutrition company. It also endorses NFL players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Decker.

This is only the fifth corporate brand to occupy logo space on the bag of Woods. He also has had Titleist, Buick, AT&T and most recently Fuse.

Bill Clinton gets PGA of America's top service award

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Former President Bill Clinton has been selected to receive the PGA Distinguished Service Award.

Clinton is the third former president to be chosen by the PGA of America. It honors people for leadership and qualities such as integrity, sportsman and enthusiasm for golf.

Since leaving the White House in 2001, he established the Clinton Foundation to improve health around the world and promote wellness. Two years ago, Clinton became partners with Humana, the PGA Tour and the Desert Classic Charities at the Humana Challenge. The tournament in Palm Desert, California, includes a forum each year on improving health and making behavioral changes.

Clinton will receive the award during the PGA Championship, which will be played Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Kentucky.

George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford are past recipients.

ICE HOCKEY

Canadiens to retire Lapointe's No. 5

MONTREAL -- Guy Lapointe's No. 5 will hang from the Bell Centre rafters beginning next season when the Montreal Canadiens retire his jersey.

Lapointe will become the 18th player to be honored by the Canadiens with a jersey retirement and the second with the No. 5, joining Bernie Geoffrion.

The defensemen played 777 regular-season and 112 playoff games for Montreal and was a part of six Stanley Cup champions.

Lapointe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. Next season he'll become the first Canadiens star to have his jersey retired since Emile Bouchard and Elmer Lach in December 2009.

"I am beyond proud of my dad!" Lapointe's daughter Stephanie wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

L.A. Kings promote Stevens; re-sign Payne, Ranford

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have promoted John Stevens to associate head coach and re-signed assistant coach Davis Payne and goaltending coach Bill Ranford.

The Stanley Cup champions announced the moves to keep coach Darryl Sutter's staff intact Wednesday.

Stevens is a former head coach in Philadelphia. He briefly served as the Kings' interim head coach before Sutter was hired during their 2011-12 championship season.

Stevens had been mentioned as a candidate for offseason job openings in Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Carolina.

Payne is the former St. Louis coach who joined the Kings' staff in 2012 after their first title.

Ranford played parts of 15 seasons in the NHL. He has spent the last eight seasons coaching the Kings, who won the Jennings Trophy for the league's best goals-against average last season.

Source: Detroit puts TooToo on waivers

A person familiar with the move has confirmed to The Associated Press that the Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Jordin Tootoo on waivers with the intention to buy out the final year of his contract.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday, because the Red Wings have not announced the move. TSN first reported the move earlier the day.

Tootoo is set to make $2 million next season. Should he clear waivers on Thursday, Tootoo would be in a position to become an unrestricted free agent once the Red Wings buy out the remainder of his contract for $1.33 million.

Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino and Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth cleared waivers on Wednesday. Both will have their contracts bought out.

BASKETBALL

Hornets' McRoberts opts out of contract

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hornets general manager Rich Cho says forward Josh McRoberts has opted out of his contract and will become a free agent.

However, Cho said Wednesday at a pre-draft news conference the team is eager to re-sign the seven-year NBA veteran.

McRoberts, 27, was set to make nearly $2.8 million next season, but has outperformed that contract. He started a career-high 78 games last season for Charlotte and averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Cho says it's important for the Hornets to re-sign McRoberts, saying "He was a big part of our team. ... He's such a great passer, a connector to the team. And he's a great teammate also."

Charlotte went 43-39 last season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

FOOTBALL

TE Dallas Clark retires as a Colt

INDIANAPOLIS -- Standout tight end Dallas Clark retired from the NFL after 11 seasons on Wednesday.

He retired as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, the team that drafted him in the first round in 2003, where he won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning and spent the first nine years of his career.

He played for Tampa Bay in 2012 and for Baltimore last season before signing with Indianapolis just long enough to announce his retirement.

Clark is the Indy's all-time leader in tight end touchdown catches (46) and receptions (427). He finished second in yards receiving (4,887) and 100-yard games (seven). Clark set single season records with the Colts with 100 receptions and 1,106 yards in the 2009 season. In 2007, he had 11 TD catches.

Steelers sign draft pick Stephon Tuitt

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers and second-round draft pick Stephon Tuitt have agreed to a four-year contract.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Pittsburgh selected the defensive lineman from Notre Dame with the 46th overall pick. The 6-foot-5, 303-pound Tuitt started 29 games at Notre Dame. He finished with 127 tackles, 211⁄2 sacks and 27 quarterback pressures in three seasons and was the team's lineman of the year in 2013.

Jets release troubled RB Mike Goodson

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have released troubled running back Mike Goodson, who was absent for mandatory minicamp practice for a second straight day.

GM John Idzik says Wednesday that Goodson, coming off major knee surgery and dealing with legal issues, was let go with a designation of "left squad." Idzik says the situation is "disappointing" and adds the Jets gave Goodson "every opportunity" with the team.

Goodson played in just two games for the Jets before tearing two knee ligaments last October. He faces weapons charges in New Jersey after being indicted in November. He was found in a car along with an acquaintance with a handgun and a hollow-point bullet in May 2013.

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