USC AD: Phony reps contacted Dungy
Southern Cal athletic director Pat Haden said two people pretending to be representatives of the school have contacted two coaches and attempted to discuss the Trojans’ coaching vacancy with them. Haden said somebody pretending to be a USC official repeatedly tried to speak to an unnamed member of the Denver Broncos’ coaching staff about the opening. Jack Del Rio, the Broncos’ defensive coordinator, is a former USC linebacker who has been linked to the job. Another phony representative contacted Tony Dungy, the former Tampa Bay and Indianapolis coach. Dungy talked about his apparent contact with USC on a national radio show Monday, saying he turned down the representative. The Trojans fired coach Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29 . . . Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said quarterback Baker Mayfield’s right knee has no structural damage after the freshman was hurt during the No. 20 Red Raiders’ win at Kansas. Kingsbury said he’s not sure whether Mayfield will start or even play against Iowa State . . . Louisville coach Charlie Strong said leading receiver DeVante Parker is day to day with an injured right shoulder and will be a game-time decision against Rutgers Thursday . . . Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage, who has been suffering from concussion-like symptoms, will be available for Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech.
Shutdown still causing uncertainty
The service academy football teams are preparing to play this weekend’s scheduled games while still facing uncertainty because of the partial government shutdown. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said he and Naval Academy officials were providing more information to the Defense Department that shows the academy will not use government funds to play at Duke on Saturday. Spokesmen for both Air Force and Army said their teams are preparing to play . . . Graham Spanier, the former Penn State president fighting charges he helped cover up child sex abuse complaints about ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, wants a judge to force prosecutors to release documents to him. Prosecutors say Spanier will get discovery materials this week . . . John Galaris, Salem State’s first full-time athletic director, died Sunday in Salem at the age of 70. A three-time All-America basketball player for the Vikings, he served as athletic director from 1981-2002.
Rodriguez suit moved to federal court
Alex Rodriguez’s lawsuit claiming Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig went on a ‘‘witch hunt’’ to force him from the sport has been moved from state to federal court. Major League Baseball filed a notice of removal Monday, saying claims by the Yankees third baseman are governed by federal law. Rodriguez’s legal team could file a motion asking that the case be returned to state court. In his lawsuit, Rodriguez claimed MLB and Selig tried to smear the three-time AL MVP in an attempt to cover up Selig’s alleged past inaction on performance-enhancing drugs . . . Executive vice president Joe Torre said before Sunday’s Dodgers-Braves game that he hopes baseball’s expanded instant-replay system will be ready next season. Managers would be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of a game and two from the seventh until conclusion. Balls and strikes would not be reviewable, and challenged calls would be settled at MLB headquarters in New York after replays are viewed . . . The Blue Jays said hitting coach Chad Mottola and first base coach Dwayne Murphy won’t return next season. Murphy is retiring as a major league coach.
Franchitti needs second ankle surgery
Dario Franchitti will need a second surgery on the broken right ankle he suffered when his car went airborne into the fence during the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston. Franchitti also fractured two vertebrae in his spine and was concussed. He had surgery on the ankle Sunday night and remained in the hospital. Franchitti is expected to return to Indianapolis Wednesday and have a second surgery on his ankle . . . NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is recovering from a third surgery on his right leg following an August crash at Southern Iowa Speedway. He remained hospitalized for observation.
Sharapova out of WTA Championships
Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the season-ending WTA Championships because of an injured right shoulder. The WTA said the third-ranked Russian will miss the Oct. 22-27 tournament in Istanbul because of the injury, which has sidelined her for most of the second half of the year . . . John Isner served 29 aces and rallied to beat qualifier Santiago Giraldo, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, in the first round of the Shanghai Masters . . . Top-seeded Jelena Jankovic pulled out of the Japan Women’s Open in Osaka because of an injured left hip . . . Former giant slalom world champion Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany announced her retirement after years of struggling with injuries and illness. Hoelzl won gold in 2009 but suffered from a metabolic illness and has since competed in just one World Cup race . . . Orlando’s board of commissioners voted to approve a plan to fund a new downtown soccer stadium, bringing it a step closer to securing a Major League Soccer franchise. The 7-0 vote approved the use of $20 million in tourism taxes for the stadium . . . Churchill Downs will install a video board bigger than three basketball courts. The $12 million project is expected to be done early next year — well ahead of the Kentucky Derby.