Sports log: SMU makes long-awaited poll return


Even Larry Brown was young the last time SMU was ranked. In their second season under the 73-year-old Hall of Fame coach, the Mustangs on Monday moved into the Associated Press men’s Top 25 for the first time since 1984-85, a season when they reached as high as No. 2. SMU (19-5) moved in off a 76-53 victory over then-No. 7 Cincinnati, a win that snapped the Bearcats’ 15-game winning streak. It was the Mustangs’ third win over a ranked team in a seven-game span. SMU hadn’t beaten a ranked team since December 2003. Syracuse (23-0) unanimously remained No. 1 for the second straight week. Fourth-ranked Wichita State (25-0) is the only other unbeaten Division 1 team . . . In the women’s AP poll, Connecticut remained No. 1. The Huskies (25-0) have won 31 straight dating to last season’s title run . . . DePaul star forward Cleveland Melvin is no longer enrolled in school or part of the basketball program. The school announced the split with the senior after suspending him last month for violating team rules. Melvin ranks among the program’s leaders in scoring, rebounding, blocks, and free throws. He was the 2011 Big East Rookie of the Year . . . Lauren Jackson had surgery on her knee and Achilles’ tendon, putting her status for the upcoming WNBA season with the Seattle Storm in question. Jackson, who missed the entire 2013 season after surgery on her right hamstring, is a two-time WNBA champion and three-time league MVP.


Congress, Redskins exchange shots

The latest back-and-forth over the Washington Redskins name included a letter Monday sent from Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, and Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole telling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that the league is on ‘‘the wrong side of history’’ and mentioning the league’s tax-exempt status. Cantwell chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The lawmakers specifically objected to Goodell saying during Super Bowl week the Redskins name has been ‘‘presented in a way that honors Native Americans.’’ Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie responded to the letter with an e-mail statement, suggesting Congress pay attention to more pressing matters. The Redskins also countered by saying they’ve received ‘‘almost 200’’ letters and e-mails in recent months in support of the name from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans. The Redskins say they’ve received only seven letters from Native Americans opposed to the name . . . Former NFL defensive end and ESPN analyst Hugh Douglas pleaded no contest and avoided jail in a Connecticut case alleging he assaulted his former girlfriend, who said she wasn’t happy with the plea bargain. Douglas, who played for the Jets, Eagles, and Jaguars pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor breach of peace charge, after having been arrested on felony assault and strangulation allegations . . . Ron Zook, once the head coach at Florida and Illinois, accepted a job with the Green Bay Packers as assistant special teams coach.


Minnesota GM Ryan battling cancer

Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he has been diagnosed with cancer and he will not be with the team for the start of spring training so he can focus on treatment and recovery. The Twins released a statement from the 60-year-old Ryan that described the recent discovery of a lump in his neck by the team physician during a routine annual physical. The subsequent biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma . . . Josh Beckett said he will be ready for the start of the Dodgers’ season after having a rib removed last July in a surgery to alleviate a nerve condition that was affecting his right arm. The righthander is expected to battle newly acquired Paul Maholm for the fifth spot in the starting rotation . . . The Rangers agreed to a minor league deal with righthander Tommy Hanson, sources told ESPN. The 27-year-old had a 4.76 ERA over 247 innings the past two seasons . . . Reliever Tyler Clippard and the Nationals agreed on a one-year, $5.8 million deal, avoiding arbitration.


Petty: Patrick’s attention undeserved


NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty said Danica Patrick can only win a Sprint Cup Series race ‘‘if everybody else stayed home.’’ The seven-time champion made the comment during an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto, according to the website Petty also said Patrick only gets attention because she’s a woman, but added that publicity is good for NASCAR . . . Work remains underway at the World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus despite a union’s threat to start a strike to protest against a worker’s death at the venue — the third in less than a year.