Wednesday's Sports in Brief

The Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- After a big false start, the New York Jets pulled off a trade for Tim Tebow, the quarterback who turned the Denver Broncos from an also-ran into a playoff team last season and became the NFL's most talked-about player -- for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick.

Eight hours after initially agreeing to a trade, the teams completed the deal after it was hung up when the Jets balked at repaying Denver more than $5 million for a salary advance due Tebow. The two sides agreed to split that cost, paving the way for Tebowmania to open on Broadway.


Meting out unprecedented punishment for a crush-for-cash bounty system that targeted key opposing players, the NFL suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton without pay for the coming season and indefinitely banned the team's former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.

Payton is the first head coach suspended by the league for any reason, accused of trying to cover up a system of extra cash payouts that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called "particularly unusual and egregious" and "totally unacceptable."

Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games this fall -- believed to be the first time a GM was suspended by the NFL -- and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.

In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks this year and next.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Quarterback Alex Smith signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers that will pay him $8 million per season with $16.5 million guaranteed.

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III was sharp throwing 51 scripted passes he had planned for his pro day.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder and coach Mike Shanahan were among the observers. Washington traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder for the No. 2 overall pick in next month's draft, presumably to get the dual-threat quarterback from Baylor.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- The New England Patriots signed cornerback Will Allen and offensive lineman Robert Gallery. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Former FBI chief Louis Freeh and his investigators have conducted 200 interviews in their probe of the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, asking questions that go beyond the charges against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and into the relationship between the football program and the administration.

Since November, when the Penn State Board of Trustees hired his group to examine the Sandusky case, Freeh's team has talked to people ranging from high-level administrators to retired secretaries to current and former staffers in the athletic department. That includes many employees who worked at the football building while the late Joe Paterno was coach.

As Freeh seeks to fulfill his mission -- he is charged with finding out how Penn State failed to stop an alleged predator in its midst, and with recommending changes aimed at preventing abuse -- board members facing criticism are stressing anew that the former federal judge and his team have complete independence.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall is out of his cast following surgery on his broken right wrist.

In a text message to The Associated Press, Marshall's father Dennis said his son is wearing a removable splint now. Marshall said on Twitter he had shed the cast earlier in the afternoon.

Dennis Marshall said it was still too early to know if his son could play against Ohio on Friday in the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in St. Louis. He said his son "hasn't been ruled out, but not cleared to play either."

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Virginia Commonwealth basketball coach Shaka Smart ended speculation that he might take the open job at Illinois by announcing that he'll stay with the Rams.

VCU said in a news release that Smart's $1.2 million contract will be adjusted, but provided no details.

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Doctors at a Las Vegas hospital decided to keep former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian overnight for observation after a mild heart attack, despite originally planning to release him.

Mountainview Hospital spokeswoman Amanda Powell said Tarkanian's status had not changed despite the change in plans. She said he is still doing "very well."


JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter won't start opening day after a setback in his recovery from a bulging disk in his neck.

The right-hander returned to St. Louis on Tuesday for tests. He threw live batting practice Sunday but didn't feel right the next day.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Mel Parnell, the left-handed pitcher who spent his entire 10-year career with the Boston Red Sox and faced some of the best hitters of the 1940s and early 1950s, died. He was 89.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio had surgery to reconstruct two torn ligaments in his left knee at a clinic in Vail, Colo.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Shane Doan was suspended for three games for elbowing Dallas' Jamie Benn, leaving the Phoenix Coyotes without their captain at a crucial time.

The NHL announced the suspension a day after Doan hit Benn in the head early in the second period of the Stars' 4-3 shootout victory. Doan also will forfeit $166,000 in salary and will miss nearly half of the Coyotes' final eight games as they push for a playoff spot.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tiger Woods stopped in the middle of his swing, flexed his right knee and began rubbing his back.

More trouble?

No, just the click of a camera that made him stop, and he felt a twinge in his lower back. Woods made it through the rest of his pro-am round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational without incident. He says his left Achilles tendon, which caused him to withdraw from the final round at Doral, no longer bothers him.


KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- Venus Williams won in her first singles match since August, dispatching Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-3 at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams beamed as she raised her arms in victory, then skipped to the net to shake's Date-Krumm's hand before twirling around and pumping her arms in celebration.

Other than playing a meaningless doubles match during the United States' Fed Cup first round victory over Belarus in early February, she hadn't played an official match since the U.S. Open first round because of a bout with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease.