Sports briefs for 2/17/13

Published:

BOWLING GREEN -- Bowling Green men's basketball coach Louis Orr says he's accepted apologies from two boys who scribbled racist graffiti on a sidewalk in front of his house.

A judge ordered the two teens to perform community service and put them on probation Friday after finding them delinquent of criminal mischief.

Authorities say the boys wrote "white power" and drew a swastika with chalk in front of the black coach's house last October.

Orr recently met with both of them. He tells The Blade newspaper in Toledo that he hopes the boys will learn from what happened.

He says young people don't always understand the consequences of their actions.

Orr has been Bowling Green's coach since 2007. His son Chauncey is a starter on this year's team.

• Auto Racing

Patrick driving fast: If two practices are any indication, Danica Patrick is a solid candidate to win the pole for the Daytona 500.

Patrick turned the fastest lap Saturday in a pair of practice sessions focused solely on qualifying for the Daytona 500. She went 196.220 mph around Daytona International Speedway in the second practice session and said she's eyeing the top starting spot in "The Great American Race."

Keeping Chevy happy: Chevrolet may have pulled out of NASCAR had the sanctioning body not agreed to redesign race cars and make them more relevant to consumers.

NASCAR President Mike Helton and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Saturday that they had talks with the American automaker that made it clear things needed to change to keep Chevrolet happy.

But Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, said the auto giant never threatened to walk.

• Baseball

Giambi gets shot with Indians: Terry Francona always kidded Jason Giambi that he would one day manage the slugger. And after years in opposition dugouts, they're together with the Cleveland Indians.

Giambi, who interviewed for Colorado's managerial opening during the offseason, signed a minor league contract with the rebuilt Indians. The 42-year-old contemplated retirement this winter before he got a call from Francona and the Indians, who believe the 18-year veteran can not only help their lineup but serve as a mentor.

Chapman trying to start: Aroldis Chapman was getting ready to start for the Cincinnati Reds last spring when the bullpen got wiped out by injuries, forcing a different approach. The hard-throwing Cuban became one of baseball's best closers in his first try at it.

He's on the same course this spring, trying to win a spot in the rotation -- and his manager is keeping an open mind about where he'll end up eventually.

So is Chapman, who worked on his changeup over the winter to add another pitch in case he starts.

• Basketball

Hunter ousted: Billy Hunter was ousted from his job as executive director of the union in a unanimous vote by NBA players who said Saturday they will "no longer be divided, misled, misinformed."

Fisher said it was a day of change for the union, which has seemed inevitable since a review of the union last month was critical of Hunter's leadership and urged players to consider whether they wanted to keep him.

Hunter said in a statement that he hadn't received word of his dismissal and blasted the interim executive committee for the process it followed, saying "certain individuals made sure the outcome was pre-ordained."

NBA launches stat website: The NBA has put its entire statistical history online, launching a website that allows fans to review box scores, shot charts, game logs and newer data that has changed the way players are rated.

Previously available only to teams and league personnel, and only recently to media, it's there for everyone at NBA.com/stats.

The site features every box score for every game played since the league's original season in 1946-47. It highlights noted games such as Chamberlain's record 100-point outing in 1962, when he averaged more than 50 points for the season, and Kobe Bryant's 81-point outburst in 2006.

• Elsewhere

Costly affair: Penn State's bill for legal fees, consultants and other costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal stands at more than $27.6 million.

An updated figure as of November 2012 was provided this week on a university website. It includes a $13 million price tag for board of trustees communications and the internal investigation into the scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Haas leads: Bill Haas had another bogey-free round at Riviera on Saturday for a 7-under 64 -- the best round of the day by three shots -- that gave him a three-stroke lead going into the final round of the Northern Trust Open.

He was at 12-under 201 and will try to become only the eighth back-to-back winner in the 76-year history of this tournament.

Tyson, Holyfield together: Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield stood toe to toe again, only this time there were hugs and smiles -- and no bites to the ear.

They were at a Jewel-Osco on Chicago's South Side, where Holyfield was signing autographs and promoting his barbecue sauce. Tyson, in town performing his one-man show, made a cameo.

Woody Hayes tribute: Former Ohio State players and coaches were among the 1,000 people who gathered in Columbus to pay tribute to legendary football coach Woody Hayes.

The event Friday night came as the university marked the 100th anniversary of Hayes' birth this week.

Franzen on the IR: The Detroit Red Wings have put forward Johan Franzen on injured reserve. They also removed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from IR and assigned him to Grand Rapids of the AHL.

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