Sports Briefs 2-27-13

The Associated Press Published:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The attorney for three NASCAR fans injured last weekend during a race the day before the Daytona 500 says they are exploring a possible lawsuit, but some experts say they could face tough obstacles in winning damages.

Matt Morgan, the Orlando-based lawyer for the fans, said at a news conference than any suit would focus on the safety fence used along the track at Daytona International Speedway. He said he hopes to reach a settlement with NASCAR to avoid a lawsuit.

More than 30 people were injured last Saturday after a horrific wreck in a second-tier NASCAR series race sent chunks of debris, including a heavy tire, into the stands. Morgan declined to provide the identities of his clients, but said two of them were seated directly in front of the crash and sustained injuries ranging from a fractured fibula to abdominal swelling. All have been released from the hospital.

• Basketball

900 wins: C. Vivian Stringer fought back tears as her Rutgers women's basketball players celebrated their coach's entrance to the exclusive 900 win club. The fifth time was the charm for Stringer, who became the fourth women's college basketball coach to reach 900 wins as Rutgers cruised past South Florida 68-56 Tuesday night.

Stringer, a Hall of Famer in her 42nd season as head coach, reached the milestone thanks to Erica Wheeler, who scored 24 points to help the Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East) snap a four-game losing streak.

Cavs snap skid: Dion Waiters scored 25 points to help make up for the absence of Kyrie Irving, and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Chicago Bulls with a 101-98 victory.

Shaun Livingston, starting in place of Irving, finished with 15 points as improving Cleveland held on for its third win in the last four games, bouncing back from a difficult 109-105 loss at Miami on Sunday.

• Hockey

Jackets fall in OT: Loui Eriksson fought off two defenders to get his stick on a rebound and jammed it in 3:03 into overtime to give Dallas a 5-4 victory over Columbus. Cody Eakin had given the Stars a 4-3 lead with 6:24 left in regulation, but R.J. Umberger scored from the right hash with just 1:34 remaining to force overtime.

Cam Atkinson, Nikita Nikitin and Derek Dorsett scored the other goals for Columbus, which lost its third in a row and sixth in seven games.

Jail time: A Vancouver pee-wee hockey coach has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for tripping a player during a postgame handshake. Martin Tremblay swept out the leg of an opposing player while the teams were going through the typical hockey ritual of lining up to shake hands after the game. Two players, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, fell to the ice. The move was caught on video and worked its way around the Internet.

• Elsewhere

Michigan loses coach: Jerry Montgomery has been hired to coach Oklahoma's defensive linemen after being in charge of the same position at Michigan for the past two seasons. Coach Bob Stoops announced Montgomery's hiring Tuesday night, saying he is impressed by Montgomery's ability to recruit top players and develop their skills. The Wolverines were among the top 15 teams in the nation in total defense the past two seasons.

New challenge: It didn't take long for Bobby Valentine to move past his year to forget in Boston. Of course, there was a new challenge to help him along the way. Some five months after being fired as manager of the Red Sox, Valentine was introduced Tuesday as the new athletic director of Sacred Heart University.

Valentine, a Connecticut native who lasted just one season with Boston, will take over a program that competes in the Northeast Conference and has 31 teams, including baseball.

Pistorius update: Even if Oscar Pistorius is acquitted of murder, firearms and legal experts in South Africa believe that, by his own account, the star athlete violated basic gun-handling regulations and exposed himself to a homicide charge by shooting into a closed door.

Meanwhile, Pistorius planned a personal memorial service on for Reeva Steenkamp, the 29-year-old model he shot at his home on Valentine's Day. The evening service would be at the Pretoria home of his uncle Arnold, where the Olympic athlete has been staying since he was released on bail awaiting trial on a premeditated murder charge.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.