Sports briefs for 12/15/2013

Published:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher's body has been exhumed more than a year after he killed his girlfriend and himself so that his brain can be examined for signs of a degenerative condition linked to repeated concussions.

Jovan's family had his body exhumed Friday at North Babylon Cemetery in the Long Island, N.Y., community of Bay Shore, the family's attorney, Dirk Vandever, told The Kansas City Star. Vandever didn't immediately respond to an email and phone messages left Saturday by The Associated Press.

An examination of Belcher's brain could determine whether he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy last December when he killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, with whom he had an infant daughter, in their home. Belcher then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself in the head in the parking lot.

Bennet Omalu, an expert on the destructive brain condition, said that he "would bet one month's salary that (Belcher) had CTE" and that the local medical examiner should have performed a test for it.

CTE is a progressive disease linked to multiple concussions. It has made headlines in recent years with the deaths of some former professional athletes, and lawsuits filed against the NFL by others worried about the still unclear toll of a sport that can bring repeated blows to the head. Symptoms include memory problems, behavior changes including aggression, and eventually dementia.

Dan Ferguson, a spokesman for Jackson County, stressed the medical examiner's job is to determine cause of death and that removal of an organ or tissue strictly for research isn't allowed.

• Football

Pay up: Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last Sunday.

Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall was docked $15,000 for wearing non-approved orange cleats during the Bears' win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Marshall was fined $10,500 by the league in October for wearing green shoes against the New York Giants.

Cowboys DB Orlando Scandrick was fined $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Marshall. Dallas' George Selvie was docked $15,750 for roughing the passer.

Lions injuries: The Detroit Lions have listed cornerback Chris Houston as doubtful to play the Baltimore Ravens because of a toe injury.

Detroit running back Reggie Bush and defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah are listed as questionable on the injury report for Monday night's game. The Lions also expect to be without cornerback Darius Slay a little more than a week after he had knee surgery.

Golson readmitted: Quarterback Everett Golson has been readmitted to Notre Dame after being suspended for the fall semester for what he termed "poor judgment on a test" after helping the Fighting Irish get to the national championship game a season ago. Golson was officially readmitted Friday afternoon.

• Golf

Mandela Championship: Dawie van der Walt shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to win the Nelson Mandela Championship by two shots, giving the tournament a South African victory in a week when the country bids farewell to its former president.

Van der Walt finished with a three-round total of 15-under 195 in the rain-shortened event. It was his second European Tour victory.

Kuchar, English lead: Matt Kuchar and Harris English took a four-stroke lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout, playing the back nine in 9-under 27 in the better-ball round for a 12-under 60.

Retief Goosen and Fredrik Jacobson were second after a 61.

End of tournament: The golf tournament developed to honor the late Jim Valvano's efforts to fight cancer is coming to an end after 20 years.

Organizers with The V Foundation announced in a statement that they are giving up the tournament to focus local efforts elsewhere, including a new partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon. The foundation says it is looking for runners to join its charitable team in the marathon, scheduled for April 13.

On probation: A Reno man has been placed on probation and fined $1,000 for shooting a golfer whose errant ball broke a bedroom window at his home.

Jeff Fleming was put on probation Thursday for up to five years at a sentencing hearing in Washoe County District Court.

Father/Son Challenge: Stewart Cink and son Connor birdied three of the last five holes for an 11-under 61 and a one-stroke lead in the Father/Son Challenge.

Stewart Cink made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final at Grande Lakes in the scramble event. Steve and Sam Elkington were second.

Garcia on top: Spain's Sergio Garcia opened a four-stroke lead in the Asian Tour's Thailand Golf Championship, birdieing the final two holes for his second straight 7-under 65.

• Hockey

Authority OKs deal: A management deal for a planned sports arena and entertainment complex just outside downtown Detroit also says the state will pay for the demolition of aging Joe Louis Arena.

The Detroit Downtown Development Authority approved the deal Friday with Olympia Development.

Blackhawks added goalie: The Edmonton Oilers traded goalie Jason LaBarbera to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday for future considerations.

LaBarbera will be assigned to the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

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