Sports briefs 7-1-14: NCAA to reopen probe into UNC academic misconduct

AARON BEARD AP Sports Writer Published:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --The NCAA is taking another look into academic misconduct at North Carolina after an investigation uncovered new information.

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Monday the school has received "a verbal notice of inquiry" that the NCAA will reopen its 2011 investigation in a case that began as an offshoot of a 2010 probe into the football program.

"The NCAA has determined that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might now be willing to speak with the enforcement staff," Cunningham said in a statement.

Investigations have uncovered fraud in a department with classes featuring significant athlete enrollments, including lecture classes that did not meet and were treated as independent studies requiring only a research paper at semester's end. Former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein is conducting an independent probe into the problems in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department, and has met with two key figures -- former chairman Julius Nyang'oro and retired administrator Deborah Crowder -- who had not cooperated with earlier school investigations.

• Soccer

Ref injured: A Detroit-area soccer player faces a felony assault charge for allegedly punching a referee during an adult-league match, critically injuring the ref.

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was arraigned Monday in Livonia District Court on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Bond was set at $500,000, and a probable-cause hearing was set for July 10.

Suarez sorry: After a few days of reflection, Luis Suarez acknowledged what millions saw on TV -- he did bite an opponent during a game at the World Cup. In addition, he said he's sorry about it, and promised it will never happen again.

Ending a unified protest in Uruguay by everyone from Suarez to teammates, fans and even the country's president that the star striker had done nothing wrong, the Liverpool player offered an apology to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Available to play: Jozy Altidore is available to play for the United States in today's World Cup second-round game against Belgium, but it does not appear the forward is ready to return to the starting lineup.

Altidore strained his left hamstring in the Americans' opener against Ghana on June 16 and didn't play in their next two games.

• Basketball

Kidd to Bucks: Jason Kidd had a seat in the coaching box and a jersey in the rafters. He wanted more. And now his celebrated return to the Nets has turned into yet another ugly exit.

Kidd is set to become Milwaukee's coach after Brooklyn agreed to a deal Monday with the Bucks, who paved the way for Kidd's arrival by firing coach Larry Drew.

The Nets will receive second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019.

Clippers sale: The $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers will hinge on the technicalities of family trust law and whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife had the right to unilaterally negotiate a deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The July 7 trial will look at the trust's terms alone and not focus on whether the 80-year-old Sterling is mentally incapacitated, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said.

Not returning: The Detroit Pistons announced they won't pick up the team option on Chauncey Billups' contract for the 2014-15 season.

Coach Stan Van Gundy said the announcement was a hard one. He says the 37-year-old guard "will always be a valued member of the Detroit Pistons' family."

• Elsewhere

Cashen dies: Frank Cashen, the general manager who wore a signature bow tie and fashioned a New York Mets team that rollicked its way to the 1986 World Series championship, has died. The team said he was 88.

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