N. Carolina officials won’t seek to have Hairston reinstated
After an investigation that spanned months, the case against P.J. Hairston was so strong North Carolina officials decided against seeking his reinstatement from the NCAA.
As a result, Hairston, a junior guard who last season led the team with a 14.6 scoring average, has played his final game with the Tar Heels.
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Hairston had sat out North Carolina’s first 10 games amid a joint school and NCAA investigation into his alleged receipt of impermissible benefits. Coach Roy Williams and athletic director Bubba Cunningham had expressed hope Hairston would play this season for the Tar Heels, who are ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll.
Williams on Friday described the Hairston saga as “probably the most difficult and saddest thing I’ve ever gone through as a head coach.”
Cunningham declined to detail the exact monetary value of the benefits Hairston was said to receive, but those benefits – particularly the use of luxury rental cars linked to Haydn Patrick “Fats” Thomas – are believed to be worth at least several thousand dollars.
Oregon’s Petersen excels
Oregon sophomore guard Lexi Petersen, who is from Tukwila and graduated from Seattle Christian High School, scored a career-high 25 points to help Oregon beat Cal Poly 124-87.
The Ducks have won six games in a row and surpassed 100 points in their last five.
Petersen’s previous career high was 17 points.
In other Pac-12 women’s games, UCLA scored the last 11 points in a 58-55 victory over Minnesota and Oregon State shot 51 percent in a 68-60 decision over UNLV.
Meanwhile, in a top-10 men’s game, No. 2 Syracuse defeated High Point 75-54.
Baltimore decides against deal after Balfour has physical exam
The Baltimore Orioles won’t be closing a reported two-year, $15 million deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour.
Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, Orioles officials said they weren’t satisfied with the results of Balfour’s exam.
Balfour, 35, had shoulder and elbow surgeries that kept him out of the majors in 2005 and 2006.
Balfour had 38 saves and a 2.59 earned-run average last season for the Oakland Athletics.
Baltimore traded closer Jim Johnson, who had 101 saves over the last two seasons, to Oakland on Dec. 2.
Orioles’ Patton is suspended
Baltimore relief pitcher Troy Patton was suspended by Major League Baseball for the first 25 games of next season after a positive test for a banned amphetamine.
Patton told The Baltimore Sun he took an Adderall pill four days before the season ended, trying to improve his short-term focus.
“I took one because I was stupid,” the 28-yearold Patton told The Sun.
Left-hander Patton said he also tested positive for Adderall during spring training in 2010.
Patton was 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA this year.
Ziegler to remain with Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler by agreeing to a two-year, $10.5 million contract with the right-handed reliever. Ziegler, 34, is 14-2 with a 2.36 ERA over the past two seasons.
U.S., Canada players fight
The United States beat bitter rival Canada 4-1 in a pre-Olympic exhibition game in Grand Forks, N.D., and there was a brawl with nine seconds left that resulted in officials handing out 10 major penalties for fighting.
“I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey, but I am a proponent of standing up for yourself,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said.
Svindal wins Super-G in Italy
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway increased his overall World Cup lead by winning the Val Gardena, Italy, super-giant slalom for the third time.
• Mireia Belmonte of Spain won the 400-meter freestyle and the 400 individual medley to help a team of European All-Stars take a 68-54 lead over the United States on the first night of the Duel in the Pool swim meet that ends Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland.
Seattle Times news services