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College basketball

Saint Mary’s coach Bennett to serve 5-game suspension

Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett must serve a five-game suspension and won’t be allowed to recruit off campus this season as the NCAA has upheld penalties against the mid-major program for recruiting violations.

In making the announcement Monday from the NCAA infractions appeals committee, the governing body denied Bennett’s appeal that included the claim of a procedural error. School officials said Bennett’s penalty would begin Dec. 30 at midnight.

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In March, the NCAA put Saint Mary’s on four years of probation for a “failure to monitor its men’s basketball program,” reducing scholarships by two for the 2014-15 and ’15-16 seasons.

“While the College is disappointed with the decision, we respect the NCAA appeals process and will comply fully with the penalties given to our athletics program,” a statement from the school said.

Hatchell has leukemia

Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina women’s coach, has been diagnosed with leukemia. The 61-year-old Hall of Famer will temporarily step away from her coaching duties to focus on treatment.

Longtime assistant Andrew Calder will lead the program while Hatchell is away.


Landry to have hip surgery

Sacramento power forward Carl Landry will have hip surgery Tuesday and probably miss much of the season.

Landry, 30, tore a left hip flexor muscle during a recent practice and is expected to miss from three to four months. He played for Golden State last season and signed a $26 million, four-year contract with the Kings in July.

Kings win exhibition game

DeMarcus Cousins had 31 points and 11 rebounds and ex-Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas scored 16 points as the host Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers 99-88 in an exhibition.

Jamal Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, led the Clippers with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Ex-player Meriweather dies

Former NBA player Joe C. Meriweather, who played for five teams in his 10-year pro career, died Sunday in Columbus, Ga., and the cause of death has not been determined. He was 59.

Meriweather played for Houston, Atlanta, the New Orleans Jazz, New York and Kansas City. He averaged 8.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 22 minutes per game.


Minnesota celebrates title

Thousands of fans lined the streets of Nicollet Mall on a chilly day in Minneapolis for a parade celebrating the Minnesota Lynx’s second league championship in three years.

Point guard Lindsay Whalen channeled Shaquille O’Neal with an elongated “Can you dig it!!!!” call to the crowd.

Auto racing

MWR to reduce to 2 cars

Michael Waltrip Racing will run only two full-time cars next season because of the loss of sponsor NAPA, part of the fallout from its attempts to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Truex, crew chief Chad Johnston and 15 percent of the workforce were notified they are free to negotiate with other teams. Team co-owner Rob Kauffman said the cuts were across the organization and not limited to Truex’s team.

The car Truex drives will be repurposed into a research and development team next season. It will run a partial schedule depending on sponsorship, Waltrip said.

“Today was about doing what we had to do, not what we wanted to do,” Kauffman said. “It was important to let those whose jobs were affected know as early as possible, and a majority of those will remain with MWR through the end of the season.”

Meetings between Kauffman and Waltrip and their employees were interrupted when driver Brian Vickers informed the owners a blood clot had been found in his right calf. He was placed on blood-thinning medication that will prevent him from finishing the season in the No. 55 Toyota.

Vickers missed the final 25 races of the 2010 season with blood clots, and during that time required heart surgery.


• Fox has reacquired U.S. broadcast rights to the Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, starting with the 2015-16 season. The deal is for five years.

Fox Soccer Channel had broadcast Bundesliga matches through the 2005-06 season before losing the rights to GolTV.

• FIFA has given worldwide lifetime bans to 14 El Salvador national-team players who already had been suspended by their federation for fixing four international soccer matches.

• U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn is about to start training in Europe as she prepares for a possible return from right-knee surgery at the Oct. 26 World Cup opener, a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.

“If she feels like she can podium, then she’s probably going to (race),” U.S. women’s coach Alex Hoedlmoser said.

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