Niners’ Smith pleads no contest to charges
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith pleaded no contest Wednesday to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence.
Smith, 24, entered his pleas in a Santa Clara County Superior Courtroom in San Jose. He faces a sentence ranging from spending no time in custody to a maximum of four years and four months behind bars at a judge’s discretion, prosecutors said.
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Smith is scheduled to be sentenced July 25 — two days after the 49ers are to open training camp in Santa Clara.
Last month Smith was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said Smith wouldn’t be charged with a felony, but city attorneys who handle misdemeanors are still investigating.
Scott, Elliott elected to Hall
Wendell Scott earned a second NASCAR first: He became the first African-American driver to be elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The late driver from Virginia was among the latest group of five drivers voted into the hall. Scott joins popular NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, two-time series champ Joe Weatherly, 1960 champion Rex White and 26-time race winner Fred Lorenzen.
Scott drove in NASCAR’s top series from 1961 to 1973, the first African American to compete full time. He won his only race at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1963. Scott started 495 Sprint Cup events and had 147 top-10 finishes.
McIlroy breaks engagement
Two-time major winner Rory McIlroy said he broke off his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki just a few days after sending out wedding invitations.
McIlroy, 25, and Wozniacki, 23, have been dating since 2011 and were engaged on New Year’s Eve.
“The problem is mine,” McIlroy said. “The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”
D.C. United beats Dynamo
Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espindola scored in host D.C. United’s 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. They also assisted each other’s goals in the victory, United’s first against Houston in eight regular-season or playoff games in more than two years.
United (5-3-3) moved ahead of the Dynamo (5-6-2) and into second place in the Eastern Conference.
Robbie Keane scored a spectacular goal midway through the first half, Gyasi Zardes added another strike before halftime and the host Los Angeles Galaxy beat FC Dallas 2-1 to end their winless streak at four games.
At home for the first time in 5½ weeks, the Galaxy (3-3-3) climbed out of last place in the Western Conference. FC Dallas (5-6-2) is winless in six games.
Delle Donne leads Sky
Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points as the host Chicago Sky beat the Connecticut Sun 78-68. Courtney Vandersloot from Gonzaga and Kentwood High School scored 18 points and Jessica Breland had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago, which improved to 3-0 and won its fifth in a row against the Sun (0-3).
League marketing to LGBT
Amid a surge of public opinion in favor of gay rights in the U.S., the WNBA is launching a campaign to market the league to the LGBT community, becoming the first pro sports league to specifically recruit gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender fans to its games.
The campaign includes having teams participate in local pride festivals and parades, working with advocacy groups to raise awareness of inclusion through grassroots events and advertising with lesbian media. A nationally televised pride game will take place between Tulsa and Chicago on Sunday, June 22. All 12 teams will also have some sort of pride initiative over the course of the season.
• Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany believe it’s time for the NCAA model to change and for autonomy to be given to the five major football conferences. Scott said there is “broad support” to let schools from the five major conferences decide how their own legislative process works in many areas affecting their athletes.
• Former Barcelona player Luis Enrique signed a two-year contract to become its coach. Gerardo Martino stepped down when Barcelona finished its first season without a major trophy in six years.
• Rutgers and women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer agreed to a four-year contract. Stringer is 929-341 in 43 seasons as a head coach.
• California Chrome stepped on Belmont Park’s main track for the first time and jogged clockwise under his exercise rider for 12 minutes all the way around the 1½-mile oval.
• Michael Rogers took advantage of a downhill attack to win the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia in Savona, while fellow Australian Cadel Evans retained the overall lead.
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