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Dominguez basketball coach Russell Otis faces more charges

Four more felony counts involving a $15,000 check from Nike are added to existing felony complaints related to Otis' allegedly making unwanted sexual advances to a male former student.

March 19, 2009|Lance Pugmire | Staff and Wire Reports

Russell Otis was charged with four more felony counts Wednesday as the Los Angeles district attorney's office broadened the scope of its case against the Compton Dominguez High boys' basketball coach, who is on leave.

The new counts allege that Otis misappropriated a $15,000 check from Nike to the Compton Unified School District, depositing the money into his personal bank account in November 2007.

Two charges of commercial burglary and one each of grand theft and forgery have been added to existing felony complaints against Otis related to his allegedly making unwanted sexual advances to a male former student. Otis pleaded not guilty to those charges last week.

Otis' attorney, Leonard Levine, acknowledged that Otis, 46, deposited the Nike funds into a personal account but said the coach used "every dollar he received . . . for the basketball team."

Otis is due in court Tuesday for arraignment, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

-- Lance Pugmire

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Norm Nixon has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Marina del Rey.

Nixon's vehicle was spotted late Monday without a front license plate, and officers smelled alcohol during the stop, authorities said.

Nixon, 53, an analyst for Fox Sports West, was released on $5,000 bail.

BASEBALL

Boone to have surgery

Aaron Boone of the Houston Astros will have open-heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. Boone said he has known about his heart condition since college, but tests after his routine physical determined he needed surgery.

The Chicago Cubs probably will remain under the ownership of Tribune Co. through the early part of the season. Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney said that it "will be a challenge" to complete the sale of the team by opening day April 6 and that talks between the Ricketts family and Tribune, which also owns The Times, are ongoing.

Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, one of the Pittsburgh Pirates' top two starters at the start of last season, was optioned to triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates were unhappy with Gorzelanny's lack of progress coming off a season in which he was 6-9 with a 6.66 earned-run average.

FOOTBALL

Warner's hip repaired

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left hip.

The team said that the operation to repair a torn labrum and "clean up some loose fragments" was performed Tuesday by Dr. Marc Philippon at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.

The NFL will look into changing instant-replay rules in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the blown call by referee Ed Hochuli that helped cost San Diego a game last season.

The competition committee will propose that when the ball comes loose when a quarterback is throwing, replay can be used to determine whether it is a fumble or an incomplete pass.

In the final minute of a game at Denver in Week 2, Hochuli ruled a ball that slipped from Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler's grasp was an incomplete pass instead of a fumble. The ball was recovered by the Chargers, and Hochuli later acknowledged his decision was wrong.

Cleveland Browns receiver Donte Stallworth says he is "grief-stricken" over his car accident that killed a pedestrian on a busy causeway linking Miami and Miami Beach.

Stallworth said in a statement released by the team that his "thoughts and prayers are with" the family of Mario Reyes. Police said Stallworth hit the 59-year-old Reyes with his Bentley on Saturday morning. Reyes was near a crosswalk, but it's unclear whether he was crossing legally.

SLED DOG RACING

Mackey wins Iditarod

Lance Mackey of Fairbanks, Alaska, won the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, becoming the third musher in the race's 37-year history to win in three consecutive years, joining Susan Butcher (1986-88) and Doug Swingley (1999-01).

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