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Boaters made fatal mistakes in Florida accident

State agency says accident that killed two NFL players and another man was caused by improper anchoring of their boat in the Gulf of Mexico.

March 28, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

An agency investigating a deadly boating accident involving two NFL players and their friends in the Gulf of Mexico has concluded it was caused when the vessel was improperly anchored and the boat capsized after one of them tried to throttle forward to pry loose the anchor.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's investigation also cited carelessness and operator inexperience as contributing factors. The combination of errors came at the time a storm front was moving in, making conditions on the water very rough.

Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, and former University of South Florida players William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler departed from Clearwater Pass, Fla., early Feb. 28 to go offshore fishing for amberjack.

Schuyler, found clinging to the boat two days later, was the lone survivor. The other three men have not been found.


Federer wins

Two-time champion Roger Federer defeated Kevin Kim, 6-3, 6-2, in his opening match of the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla.

Federer is trying to end a drought that has left him without a title in his last 12 Masters tournaments, the ATP Tour's most prestigious events aside from the Grand Slams.

The No. 2-seeded Federer moved into the third round, where he'll meet Nicolas Kiefer. Seeded players had first-round byes.

No. 5 Andy Roddick needed only 56 minutes to beat Diego Junqueira, 6-1, 6-1. Also advancing were No. 3 Novak Djokovic, the 2007 champion, and No. 13 James Blake.


Kim leads LPGA

In-Kyung Kim shot her second consecutive four-under-par 68 to take a two-stroke lead halfway through the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International in Phoenix. Two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa had a triple bogey and was eight shots off the pace at even-par 144. Michelle Wie shot a 76, but she still made the cut at five-over 149.

David Eger shot a bogey-free five-under 67 for a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic.


IRS: Helio owes big

Brazilian race car driver and "Dancing With the Stars" winner Helio Castroneves owes more than $2.3 million in U.S. taxes because of unreported income and improper deductions over a five-year period, an Internal Revenue Service agent testified Friday at his tax evasion trial in Miami.

Defense lawyers are expected to begin their case early next week but have not said whether Castroneves will testify.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson was sentenced to two years' probation after pleading guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace for separate incidents involving women at nightclubs last year. A Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court judge will remove the guilty plea from the public record if Johnson finishes the probation without further incidents.

Police are investigating an altercation between Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and a former executive of his mortgage company during a private function at a hotel in suburban Detroit. Birmingham, Mich., police are looking into the March 21 incident at the Townsend Hotel, Police Chief Richard Patterson told the Associated Press.


Rain helps Gordon

Jeff Gordon will start from the pole position in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia after steady rain washed out qualifying Friday. Being the points leader also earned Gordon the prime stall on the cramped pit road of NASCAR's tricky, 0.526-mile oval. He will be seeking his eighth victory at Martinsville, tops among active drivers.

Justin Duchscherer will have arthroscopic elbow surgery next week, probably causing the Oakland Athletics All-Star to miss at least the first month of the season.

Olympic officials called a halt to their feud with the U.S. Olympic Committee, agreeing to take several million dollars in the short term in exchange for delaying talks on reducing America's take from the sponsorship and TV deal pots until 2013.

UCLA water polo coach Adam Krikorian has been named head coach of USA women's national team. Krikorian, 34, will remain on the coaching staff of the UCLA men's water polo team. He will assume national team duties after the women's season.


McConkey, 39

Extreme skier Shane McConkey was killed jumping off a cliff with a parachute while filming a movie. He was 39. McConkey was in Corvara, Italy, on a ski-BASE jump when he had a midair malfunction, sponsor Red Bull said in a statement. McConkey lived and trained at Squaw Valley's Olympic Village south of Truckee, Calif.

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