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NHL general managers don't favor an outright ban on blows to the head

Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is looking into stricter enforcement on boarding and charging infractions.

March 15, 2011|Staff and wire reports

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday that the league's general managers haven't shown enough support for an outright ban on hits to the head but the league will continue to focus on "dangerous hits; hits when a player is vulnerable, or engaged with another player and a third player comes in, or where there is excessive force."

Bettman made his remarks after the second day of the general managers' meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. This year's session has been dominated by issues related to concussions and head injuries, spurred by the emotional reaction of hockey fans, players and executives to last week's hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara on Montreal's Max Pacioretty. The Canadiens forward suffered a concussion and fractured vertebra but Chara was not fined or suspended.

Bettman said the executives' consensus was they should focus on boarding and charging infractions "particularly in terms of seeking stricter enforcement, more aggressive enforcement."

Video: Zdeno Chara unleashes devastating hit on Max Pacioretty

He also said general managers favor longer suspensions for head hits inflicted by repeat offenders and would support punishing players and clubs for the actions of those repeat offenders.

— Helene Elliott

Alaska Native John Baker wins Iditarod in record time

John Baker crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska, first in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to reclaim the title of Iditarod champion for an Alaska Native musher.

Baker, 48, of Kotzebue steered his dog team down the main drag of Nome to win the 1,150-mile race, which begins in Anchorage, and get his name in the record books.

He is the first Alaska Native musher to win the world's longest sled dog race since Jerry Riley did it in 1976.

Baker also shattered by exactly three hours the race record held by four-time champion Martin Buser, who completed the 2002 race in eight days 22 hours and 46 minutes. Baker completed the race in 8 days 19 hours and 46 minutes.

He was greeted by a group of musicians playing Eskimo drums. Many in the crowd wore traditional Eskimo parkas.

Lance Mackey, who had won the race four consecutive times, was stuck well back in the pack. Several of his dogs that had brought him first to Nome before did not perform well early on in the race and were dropped from his team. That left Mackey with a small team relatively early in the race.

Agency fines Notre Dame for safety violations related to student's death

The 20-year-old Notre Dame student who was killed when the hydraulic lift he was on fell over as he filmed the football team on a windy day had expressed displeasure about practice being held outside, according to a state report.

Declan Sullivan wasn't happy when he found out the team would be practicing outside last Oct. 27, assistant video coordinator Reuel Joaquin told an Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigator.

Less than an hour before the accident, Sullivan had tweeted his concerns about what he described as "terrifying" weather. "Gusts of wind up to 60 mph today will be fun at work … I guess I've lived long enough," he wrote.

The details were released as the state agency fined Notre Dame $77,500 for six safety violations tied to Sullivan's death. The junior from Long Grove, Ill., was killed when the hydraulic lift toppled in gusts of up to 53 mph while he was filming football practice.

NBA referee sues sportswriter over Twitter comment

An NBA referee has sued the Associated Press and a sportswriter over comments made on the social networking site Twitter.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Minneapolis, NBA referee William Spooner claims AP sports writer Jon Krawczynski defamed him in a Twitter post while Krawczynski was covering the Jan. 24 Rockets-Timberwolves game.

The lawsuit says Krawczynski's Twitter message falsely implied that Spooner purposely made a bad officiating call in favor of the Timberwolves to make up for an earlier incorrect call that went against them.

Spooner is seeking damages of more than $75,000 for defamation, and a court order to remove the statement from Krawczynski's Internet postings.

AP attorney Dave Tomlin said the AP believes the facts it reported from the game in all media were accurate.

NC State's Lowe resigns as basketball coach

North Carolina State said Sidney Lowe resigned after five seasons as men's basketball coach.

Lowe had an 86-78 overall record, but just 25-55 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. He inherited a program coming off five straight NCAA tournament trips, but he never finished higher than ninth in the ACC despite twice being picked to finish in the top third of the 12-team league.

His resignation came less than a week after North Carolina State closed with a loss to Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament.

Nebraska basketball Coach Sadler gets extension

Nebraska basketball Coach Doc Sadler heads to the Big Ten with a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season.

The 50-year-old Sadler is 89-70 in five seasons with the Cornhuskers, including 30-50 in Big 12 games. His teams have never made the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers are 19-12 entering Wednesday's first-round NIT game at Wichita State.

Germany soccer coach Loew to stay through 2014

Joachim Loew will remain Germany soccer coach until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the German football federation said Tuesday.

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