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In Ohio State scandal, Terrelle Pryor's cars attract interest

The salesman who sold the cars to the quarterback said he didn't give any special deals to Ohio State players.

May 31, 2011|Staff and wire reports

A day after coach Jim Tressel's forced resignation for lying about Ohio State players receiving improper benefits, the focus has shifted to the investigation of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his succession of used cars.

The salesman who put Pryor behind the wheel of several vehicles said in an affidavit released by Ohio State on Tuesday that he didn't offer any special deals to Buckeyes.

"The deals that I did for Ohio State student-athletes were no different than any of the other 10,000-plus deals that I've done for all my other customers," Aaron Kniffin said in the statement. He said all transactions with an Ohio State athlete were cleared through Ohio State's NCAA compliance department.

Tressel's 10-year reign as coach of the Buckeyes ended in disgrace Monday as he was forced to step down for breaking NCAA rules. He knew players received cash and tattoos for autographs, championship rings and equipment and did not tell anyone at Ohio State or the NCAA what he knew for more than nine months. NCAA rules — and Tressel's contract — specify that he must disclose any and all information about possible violations.

Pryor, the highest profile recruit of Tressel's 25-year coaching career, is one of five Buckeyes who have already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for taking money and tattoos from local tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife, who pleaded guilty last week to federal drug trafficking and money-laundering charges.

Ohio State confirmed that the NCAA continues to look into potential violations.

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that the NCAA and Ohio State are investigating more than 50 vehicle purchases by Buckeyes players, family members and friends over the past. Sports Illustrated, citing a source close to the investigation, reported that Pryor, who will be a senior this fall, might have driven as many as eight cars in his three years in Columbus.

Pryor drove up to a players-only team meeting on Monday night in a coal-black Nissan 350Z sports car with 30-day plates.


Kings, Ducks announce signings

The Kings signed defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers to a three-year entry-level contract. Deslauriers, chosen in the third round and 84th overall in the 2009 entry draft, led all defensemen in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in playoff scoring, with five goals and 20 points in 24 games.

The Ducks signed defenseman Sami Vatanen to a three-year entry-level contract but the 19-year old Finn is expected to play in his homeland next season. Vatanen, drafted 106th overall by the Ducks in 2009, was voted defenseman of the year in the Finnish Elite League last season.

— Helene Elliott

Panthers choose Kevin Dineen as coach

The Florida Panthers, desperate to make the playoffs after a record 10-year absence, will turn to veteran NHL player and minor league coach Kevin Dineen to replace Peter DeBoer, according to several reports.

The former Hartford Whaler star will be introduced at Panthers news conference on Wednesday.

Dineen spent parts of 19 seasons in the NHL, scoring 355 goals. He has coached the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League for six seasons.


NFL Great Andy Robustelli dies

Football Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli, who played for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams during a 14-year NFL career, died Tuesday in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., He was 85.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound defensive end played for the Rams from 1951 to 1955 and the Giants from 1956 to 1964, and his arrival in New York ushered in one of the greatest eras in Giants' football.

New York won the 1956 NFL championship in Robustelli's first season. They won five more conference championships during his tenure, in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1963.


Georgia Tech first, UCLA second at championships

James White shot a five-under 67 to lead Georgia Tech to a three-stroke lead after the first round of the NCAA men's golf championships at Stillwater, Okla.

The No. 4-ranked Yellow Jackets shot five-under 283 at Karsten Creek Golf Club. Second-ranked UCLA was next, followed by No. 3 Alabama in third with an even-par 288.


Manny Pacquiao settles suit with Oscar De La Hoya

Manny Pacquiao said he has settled his lawsuit with boxing promoters Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, two of the four individuals he alleged had defamed him.

Pacquiao filed a suit in December 2009 in federal court in Las Vegas alleging that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father defamed him with their comments saying the Filipino star had used performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids. Pacquiao also named the Mayweathers and his promoters De La Hoya and Schaefer as defendants.

Conditions of Tuesday's settlement were not released. Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said that Pacquiao's defamation case continues against the Mayweathers. But the settlement could restore relations between Arum's Top Rank and De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, which haven't made a major fight together since May 2009.

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