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Dwight Howard to have season-ending surgery

Magic's All-Star center tells ESPN that he'll get his herniated disk repaired Friday.

April 19, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • Orlando center Dwight Howard says he'll be undergoing season-ending back surgery.
Orlando center Dwight Howard says he'll be undergoing season-ending… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told ESPN.com that he will have season-ending back surgery.

The All-Star will undergo surgery on Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk. The operation will end his season and keep him from playing in the Olympics in London.

Howard told ESPN: "I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse."

Howard has been dealing with back problems since early March, but it wasn't until last week that a doctor discovered the herniated disk. There has been constant speculation about Howard's future in Orlando and his relationship with Coach Stan Van Gundy. In February, Howard relinquished the option to become a free agent after this season.

ETC.

SMU hires Larry Brown

Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown has been hired by Southern Methodist University.

The 71-year-old Brown says he's looking forward to the challenge of coaching the Mustangs, who are moving from Conference USA to the much-tougher Big East Conference after next season. It is his first college job in nearly a quarter century.

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A relaxed and smiling Pat Summitt said it has been a "great ride" and it is the right time for her to step down after coaching the Tennessee Lady Vols for nearly four decades.

"It has been a privilege," the Hall of Fame coach said during a news conference in Knoxville. Summitt will become head coach emeritus and longtime assistant Holly Warlick has been promoted to replace her.

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USC senior Tony Ciarelli, who has helped lead the Trojans men's volleyball team to a No. 1 ranking, was selected Mountain Pacific Sports Federation player of the year.

Ciarelli, a 6-foot 6 outside hitter from Huntington Beach, leads the nation in aces at 0.60 a game. He is fourth in kills (.403).

USC setter Micah Christenson was selected MPSF freshman of the year.

Top-seeded USC (22-4 overall) has won 17 consecutive matches. The Trojans play Cal State Northridge (12-17) in the MPSF quarterfinals on Saturday at the Galen Center.

Gary Klein

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The UCLA women's gymnastics team, ranked second nationally, will look to win its seventh NCAA national title this weekend in Duluth, Ga.

The Bruins compete against third-ranked Oklahoma, sixth-ranked Nebraska, seventh-ranked Utah, 10th-ranked Stanford and 11th-ranked Louisiana State in the semifinals Friday, with the top three teams advancing to the championship meet. The team final is on Saturday and event finals are on Sunday.

UCLA won national titles in 2010, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000 and 1997.

Chris Foster

The lawyer for Joe Paterno's family said that the university's payment of millions under the former coach's employment contract wasn't a settlement and that the family declined a request for a full release, meaning the family could still sue the school.

Wick Sollers issued a statement after the school disclosed it had provided the estate with more than $5.5 million in money and benefits to finalize the payments due under the contract.

Sollers said the university asked the family for a full release in return for the payments. But "that request was declined, and no release was signed."

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A person with direct knowledge of the situation said the Indianapolis Colts have notified Andrew Luck that they plan to take the Stanford quarterback with the No. 1 pick in next week's NFL draft barring some unforeseen event. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly disclosed its plan.

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Novak Djokovic played just hours after learning about the death of his grandfather and defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals.

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Seven-time defending champion Rafael Nadal followed Djokovic on court, routing Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-1, 6-1.

Matt Every shot a course-record nine-under-par 63 to take a three-stroke lead over Hunter Haas after the first round of the Texas Open at San Antonio.

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Spain's Azahara Munoz shot an eight-under 64 in blustery conditions for a share of the second-round lead with Japan's Ai Miyazato in the LPGA Lotte Championship at Kapolei, Hawaii.

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