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Bob Yates, Vt. Native, Ex-Patriot, Dies at 74

Foxborough, Mass. — Bob Yates Jr., a former Syracuse offensive lineman who played for the Patriots in their first six seasons, had died. He was 74.

The Patriots said Thursday that Yates died Tuesday at his home in Spring Branch, Texas.

Yates, from Montpelier, helped lead Syracuse to the 1959 national championship and played 68 games at tackle, guard and center for the Patriots from 1960-1965.

He later was a teacher and coach for 34 years at high schools and colleges in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Pats’ Schedule Announced

Foxborough, Mass. — The New England Patriots will start their season at Buffalo on Sept. 8 then play their home opener four days later in a Thursday night game against the New York Jets.

Five of the Patriots 16 games will be against teams that had winning records last season. One of them, the Denver Broncos, visits the Patriots on Nov. 24 with former New England wide receiver Wes Welker, who left as a free agent.

The other four are on the road at Atlanta (13-3) on Sept. 29, Cincinnati (10-6) on Oct. 6, Houston (12-4) on Dec. 1 and Super Bowl champion Baltimore (10-6) on Dec. 22. The Ravens beat the Patriots 28-13 in Foxborough in the AFC title game last season.

Five of the games will be played at night.

Track & Field

2004 Olympic Champ
Gets 2-Year Ban

Colorado Springs, Colo. — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said 2004 Olympic 200-meter champion Shawn Crawford has been suspended for two years for not giving full information about his whereabouts for out-of-competition drug testing.

The 32-year-old Crawford of Culver City, Calif., had three “whereabouts failures” in 18 months, USADA said yesterday.

That can include failing to provide regular information about how to be found for tests “and/or failure to be available for testing due to inaccurate or incomplete information,” USADA said.

At the 2004 Athens Games, Crawford led the first medal sweep for American men in the 200 in 20 years. He won silver in the 200 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Crawford’s ban began Wednesday.

He also loses all results, prizes and points dating to Nov. 17, the date of his third “whereabouts failure.”

College Basketball

Rutgers Finds Coach

Newark, n.j. — Rutgers is turning to one of its greatest players to lead the basketball program past an embarrassing coaching scandal and into its future with the Big Ten Conference.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan has reached a tentative agreement to take over as coach of the scandal-marred program.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school has not officially announced the deal with its all-time leader in assists and steals.

The person said the two sides hammered out the five-year contract after Jordan returned to New Jersey Wednesday. The deal needs to be reviewed by the university’s board of governors, and an official press conference might not happen until next Tuesday.

The agreement comes just more than two weeks after Rutgers fired Mike Rice after a video was aired that showed him grabbing and kicking players at practice, and using anti-gay slurs. The video was compiled from recordings taken during Rice’s three years as coach.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti, a university lawyer and assistant coach Jimmy Martelli also resigned amid the scandal.