Shutdown Puts Service Acad. Sports on Hold
Washington — Army, Navy and Air Force might be forced to skip their football games next weekend because of the partial government shutdown.
The Defense Department temporarily suspended sports competition at the service academies Tuesday as a result of the budget impasse in Congress.
A Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said the decision was being reviewed by lawyers considering a series of legal questions, including whether money that comes from sources other than Congress could be used to pay for sports during the government shutdown.
Meantime, the suspension put a pair of college football games in jeopardy: Army at Boston College, and Air Force at Navy.
During a six-day government shutdown in November 1995, Army, Navy and Air Force played football games — all at home.
The U.S. Naval Academy said in a statement that a decision will be made by noon Thursday about whether the Midshipmen will play the Air Force. Navy’s football team did practice Tuesday.
Air Force associate athletic director Troy Garnhart said travel for his sports teams was being halted — including for Saturday’s football game at Annapolis, Md. A scheduled news conference with Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun and players was canceled Tuesday “due to the government shutdown,” according to a statement.
The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are holding their training camp at the Air Force Academy but the club was not affected by the shutdown, practicing Tuesday as planned.
If Bucs Leaked Info
Tampa, Fla. — The NFL Players Association wants to determine if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaked information about quarterback Josh Freeman being in the NFL’s substance abuse program.
“We are sufficiently concerned about what we’ve heard to begin an investigation,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said Tuesday.
Freeman said in a statement released by his agent late Monday that he voluntarily entered the substance-abuse program and submitted to random testing more than a year ago after mistakenly taking Ridalin instead of Adderall to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Bucs benched the fifth-year pro last week after Freeman played poorly in the team’s first three games, all losses.
LT to Ravens
Jacksonville, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to trade starting left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens for undisclosed draft picks.
ESPN first reported the deal Tuesday night.
Monroe, the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft, has started 62 games over five seasons. But he hasn’t played all that well this season, opening the door for Jacksonville to move second overall pick Luke Joeckel to the left side.
Agrees To Extension
Kansas City, Mo. — The vast rebuilding job that Ned Yost inherited as the manager of the Kansas City Royals was strikingly similar to the one he took on when he was hired by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The difference this time is that Yost will have a chance to stick around.
The Royals and Yost agreed to a two-year contract extension Tuesday after wrapping up an 86-76 season, the best finish for the franchise in 24 years. Yost’s contract was set to expire after the season, though both sides had expressed a desire for the manager to remain on board.
The next big step is to make the playoffs, something that Yost had the Brewers on the verge of when he was fired in 2008. He eventually landed in Kansas City and became the interim manager in 2010, and then lost more than 90 games each of his first two full seasons in charge.
Buenos Aires, Argentina — Former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian, of Argentina, has announced his retirement from professional tennis due to injuries.
The 31-year-old achieved a career-highest ranking of No. 3 and was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2002, losing to Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. He reached the semifinals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Speaking at a news conference in Buenos Aires, he cited persistent shoulder problems as the main reason for his decision.
Texas AD Ready to Retire
Austin, Texas — DeLoss Dodds, the Texas athletic director who built the program into a Goliath of college sports in terms of wealth, power and prestige, said Tuesday he is ready to retire and leave the Longhorns — and some potentially tough coaching decisions — in someone else’s hands after three decades at the helm.
The 76-year-old Dodds has led the Texas program since 1981, when he took a job that oversaw an athletic department budget of about $4 million. He will leave it Aug. 31, 2014, with an annual budget of nearly $170 million, upgraded and expanded facilities, and its own television network.