COLLEGE FOOTBALL-COACHING NEWS
Vols hire Jones to revitalize their football program
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Butch Jones vows to get Tennessee back to the top of the college football hierarchy. He's been hired away from Cincinnati to revitalize a Volunteers' program that suffered three straight losing seasons under Derek Dooley. Jones is the Vols' fourth coach in six years.
He interviewed with Purdue and Colorado before filling the vacancy at Tennessee.
The 44-year-old Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach, three each at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.
He's taking over a team that went 15-21 during Dooley's stay in Knoxville.
Braves re-sign Johnson...Haren joining Nationals
UNDATED (AP) — The top pinch hitter in the National League last season is staying with the Braves. Reed Johnson has inked a $1.75 million, one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
Atlanta acquired Johnson from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. He hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season while going 18 for 43 as a pinch hitter.
Johnson is a career .284 hitter with 62 home runs since making his major league debut in 2003.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Veteran pitcher Dan Haren has agreed to a one-year contract with the NL East champion Nationals. The 32-year-old right-hander was a free agent after going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. Haren is 119-97 with a 3.66 ERA with four clubs in the majors and was an All-Star in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
— Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2.85 million, one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. That's just a little more than what the speedy outfielder made this year when he was limited to 31 at-bats because of a right elbow injury that sidelined him from mid-April until late September.
— From St. Louis we get word that the Cardinals and Randy Choate have finalized a $7.5 million, three-year contract. The 37-year-old left-hander tied for the major league lead with 80 pitching appearances this year while playing for the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. Choate is 11-11 with a 4.02 ERA and six saves in 476 games during a big league career that began in 2000.
— The Chicago Cubs have finalized a $9.5 million, two-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa. The 32-year-old right-hander had 220 saves in 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League. He played for Japan at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics and the 2008 Olympics. General manager Jed Hoyer says Carlos Marmol remains the Cubs' closer but did not rule out the possibility of Fujikawa eventually earning the role.
--The Boston Red Sox have obtained right-hander Graham Godfrey from the Oakland Athletics, completing a trade for right-hander Sandy Rosario. Godfrey was 9-2 with a 3.29 ERA and one save last season with Triple-A Sacramento. He started the year with Oakland and appeared in five games, going 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA. Godfrey, 28, has made eight starts in his 10 major league appearances, all during the past two seasons, and is 1-6 with a 5.09 ERA. The Red Sox assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.
—Right-hander Brandon McCarthy has reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a $15.5 million, two-year contract. That's according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. The person says McCarthy's deal is pending a physical. McCarthy, who was hit in the right side of the head by a line drive on Sept. 5, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture, then underwent a two-hour surgery. McCarthy went 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA this year in his sixth big league season and second with the A's. He was 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 2011.
MLB salaries up
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball's average salary increased 3.8 percent this year to a record $3.2 million.
According to final figures released by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise is the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers rose from 13th to second at $5.55 million and Texas from 15th to fifth at $4.89 million.
At nearly $685,000 Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins.
Star power in OKC
UNDATED (AP) — The two top scorers in the NBA will be on the same court tonight in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant and the Thunder will be aiming for a seventh straight win when they host Kobe Bryant and the Lakers for their first meeting of the year. Oklahoma City is 15-4 and has a five and a-half game lead over second-place Utah in the Northwest Division race. The struggling Lakers are 9-10 and trail the city-rival Clippers by three and a-half games in the Pacific Division standings.
The Lakers expect Pau Gasol (pow gah-SOHL') to miss a third straight game due to tendinitis in his knees.
Also tonight in the NBA, Boston is at Philadelphia, Indiana hosts Denver, Washington will be seeking its first two-game winning streak when it plays in Atlanta, Golden State plays at Brooklyn, Chicago is at Detroit, Minnesota entertains Cleveland, Memphis plays at New Orleans, San Antonio is home to Houston, Charlotte is at Milwaukee, Utah hosts Toronto and Orlando is at Sacramento.
SKIING-WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
DNF for Vonn
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Tina Maze (MAH'-zeh) of Slovenia won her third race of the season by finishing first in both runs of a World Cup super-combined event in Switzerland. Lindsey Vonn failed to finish in St. Moritz.
The American star was fourth in the Super-G but lost control of a ski during an early turn in her slalom run and failed to finish.
Bears' Urlacher fined for second straight week
NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $21,000 by the NFL for a horse-collar tackle on Seattle's Leon Washington, his second fine in two weeks.
Urlacher, penalized for the tackle in the Bears' 23-17 loss last Sunday, also was fined last week for a horse-collar tackle of Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.
Green Bay's Tramon Williams was fined $21,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Minnesota's Toby Gerhart last Sunday.
Detroit defensive tackle Nick Fairley was fined $15,750 for his horse-collar tackle of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck late in the Lions' 35-33 loss.
Washington center Will Montgomery was fined $10,000 for kicking New York Giants defensive lineman Linval Joseph, who was docked $7,875 for unnecessary roughness. He raised his right foot to kick at Montgomery, but stopped himself before doing so.
New baby for Brady and wife
BOSTON (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, have announced the birth of their second child. They've named the girl Vivian Lake.
Bundchen announced the birth on her Facebook page, saying their daughter was born at home on Wednesday and is "healthy and full of life."
The couple also has a son, Benjamin, who turns 3 on Saturday. Brady also has a 5-year-old son, John, with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Memorial at SLU honors Rick Majerus
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hundreds of well-wishers turn out in St. Louis to honor Saint Louis University men's basketball coach Rick Majerus.
The university hosted a memorial service Friday for Majerus, who died Dec. 1 of heart failure. He was 64.
Majerus coached for 25 years. He was 517-216 at Marquette, Ball State, Utah and SLU, where he spent the last five seasons.
Players sat at the front of the service. Those who spoke recalled a coach who was passionate and exacting, sometimes funny, always caring.
A mixture of students, faculty and well-wishers from the St. Louis community mixed in the crowd inside a practice gym. Dozens of plays drawn up by Majerus, scribbled in marker on white paper, encircled the small arena.
A funeral Mass is Saturday in his hometown of Milwaukee.