Friday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on April 6, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 6 at 2:03 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers' coaching scandal spiraled deeper Friday, bringing down the popular athletic director and a school vice president while donors threatened to cut off their contributions to New Jersey's largest public university.

The day of mounting troubles for the school began with athletic director Tim Pernetti resigning over his failure to immediately fire coach Mike Rice, who was caught on video hitting, kicking and taunting players with anti-gay slurs at practice.

The video was shown Tuesday on ESPN, prompting outrage nationwide and on campus, where the coach's conduct was especially sensitive because of the 2010 suicide of a student who killed himself after his roommate used a webcam to record him kissing another man.

Rice was fired by Pernetti on Wednesday, but the athletic director immediately came under criticism for only suspending and fining the coach after the video was brought to his attention four months ago. Pernetti said Friday he wanted to fire Rice on the spot but did not because the consensus among school officials at the time was that it didn't warrant dismissal.

Rutgers President Robert Barchi came under harsh questioning from reporters at a news conference Friday over what he knew about the video months ago, but he got a nod of support from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the school's board of governors.

GOLF

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Rory McIlory found the groove he was looking for when decided at the last minute to sign up for the Texas Open.

McIlroy matched the low round of the day with a 5-under par 67 and moved within three shots of leader Billy Horschel, continuing his last-minute preparations for next week's Masters.

The world's No. 2 golfer, who decided to play in the tournament late last week, had seven birdies — including his final three holes — and overcame a bogey on No. 9 after driving into the rough and catching his left shin on a nearby cactus.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Inbee Park took the second-round lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, making three birdies in a row early on the back nine and rebounding from a wind-blown bogey with four straight pars.

Finishing in gusty conditions on another hot afternoon at Mission Hills, the 24-year-old South Korean player shot a 5-under 67 to reach 7 under.

American Lizette Salas was a stroke back after a 68, and Sweden's Carolina Hedwall and Italy's Giulia Sergas followed at 5 under. Hedwall shot 68, and Sergas had a 69.

NFL

BALTIMORE (AP) — Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo says up to four NFL players may soon come out as gay, according to a published report.

"I think it will happen sooner than you think," Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun. "We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out."

Ayanbadejo, 36, was cut by the Ravens earlier this week. A strong advocate of gay marriage, he initially suggested the roster move stemmed from his stance.

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions didn't have to look long for a new kicker.

Detroit added four-time All-Pro David Akers, one day after Jason Hanson retired.

Akers' agent, Jerrold Colton, confirmed that he and the Lions agreed to terms. Colton declined to give details when asked if Akers got a one-year contract.

AUTO RACING

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Tony Stewart and Joey Logano say their dustup is over. They just haven't said it to each other.

The drivers tangled two weeks ago at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at California, where Stewart thought Logano had blocked him in the closing laps. Stewart parked his car near Logano's and approached him. There was some shoving, but crew members broke it up before any punches were landed.

Stewart said he spent the week off after the race at Fontana on vacation in Georgia, away from cellphone service and television, and Logano said while he never made any effort to contact the three-time champion, he thinks the break provided everyone with time to "relax a little bit and cool off."

That doesn't mean, of course, that their feud can't fire up again. And if there's a track where close racing can lead to torn-up cars and injured feelings in a hurry, it's tiny Martinsville Speedway with its tricky, 0.526-mile oval.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn is once again on the defensive amid allegations of wrongdoing going back to the 2010 national championship season.

Two reports surfaced this week accusing the athletic department of wide-ranging misdeeds ranging from covering up widespread use of synthetic marijuana among football players to grade-changing and illicit payments, allegations the school strongly denies.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs and other officials have disputed the findings in both reports, which painted a bleak picture of a department and football program that weathered an NCAA investigation in the recruiting of Cam Newton through much of the title run.

TENNIS

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams ended a long and successful day for the Williams family as she and sister Venus both won twice to reach the Family Circle Cup semifinals and set up their first sibling showdown since 2009.

Serena won her 13th straight match by defeating sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 6-1. Earlier, she topped two-time NCAA doubles champ Mallory Burdette in a third-round match moved due to Thursday's 7 ½-hour rain delay.

Venus also had double duty, rallying past Varvara Lepchenko in three sets before ousting 18-year-old Madison Keys later on Billie Jean King Court.

The Williams sisters next go for a spot in the finals Saturday. They haven't met in a tournament since the 2009 Tour Championships in Qatar. Serena holds a 13-10 lead, although they're 1-1 on clay.

NBA

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets will be without versatile forward Danilo Gallinari for the rest of the season after tests showed he tore his left ACL against Dallas the previous night.

The team said an MRI showed no other signs of ligament or meniscus damage, adding Gallinari will have season-ending surgery soon and "a prognosis for a full recovery is excellent."

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) — The city of Chicago and the Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs are close to agreement on a $500 million overhaul of Wrigley Field, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal, first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, was not yet finished and they were not authorized to publicly discuss it.

The agreement is expected to include $300 million in renovations at Wrigley, more night games, a parking lot and a $200 million hotel nearby, the people said. They said the team would pick up the entire tab to renovate Wrigley, ending a negotiating process that at times was about as ugly as the way the team has been playing in recent years. It is expected to be completed by Monday, when the Cubs have their home opener for the 2013 season.

The plan calls for a video scoreboard inside the park in left field and another sign in right field, according to one person close to the negotiations. The size of the video scoreboard was among the details still being worked out. Some owners of the famed rooftops across the street where fans watch games have threatened to sue if the renovation does anything to obstruct their view.

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