Wednesday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 6:00 AM

NFL

The New England Patriots did not wait until Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder to cut ties with the troubled tight end, releasing him soon after police led him from his house in handcuffs.

In a rare instance of public relations before football for one of the league's most successful teams, the Patriots released a statement saying, "At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."

Hernandez was charged with the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile away from Hernandez's home.

Prosecutors said that Hernandez "orchestrated the crime from the beginning."

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have released a rookie who is charged with attempted murder for allegedly punching a man in the head outside a club in northern New Jersey.

Ausar Walcott turned himself in to Passaic police Tuesday after he was identified as a suspect in an incident that happened around 3 a.m. Sunday. The linebacker was signed by the Browns on May 13 following a tryout. The team announced his release Wednesday.

Walcott, 23, is charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim, said Salvatore Bellomo, a senior assistant prosecutor.

He said the complaint alleges Walcott punched a man in the head, critically injuring him.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Cashman says he regrets the words he used in an angry response to Alex Rodriguez's injury update on Twitter, but the New York Yankees general manager insists the team wants a healthy A-Rod back at third base as soon as possible.

Cashman says owner Hal Steinbrenner told him he spoke with Rodriguez in Tampa, Fla., and reiterated that injury information should be announced by the team, not by players on social media.

Rodriguez tweeted Tuesday night that his hip surgeon had cleared him to play in rehab games, a move that angered Cashman because A-Rod has not been cleared by team doctors yet. Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com that "Alex should just shut ... up," punctuating his comment with a profanity.

GOLF

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Tiger Woods can't say whether his left elbow will be fully healed in time for the British Open, only that it will be "good enough."

Doctors have recommended that he sit out this week at Congressional, along with next week at The Greenbrier, because of a left elbow strain that has been bothering him for over a month and was made worse by hacking out of the dense U.S. Open rough at Merion.

The British Open is July 18-21 at Muirfield, and Woods could not say that he would be at 100 percent by then. He is treating the injury with electrical stimulation, ice, soft tissue treatment and anti-inflammatories to help with the swelling.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pat Summitt says she's "very, very content" in her new role now that she's had a year to adjust to life after coaching.

The former Tennessee women's basketball coach showed no obvious signs of her illness during a rare three-minute session with local media at a preview screening of "Pat XO," a documentary on her life airing July 9 on ESPN.

Summitt stepped down in April 2012, one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Her 1,098 career victories make her the winningest Division I men's or women's basketball coach in history.

NBA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Larry Bird, who left his job with the Pacers last season after winning the league's executive of the year award, will be reintroduced to the media Thursday morning as the team's president of basketball operations.

It's the same job the Hall of Famer held from 2003-12.

Bird has a long track record of success in the NBA. As a player with Boston, he won three championships, three MVP awards and was twice the MVP of the NBA Finals.

In 1997, he returned to the bench as coach of the Pacers — his home state team. He was the 1998 NBA coach of the year and two years later led the Pacers to their only finals appearance.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The NCAA stripped Oregon of a scholarship in each of the next two seasons and placed the program on three years' probation, opting against stiffer penalties like a bowl ban despite issuing a show-cause order against former coach Chip Kelly, who apologized to the school, its fans and its players.

The NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions said Kelly failed to monitor the program for its improper involvement with Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service.

Kelly was hit with an 18-month show-cause order, a sanction that likely will have limited impact now that he's coaching the Philadelphia Eagles.

The program he left behind faces three years of scholarship reductions through 2014-15.

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