National Sports Briefs
NEWPORT, R.I. ó Michael Chang finds it appropriate he’s receiving his sport’s highest honor as China awaits the Olympics.
Chang was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday and reflected on his experiences as a Chinese-American athlete. He won the 1989 French Open at age 17 ó the youngest man to win a major ó as the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing were escalating into bloodshed.
Chang finished with 34 titles. He was a finalist at the 1995 French Open, 1996 U.S. Open and 1996 Australian Open. He became the first American to win the French since Tony Trabert in 1955.
SILVIS, Ill. ó Kenny Perry finished with a flourish to move into a three-way tie for the lead through three rounds at the John Deere Classic on Saturday.
Perry, seeking his third victory in five starts, birdied the 18th hole to finish at 4-under 67 for the day and 15-under 198 for the tournament. That tied him with Eric Axley (67) and Brad Adamonis (66), who at 35 is the PGA Tour’s oldest rookie.
– SYLVANIA, Ohio ó Paula Creamer shot a 1-under-par 70, 10 more shots than she needed for her first round, and held a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
– LUSS, Scotland ó Graeme McDowell and Simon Khan shared the Scottish Open lead and Phil Mickelson was six shots back after the third round.
CHICAGO ó NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus is upset that steroid use has tainted football and that young athletes are questioning their role models.
“I owe everything to football,” Butkus said. “I’m embarrassed that for some other kid, it won’t be as pure as when I was able to play.”
The former Chicago Bears linebacker said professional leagues like the NFL should take the responsibility to reach out to high schools and teach students that steroids don’t create success.
Butkus spoke to more than 200 students at a Soldier Field rally, along with former Bears coach Mike Ditka, former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Munoz and former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Miller, who was suspended by the NFL in 1999 after he tested positive for drugs.
SAN JOSE, Calif. ó Mark Grieb threw eight touchdown passes, five of them to Cleannord Saintil, and the San Jose Sabercats advanced to Arena Bowl XXII with an 81-55 win over Grand Rapids.
Omarr Smith intercepted a team playoff-record three passes that led to touchdowns and the defending champion Sabercats (11-5, 2-0) advanced to play in the Arena Bowl against first-time participant Philadelphia Soul, who beat the Cleveland Gladiators 70-35 earlier in the day. The game will take place in two weeks at New Orleans.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó Alabama football color analyst Ken Stabler has been granted a leave of absence for the upcoming season following his arrest on a drunken driving charge.
A star quarterback for Alabama in the 1960s, Stabler led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl title in 1977. He also played for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints during a 15-year NFL career.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Louisville wide receiver Trent Guy was released from the hospital on Friday, less than a week after being shot in the back.
Guy was shot outside a parking garage near a downtown club in the early hours of July 5. He had surgery later that day.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Tigers coach John Calipari says guard Doneal Mack will return to Memphis for the 2008-09 season after all.
Mack’s father said last month his son would be transferring after two seasons with the Tigers because he wanted more playing time.
Memphis said that Mack enrolled in summer school at the University of New Orleans, but withdrew after one week of classes.
Calipari says he is happy for Mack. He says students sometimes make “illogical decisions” and the school’s administration did the right thing by allowing Mack to return.
TOULOUSE, France ó Mark Cavendish of Britain won a Tour de France stage for the second time, cutting through the field Saturday in a sprint finish in the rain.
Team Columbia teammate Gerald Ciolek was second while team leader Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg kept the yellow jersey after the eighth stage.
SAN JOSE, Calif. ó The San Jose Sharks re-signed center Marcel Goc to a one-year, $775,000 contract Friday, avoiding arbitration with the defensive specialist.