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Monday Sports in Brief

Monday Sports in Brief

SAN DIEGO (AP) Tiger Woods is a winner again at Torrey Pines, and the only question Monday was how long it would take him to finish.

Woods stretched his lead to eight shots in the Farmers Insurance Open before losing his focus and his patience during a painfully slow finish by the group ahead.

Despite dropping four shots over the last five holes, he still managed an even-par 72 for a four-shot victory on the course where he has won more than any other in his pro career. Defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater finished tied for second after both shot 69..

He won the tournament for the seventh time, one behind the record held by Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. It was the eighth time Woods won at Torrey Pines, which includes his playoff win in the 2008 U.S Open.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer, and he wants to help make that happen.

Reed, an 11-year veteran and one of the most respected players in the NFL, was in the minority among players at the Super Bowl on Monday when said that Obama's comments questioning the safety of the game are on target.

``I am with Obama,'' Reed said. ``I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it ... I can't make decisions for him. All I can do is say, `Son, I played it so you don't have to.' ``

While acknowledging he's a football fan, Obama told The New Republic in an interview that he's concerned about the violent nature of the sport - enough so that if he had a son, he'd think twice about allowing him to play.

``I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,'' he said.

``In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.''

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris was charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges from an August beating involving a former boyfriend, a prosecutor and defense lawyer said.

Following a pretrial hearing in the case, a San Mateo County judge set a late April trial date for Harris, an offensive tackle who played five seasons with the 49ers and one season with the Oakland Raiders, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said.

The charges stem from an altercation outside a Menlo Park restaurant between Harris, 30, and Dimitri Geier, who suffered several facial fractures that required surgery, Serrato said.

HONOLULU (AP) - At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: Commissioner Roger Goodell.

During a one-hour question and answer session on Reddit he said he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii.

The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but that quickly became lopsided.

Goodell says he appreciates the commitment from players to make the game better.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chastising the NFL Players Association for standing in the way of testing for human growth hormone, two members of Congress told union head DeMaurice Smith in a letter that they might ask players to testify before their committee.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked Smith to turn over documents connected to HGH negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Saints spokesman Greg Bensel says general manager Mickey Loomis has a contract that runs through 2017.

Bensel says Loomis agreed to the deal last August but the team chose not to discuss it publicly until Monday, when the subject came up during media events connected to the Super Bowl.

PRO BASKETBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama honored the Miami Heat for winning the 2012 NBA Championship title after falling short just a year before.

``Everybody doing their part, is what finally put the Heat over the top,'' Obama said, as he welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate their victory.

LeBron James, who presented Obama with an autographed basketball, said the team that included members that hail from Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota was honored to be in the executive mansion.

``We're in the White House right now, which is like, like `mama I made it,''' James said, as the audience laughed and cheered.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA says it is committed to ensuring the safety of all college athletes and plans to open a national sports science institute to make playing sports safer.

The comments came in a statement emailed to The Associated Press the day after President Barack Obama acknowledged that if he had a son, he would have to think about letting him play football. The NCAA did not specifically address Obama's comments, choosing instead to address the broader issue.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Two Pennsylvania congressmen want the NCAA to restore football scholarships taken away from Penn State, saying in a letter those sanctions unfairly punish innocent student-athletes for the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In the letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson wrote that taking away up to 40 scholarships harmed players who had nothing to do with the scandal that engulfed the university in 2011.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan is No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time since its Fab Five days 20 years ago.

For the second straight week the No. 1 team lost. This time it was Duke, which was routed 90-63 by Miami in the third-worst defeat by a top-ranked team.

Michigan received 51 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel, 38 more than Kansas, which moved up one spot. They are the only one-loss teams in the poll. Indiana, Florida, which drew the other first-place vote, and Duke complete the top five

In the women's poll, Baylor remained No. 1 for a fourth straight week.

Notre Dame and UConn stayed second and third, Stanford moved up to fourth and Duke fell one spot to fifth after losing by 30 points to the Huskies last Monday.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - The International Cycling Union disbanded an independent panel put together to review any involvement the cycling governing body had in the Lance Armstrong scandal, saying it will go ahead with a ``truth and reconciliation commission'' instead.

The UCI said its independent panel did not have the support of the American and global anti-doping bodies, and that a truth and reconciliation process favored by those groups offered the best way ``to clear the air'' and get to the bottom with the rampant doping culture during the Armstrong era.

MADRID (AP) - Spain's Operation Puerto finally went to trial after a delay of seven years, raising the prospect over the coming weeks of new revelations about doping in cycling following the confession of Lance Armstrong.

Cyclists themselves will not be on trial because of the legal limitations of the case. But there is great interest in the event other sports - particularly soccer and tennis - are mentioned in evidence.

Thirty-five witnesses are expected to testify in a trial due to last until March 22.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers formally announced a deal with Time Warner Cable to create a new TV channel that people familiar with the situation say assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. That is double what Major League Baseball thought the local TV rights were worth when the team was sold out of bankruptcy just last year.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field for the first time since breaking his left ankle last October.

The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at shortstop at the team's minor league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.

``Everything went well,'' Jeter said as he drove out of the complex.

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Carl Pavano's spleen was removed last week after the pitcher was injured when he fell in the snow.

The 37-year-old right-hander was hurt in mid-January at his home in Vermont and has been in a Connecticut hospital for nearly two weeks.

``He lost a lot of blood. It was very, very serious,'' agent David Pepe said Monday.

PRO HOCKEY

MONTREAL (AP) - Defenseman P.K. Subban signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

WINTER SPORTS

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Snowmobile rider Caleb Moore remained in critical condition after a crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen and is being closely monitored.

His family thanked Moore's fans for their support and asked for their prayers.

The 25-year-old was performing a flip Thursday when he clipped the top of a jump and went over the handlebars. The snowmobile rolled over him, but he walked off the course with help and went to a hospital with a concussion.

While there, he developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to Grand Junction for surgery Friday. His family said Sunday that Moore then had a secondary complication involving his brain.

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Mike Wallace finally passes conditioning test; allowed to join Ravens at practice

Mike Wallace finally passes conditioning test; allowed to join Ravens at practice

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace was back on the practice field Friday, after passing his conditioning test on the second try.

Wallace missed Thursday’s practice after he failed the test on his first attempt. Joining him on the field Friday was wide receiver Dobson Collins, who also passed the test on his second attempt.

The Ravens hope Wallace will return to the form he had early in his career, when he was a consistent deep threat for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Wallace was a disappointment during stints with the Dolphins and Vikings, but Joe Flacco’s ability to throw the deep ball could help Wallace rejuvenate his career.

RELATED: RAVENS TIGHT END LEAVES CAMP WITH INJURY

In other practice news, cornerback Jerraud Powers missed practice for the second straight day and remained the only player yet to pass the conditioning test. Running back Kenneth Dixon, who sprained his left knee Thursday, also did not practice.  

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was hoping the team would stay disciplined during the first day of practice in pads on Saturday.

“The biggest message when you put the pads on is, ‘You’ve been in pads before,’’’ Harbaugh said. ‘“Don’t overreact. It’s going to be fine.’…I want to get right into executing and keep building on what we’ve done the last two days.

“We’re not going to be out here tackling too much – especially the veteran guys. Let’s just go play football.”

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Tale of two TE's: Crockett Gillmore injures hamstring, Dennis Pitta has another solid day

Tale of two TE's: Crockett Gillmore injures hamstring, Dennis Pitta has another solid day

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore left practice early Friday with a hamstring injury and was scheduled to have an MRI.

However, it was another strong day for tight end Dennis Pitta, who continued to make strides toward a successful comeback after missing all of the 2015 season with his second major hip injury.

Gillmore led the Ravens’ tight ends last season with 33 catches, 412 yards, and four touchdowns.

He is locked in a battle for playing time with a deep tight end group that also features Dennis Pitta, Ben Watson, and Maxx Williams. If Gillmore misses significant time in camp, there will be more practice reps for others in the tight end group.

The Ravens will practice in pads for the first time on Saturday, which means more contact for Pitta. However, Pitta wasn’t worried about his hip following Friday’s practice.

“My hip feels good, two days in, not worried about it at all,” Pitta said following Friday’s practice. Moving like I want to. Just continue to stay the course. Everything’s on track so far.

“I don’t anticipate tomorrow (Saturday) being a big hurdle for me to clear. It’s just another practice for me. Last year when I was trying to come off PUP, it still didn’t quite feel right…I’m at this point, and feel good, and don’t have any lingering issues or thoughts about it.”

RELATED: OBSERVATIONS FROM DAY 1 OF RAVENS' TRAINING CAMP

  

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Bearded look back for Weddle, and will stay if Ravens keep winning

Bearded look back for Weddle, and will stay if Ravens keep winning

For Ravens safety Eric Weddle, the beard is back.

Weddle was sporting his signature full beard on the first day of training camp, much different than the closely-trimmed look he had in March after signing with the Ravens.

As soon as Weddle cut his beard last winter, he said he regretted it. Now he has recommitted to the beard he has worn most of his nine-year NFL career.

“It’s feeling good,” Weddle said after Thursday’s practice. “I’m just letting it grow. It’s a lot more full this time around, which is nice. I haven’t been wearing a chin strap for the last three months. It’s coming in even. We’ll see where it goes. I might be sporadic and just cut it or I might let it go.”

RELATED: DAY 1 TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS

The Ravens are more interested in how Weddle plays than how he looks. But since minicamps, the three-time Pro Bowl player has been making a strong impression as the new leader of the secondary.

“He looks good back there, he does,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “It does seem seamless, with an “A”. He looks like he knows what he is doing, like he has been playing for a long time, and he is a really smart football player. I would say he is as advertised that way, and it is good for us.”

Ravens fans should be hoping Weddle’s beard is even longer by December.

“If we’re winning, it’s going to there and be full,” Weddle said.