Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

SEATTLE (AP) Nearly five years after their colors, banners and history were packed away into storage and their franchise relocated, the SuperSonics are one significant step closer to returning to Seattle.

And the Kings are on the verge of leaving Sacramento.

All that appears to stand in the way now is approval by NBA owners.

The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, the league confirmed in a statement Monday morning. The deal is pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.

A person familiar with the decision said that Hansen's group will buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million. The Maloofs will have no stake in the team.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season because of a blood clot in his lung.

The team said that he is expected to fully recover but will need to take blood thinners for about three months. Varejao has been in the hospital since Thursday and will likely remain there for several more days of treatment.

The 6-foot-11 Brazilian was averaging career highs of 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds this season

COLLEGES

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with ``unethical conduct'' when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami has announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.

Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Community residents have scheduled a vigil Tuesday to remember former Penn State coach Joe Paterno a year after his death.

A family spokesman says the family won't be involved and intends to remain in privacy. Paterno died of lung cancer on Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85, two months after being fired by the school in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

PRO FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning will get a chance to be teammates after all - at Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Luck earned his way to the game when New England's Tom Brady pulled out with an undisclosed injury.

He'll be joined by teammates Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis in Hawaii and Manning, the quarterback who preceded Luck in Indy.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Tom Brady's foot-up slide in the AFC championship game did not sit well with Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard.

During the final minute of the first half, Brady slid to the ground to end of an impromptu run. The quarterback's upraised leg hit onrushing Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who emerged from the play without injury.

But Pollard believes Brady should be disciplined by the NFL, which levies fines on defensive players for helmet-to-helmet hits.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is joining Chip Kelly's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday.

Shurmur is expected to be Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't announced any coaching moves.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Jim Caldwell will remain the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator next season.

Caldwell moved from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Dec. 9 after coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron.

With Caldwell directing the offense, the Ravens have won three straight playoff games to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2000 season. This is the first time Caldwell has ever served as an offensive coordinator at any level

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Maria Sharapova continued her dominating form at the Australian Open with a straight-set win over Ekatrina Makarova on Tuesday, conceding only nine games in five matches en route to a semifinal against Li Na.

No. 2-ranked Sharapova had a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over fellow Russian Makarova on Rod Laver Arena and has spent just 5 hours, 15 minutes on court so far in the tournament.

After opening with pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins, Sharapova trounced seven-time major winner Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in the third round and Belgian Kristen Flipkens 6-0, 6-1 in the fourth. Nobody has conceded fewer games on the way to the semifinals at the Australian Open.

The 30-year-old Li advanced to her third semifinal in four years at Melbourne Park with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Agnieszka Radwanska, ending the Pole's 13-match winning streak.

In the men's bracket, No. 4-seeded David Ferrer survived a match point the third set and two more in the fourth when No. 10 Nicolas Almagro was serving for the match, holding firm to finally advanced to his fourth semifinal in six Grand Slam events with a 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2 win Tuesday.

CYCLING

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Oprah Winfrey believes Lance Armstrong can be a hero again.

And she thinks people will be willing to forgive him.

Winfrey said that the hardest thing Armstrong has done in his life is confess in an interview with her last week that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles.

``If he is willing to do the work ... he can be a real hero,'' Winfrey said during a lecture in Edmonton, the first stop on a speaking tour through Western Canada.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball players urged that Marvin Miller be put in the Hall of Fame as they spoke during a memorial for the union leader.

In an auditorium filled with Hall of Famers, dozens of retired and current players, baseball officials, agents and labor lawyers, 13 speakers praised the former baseball union head, who helped players gain free agency in the 1970s and created the path to multimillion-dollar salaries. Miller died in November at 95.

``It is a travesty he is not in the Hall of Fame,'' former major league player and manager Buck Martinez said during the two-hour program.

SOCCER

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Landon Donovan will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the upcoming MLS season, but exactly when he resumes playing hasn't been decided yet.

Donovan wasn't at the team's first practice on Monday, when coach Bruce Arena said the Galaxy captain has been given more time off.

Arena says Donovan is ``definitely playing this year.''

AUTO RACING

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Texas Motor Speedway will offer some frontstretch tickets at its lowest prices in 15 years for NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the track.

The track will offer about 8,000 frontstretch seats for $49 for each of its two Cup races, and has lowered prices on about 7,400 other seats.

Ravens take chance on Navy QB Reynolds after position change

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Ravens take chance on Navy QB Reynolds after position change

After his memorable career at Navy, Keenan Reynolds fulfilled another dream Saturday when the Ravens drafted him in the sixth round (No. 182 overall).

Reynolds has been told by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome that he will compete for a roster spot as a wide receiver – punt returner, after playing quarterback at Navy. When he received the phone call from Newsome, Reynolds described it has one of the most emotional moments of his life. 

“Relief, excitement,” Reynolds said during a conference call. “I was upset (watching the draft). I know I can play with these guys. To see my name, to see my phone ring…It’s a dream come true. All I ever wanted to do was play on Sundays.”

It remains to be seen if Reynolds’ Navy obligations will interfere with his dream of an NFL career. Reynolds said he had already talked with some Navy officials, and hoped a resolution could be reached.

“I think being in the DMV area is going to help my cause, but again that’s a call that’s up to the Navy,” Reynolds said. “It’s up to the secretary of the Navy and the Navy. But right now I’m just trying to bask in what the now is, and I’m just blessed to be picked up, and I’m ready to get started.”

Asked when he would get an answer from the Navy, Reynolds said, “It will be soon. It will probably happen within the next few days. 

Reynolds believes he can make a quick transition to wide receiver. 

“I’ve been running routes like crazy, trying to get quicker in and out of my routes, I’ve been catching punts – everything that they want me to do. To get to work with Steve Smith Sr. and learn from him, try to get better from him? It’s going to be an awesome ride.”

CSN analyst Brian Mitchell, a former returner with the Redskins, has been working with Reynolds on his punt return technique. 

“He kind of gave me some extra drills,” Reynolds said. “He brings an innovative style, also perspective from somebody who has returned punts. I’m just extremely excited.”

Ravens take RB with record 5th pick in fourth round of NFL Draft

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Ravens take RB with record 5th pick in fourth round of NFL Draft

The Ravens hope they got a fourth-round steal in running back Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech, who ran for a school record 4,480 yards and 72 touchdowns during his college career at Louisiana Tech. By taking Dixon, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to make five fourth-round picks.

Not only was Dixon a prolific runner, he averaged 10.4 yards per pass reception. At 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, Dixon also showed plenty of elusiveness avoiding tackles in tight spaces, or in the open field. He will join a crowded running back group with the Ravens that includes Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and Trent Richardson. Clearly, carries will be hard-earned next season.

Some scouts thought Dixon would be gone by the third round, and when he was still available at pick No. 134, the Ravens thought the time was right to get him. Even if Forsett remains the Ravens’ starter, they want to make sure he remains fresh all season. Running back is one of the easier positions to make the transition from college to the NFL. Dixon will be given a chance to show that he should earn some touches.

Michigan defensive tackle goes from playing for one Harbaugh to another

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Michigan defensive tackle goes from playing for one Harbaugh to another

Ravens fourth-round pick Willie Henry is going from one coach Harbaugh to another. After playing defensive tackle for Michigan’s Jim Harbuagh, Henry will play for John Harbaugh, after the Ravens selected him with the 132nd overall selection.

Clearly, the Ravens received inside information on Henry, and were impressed enough to take him. During a conference call, Henry was asked about playing for another coach named Harbaugh.

“It’s going to be great,” Henry said. “Two great coaches who know what they’re talking about and have great schemes…I can’t wait to go play for another coach Harbaugh. Right now, I’m just ecstatic.”

The Ravens are fairly well stocked at defensive tackle, starting with Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan. However, the Ravens like rotating tackles to keep them fresh, and Henry will be given an opportunity to play his way into the rotation. Henry was particularly strong against the run at Michigan, and he also brought consistent pressure up the middle on opposing quarterbacks.