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Pro Football

A person in the NFL tells The Associated Press that Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco has been fined $30,000 for donning a poncho and sombrero after scoring a touchdown.

The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the league has not made any announcement about the fine.

The punishment was first reported by

Ochocinco wore a gray poncho and black sombrero after catching a TD pass in Cincinnati's 23-13 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

NFL rules prohibit players from bringing any extraneous object onto the field.

This punishment comes about a month after Ochocinco was fined $20,000 and reprimanded by the NFL for pretending to bribe an official a dollar.

PITTSBURGH — With the Pittsburgh Steelers fast running out of games and his left knee still not healed, star safety Troy Polamalu isn't certain if he will be back this season.

Polamalu is hopeful of playing again, but he said Tuesday there is no definitive date for his return.

Polamalu's latest injury, to his posterior cruciate ligament, was initially expected to be less severe than the anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of the Steelers' second through fifth games. But he won't play Thursday night in Cleveland, the fourth consecutive game he's missed with his latest injury.

The Steelers have 10 days off after Cleveland until their next game, and there is a chance the five-time Pro Bowl player could be ready to play Dec. 20 against Green Bay. However, Polamalu hasn't been cleared to practice, much less play.

College Football

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For once, the proverbial quarterback of No. 1 Alabama's defense was caught unprepared.

Linebacker Rolando McClain was in coach Nick Saban's office doing a TV interview Tuesday morning when football legend Dick Butkus strolled in to surprise him with the Butkus Award given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

"I had no idea what to do," McClain said. "I saw coach get up and shake his hand. Naturally, I got up and I just kind of froze. I mean, he's Dick Butkus.

"That was my first time ever meeting him. It's kind of humbling. You feel like you're a pretty good linebacker, then Dick Butkus is in the room."

Actually, McClain is a pretty good linebacker. And that scene will be aired on a show spotlighting the Butkus awards given to high school, college and pro players.

McClain wasn't told the real reason he was summoned to the football complex — or why he was asked to wear slacks and a collared shirt instead of his usual casual attire.

The junior is the leader of the nation's top scoring defense and helped guide the 13-0 Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and a spot in the BCS national title game against No. 2 Texas. He is the second Tide player to win the Butkus, joining the late Derrick Thomas, who won in 1988.

Pro Hockey

PHILADELPHIA — New York Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt was hit by an SUV early Tuesday morning while crossing the street but suffered no serious injuries and played Tuesday night against the Flyers.

Witt was crossing Arch Street in downtown Philadelphia en route to a local Starbucks when a gold Yukon SUV made an illegal left turn and struck the veteran defenseman.

Witt braced himself for impact and attempted to jump on the hood, which he slid across before being thrown onto the ground.

Several concerned onlookers gathered around Witt to see if he was OK.

Witt, known around the NHL for his grit and toughness, affirmed his reputation when he essentially dusted himself off, hurled a few obscenities at the driver and told everyone he was fine.


INDIANAPOLIS — Instead of spending at these winter meetings, the New York Yankees are in a dealing mode.

The World Series champions pulled off the first big trade of this year's session, reaching a tentative agreement Tuesday on a three-team, seven-player swap that would bring them center fielder Curtis Granderson from Detroit.

New York would trade right-hander Ian Kennedy to Arizona, and lefty reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit, a baseball official said on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.

Detroit would ship All-Star pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks, and Arizona would send touted young pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers. The teams were still working on technical aspects of the trade, the official said, including checking medical records.

"Granderson, of course he's going to make them better," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He's a pretty good outfielder. He plays with a lot of energy. He's the kind of guy that fits into that landscape in New York, where he's going to thrive within that kind of a situation."

INDIANAPOLIS — Chone Figgins is moving to the Seattle Mariners — and perhaps a new position.

The former Los Angeles Angels sparkplug finalized his $36 million, four-year contract with Seattle on Tuesday, a deal that includes a vesting option for 2014 that could make it worth $45 million over five years.

Figgins, however, might not necessarily replace free-agent slugger Adrian Beltre at third base.

"He's open to playing anywhere in the infield," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "There's still some moving parts here. You know, at the end, if he's our third baseman, we'll be very happy."

The 31-year-old Figgins was primarily a third baseman in each of his last three seasons with the Angels. But he has played 113 major league games at second base and 27 at shortstop.

The diminutive speedster hit .298 with five homers and 54 RBIs this year as Los Angeles won its third consecutive AL West title. Beltre had 25 or 26 homers in three straight seasons before dropping to eight this year during an injury-plagued campaign.

Pro Basketball

WASHINGTON — Former Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin was remembered as a civic-minded visionary, passionate sportsman and generous philanthropist at a public memorial service Tuesday night.

"He believed in people," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said before the ceremony. "He believed in this city when people didn't believe in this city. ... His time here, he really made a difference."

Pollin, 85, died Nov. 24 from corticobasal degeneration, a rare brain disease. Pollin had donated $3 million toward finding a cure for the brain condition at the time of his death.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Injured forward Luke Walton is trading his Los Angeles Lakers jersey for a seat behind the microphone.

Walton will fill in for radio color commentator Mychal Thompson when the Lakers play Friday against Minnesota and Saturday at Utah. Thompson will miss those games because of a death in his family, the team said Tuesday.


INDIANAPOLIS — Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN after the winter meetings to join MLB Network.

Gammons' departure from ESPN was announced Tuesday and MLB Network could announce his hiring as early as Wednesday, a baseball official said.

— The Associated Press

—The official spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB Network had not made the announcement.

Asked about his decision at the winter meetings, Gammons said he couldn't discuss it until Wednesday.

Gammons joined ESPN in 1989 and has been an integral part of its baseball coverage. He wrote for the Boston Globe starting in 1969 and also worked for Sports Illustrated (1976-78, 1986-90).

"Peter was the best and the brightest in making the transition from print to video," ESPN executive vice president John Walsh said in a statement Tuesday.

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