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Pro Football

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Mark Sanchez is ready to go. He just needs his right knee to cooperate.

The New York Jets quarterback practiced for the second straight day Thursday and took 75 percent of the snaps, but a patient coach Rex Ryan remained undecided on his starter for the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

"You're going to ask questions, if he's definitely going to start," Ryan said. "I'm not willing to say that right now. I'm optimistic about it. I'll have a great idea (Friday), I think, when I meet with the medical staff."

Sanchez, recovering from a sprained right knee, had no swelling or stiffness and was a full participant in practice after being limited Wednesday.

"He looked much better today than he even did yesterday," Ryan said. "I thought he was more confident today. He looked OK yesterday. Again, I want to make sure that he's definitely ready to play in a National Football League game."

College Football

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards became the first two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

The award, along with honors for best defensive player and coach, was announced Thursday night, a day before Montana (14-0) and Villanova (13-1) were slated to play in the FCS national title game in Chattanooga.

Edwards is the first quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards in his career. He won national championships in his first two seasons at Appalachian State and guided the Mountaineers to a victory at Michigan in 2007.

The 185-pound senior finished his career with 10,392 yards passing and 4,361 rushing. His 14,753 yards of total offense ranks him second all-time behind the late Steve McNair, who played at Alcorn State and was honored during the awards banquet.

Pro Basketball

PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers called up forward Anthony Tolliver from their NBA Development League affiliate on Thursday.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward out of Creighton averaged 20.7 points and 9.9 rebounds in seven starts with the Idaho Stampede. He played in 19 games with the San Antonio Spurs last season.

Tolliver provides another body for the banged up Trail Blazers, who were awarded a hardship exemption by the NBA to temporarily add a 16th player to the roster.

The Trail Blazers entered the season with enviable depth, but have lost several key players to injury, including center Greg Oden and forwards Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez.

MIAMI — Jameer Nelson could return to the Orlando Magic lineup by next week.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy says Nelson is scheduled to practice Sunday, and if all goes well, it might not be long before the All-Star is back in Orlando's starting five.

Nelson had surgery Nov. 18 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. He was averaging 13.7 points and 5.5 assists before getting hurt.

Van Gundy made his remarks before Thursday night's game at Miami.

Men's Basketball

INDIANAPOLIS — Bob Knight fans wore red shirts, red jackets and, of course, red sweaters for his return to Indiana on Thursday night.

Knight decided to ditch his trademark color for a green sweater.

But, hey, at least he was back home in Indiana.

Knight was to make a rare appearance in the state he once called home, speaking Thursday night at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame — a decision longtime friends hope may lead to a thaw in the icy relationship between Indiana University and the Hoosiers fiery former coach.

"I think somewhere along the line, there will be a relationship renewed that will bring him back into a relationship with IU," said Chuck Marlowe, who moderated Knight's show.

When that happens is unclear.

Men's Snowboarding

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Canadians Jasey Jay Anderson and Michael Lambert have swept the top two spots in snowboarding World Cup parallel giant slalom races.

Russia's Alena Zavarzina won on the women's side Thursday, while Adam Smith was the top U.S. finisher in 14th.

This was the second of five Olympic qualifying events for the United States. No Americans finished in the top 10 in either event. On Thursday, one of America's top women, Michelle Gorgone, was disqualified after her binding broke.

Anderson and Lambert join Matthew Morison, who won Tuesday, as the third Canadian to finish on the podium this week in Telluride — a good sign for the country hosting the Olympics in February.

Women's Basketball

TULSA, Okla. — The WNBA team formerly known as the Detroit Shock is changing conferences as part of its offseason move to Tulsa.

The WNBA released its schedule for the 2010 season on Thursday, and the Tulsa franchise announced that it would be moving to the Western Conference. There were only five teams left in the West — and seven in the East — after the Sacramento Monarchs ceased operations.

Tulsa's team, which will either retain the Shock name or change it to Fire or Tempo, will open the regular season May 15 at home against the Minnesota Lynx. Tulsa will face the Lynx in two of its first three games and five of its first 11 games.

The finale to the 34-game regular season will be Aug. 21, when Tulsa hosts the Chicago Sky and former Oklahoma All-America center Courtney Paris.

College Baseball

PHOENIX — The NCAA is accusing Arizona State of a "lack of institutional control" of the baseball program, citing allegations that include impermissible recruiting phone calls and a failure to monitor baseball staff members.

The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that the university last month received a notice of the allegations. The case is not expected to be heard by the NCAA infractions committee until next summer.

— The Associated Press

The newspaper reported that the university received a notice from the NCAA on Nov. 19, one day before coach Pat Murphy announced his resignation.

According to the newspaper, the NCAA cited a "lack of institutional control" of the baseball program. Among the reported allegations are impermissible recruiting phone calls and failure to monitor baseball staff members.

ASU spokesman Virgil Renzulli said the school was working with the NCAA on the investigation and that it did not know when it would be complete or when results would be released.


HOUSTON — Tiger Woods was voted male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America on Thursday by an overwhelming margin over Steve Stricker, with most ballots returned after he became embroiled in a sex scandal.

It was the 10th time Woods has won the award in his 13 years as a pro.

LPGA Tour rookie Jiyai Shin was voted female player of the year over Lorena Ochoa, while Loren Roberts won the senior player award.

Woods, forced out for eight months with major knee surgery, returned to win six times on the PGA Tour. He captured the FedEx Cup, along with the PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average.

He received 168 votes (84 percent), while Stricker had 20 votes and PGA champion Y.E. Yang received 13 votes.

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