Sports Briefs

Youth Baseball

Ashland Little League and Ashland seventh- and eighth-grade baseball will hold sign-ups 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Ashland Senior Center (1699 Homes Avenue).

Ashland Little League will hold an additional sign-up day from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the same site.

All Little League parents are expected to register in person and will need to bring a copy of their child's birth certificate and three forms of proof of residency.

Registration costs for Little League baseball and softball are $75 per player for ages 9 to 12 and $50 for ages 5 to 8. Families with more than one child in Little League will pay no more than $125.

Ashland Little League will also be holding a coach's clinic from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at Lincoln Elementary.

For more information contact ALL president Chace Anderson at 541-324-3396.

College Football

EUGENE — Police have arrested a 20-year-old Eugene man in an assault on Oregon kicker Rob Beard.

Maurice Dion Peterson was taken into custody on second-degree assault charges on Wednesday.

Beard, who handled kickoffs for the Ducks last season, was battered to unconsciousness early Sunday after intervening in a fight to help fellow place-kicker Mike Bowlin.

Beard's younger brother says the kicker required surgery after suffering a broken nose and other facial injuries. Beard has been released from a Eugene hospital.

Police say the case is still under investigation.

Peterson was being held at the Lane County Jail and was scheduled for arraignment on Thursday afternoon. It is not immediately known if he had an attorney.

Beard, a redshirt freshman, kicked off 83 times last season. He had one field goal attempt, a 51-yarder blocked by UCLA defenders.

Pro Football

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez might have surgery this offseason to stabilize the patella ligament in his left knee, which was injured during college.

Sanchez, who just completed his rookie season, won't need any procedures on his right knee, which sustained a sprained posterior cruciate ligament earlier this season.

He had both knees examined by team doctors this week, and also had them looked at by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said Sanchez would be ready "well before training camp" if he elects to have the procedure, which isn't considered major, but could miss some early offseason workouts.

"It would certainly be much sooner than later because, right now, nothing has been decided," Tannenbaum said Thursday. "So, we're going to keep the lines of communication open and make a decision pretty soon here."

Sanchez dislocated his kneecap during the first week of fall practice before his junior season at Southern California. He has worn a brace on the knee since, even in the pros. Sanchez also banged up his left knee against Carolina on Nov. 29.

Pro Basketball

WASHINGTON — As the remaining Washington Wizards went through what coach Flip Saunders called a "workmanlike practice" Thursday, life-size, color cutouts of Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton still were hanging on a wall overlooking the court.

A day after Arenas and Crittenton were suspended for the rest of the season by NBA commissioner David Stern for bringing guns to the locker room, the Wizards set out to, as Saunders put it, "move forward."

"We've become at times ... emotionally and mentally worn down," Saunders said. "It's almost like a boxer: You continue to take body punches, and eventually what it does, it just wears you down."

Saunders said the "waiting and not knowing" what Stern's ruling would be was in some ways more difficult than hearing the news Wednesday.

"At least there's some closure, from the standpoint of the team, and trying to put it behind us as best we can," the coach said. "Once you find out and you know, it's easier to say, 'OK, this is where we're at, and this is what we're going to have to do.'"

Arenas and Crittenton each admitted bringing a gun into the Wizards' locker room — violating a provision added to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement in 2005 — after a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight. Stern said the players expressed remorse, but added, "Nevertheless, there is no justification for their conduct."

Saunders said he's been communicating with Arenas.

NEW YORK — Local products Chris Bosh of Toronto and Utah's Deron Williams are headed back to Dallas for the All-Star game, which will include seven first-time selections.

The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks each had two players picked as reserves Thursday for the Feb. 14 game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were chosen from the Celtics, while the Hawks are sending Joe Johnson and Al Horford.

Rondo and Horford will both make their first All-Star appearances, as will Oklahoma City swingman Kevin Durant, Charlotte's Gerald Wallace, Memphis forward Zach Randolph, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Williams.

Among those missing out were New York's David Lee and Clippers center Chris Kaman.

Bosh, a Dallas native, is an All-Star for the fifth straight season.

"Just to be able to be an All-Star year in and year out, that's a special feeling, but the fact that it's in Dallas is kind of a bittersweet thing," Bosh said before the Raptors faced the New York Knicks. "Sweet because I get to play in front of my home crowd and it's bitter because everybody wants tickets."

Auto Racing

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — IndyCar star Danica Patrick will compete in at least 12 NASCAR races this season and could make her debut in the season opener.

JR Motorsports announced Patrick's schedule Thursday. Her first race, though, is still uncertain. Patrick is waiting to decide whether to race in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13.

The team says it will decide after Patrick makes her stock car debut in the Feb. 6 ARCA race at Daytona. If she feels comfortable, she could race the following week in NASCAR's second-tier series. It would be a daunting NASCAR start considering more than a dozen Sprint Cup regulars, including team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., drive in that one.

"Like I've said before, we just want to be smart and calculative about this process," Patrick said. "The tracks we've selected not only compliment the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities."

— The Associated Press

If Patrick doesn't drive the Nationwide race at Daytona, she will make her debut the following week in Fontana, Calif.

Her remaining schedule includes Las Vegas (Feb. 20), a four-month hiatus to focus on the IndyCar Series and her return to NASCAR at New Hampshire (June 26).


NO DATELINE — Defending America's Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland said Thursday it will forfeit the oldest trophy in international sports if American challenger BMW Oracle Racing succeeds in getting a New York court to disqualify the sails on its giant catamaran.

The statement from Fred Meyer, vice commodore of Alinghi's backing yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve, is perhaps the most bizarre twist yet in a long, bitter legal fight between two of the world's richest men, Swiss biotech mogul Ernesto Bertarelli and American software tycoon Larry Ellison.

Their powerhouse sailing teams are scheduled to begin a rare best-of-three showdown Feb. 8 in massive multihulls in Valencia, Spain, for the silver trophy the Swiss have held since 2003.

They've been in court for more than two years, and could be right up until within days of what could be the most exciting racing in the 159-year history of the America's Cup.

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