Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pro Football

Daniels Has High Hopes

Phillip Daniels, the Washington Redskins defensive end whose season-ending knee injury prompted the signing of Jason Taylor on the opening day of training camp last July, said he will be ready to play when the season starts. Daniels, a free agent, may well be back with Washington. Vinny Cerrato, the team's executive vice president of football operations, acknowledged Tuesday that re-signing Daniels was among the options for filling the hole created when Taylor was released Monday.

"It's really coming along, man," Daniels said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I'm running, cutting, moving great now. . . . It's getting better and better every day. I'm working it real hard, and it's getting stronger. I just feel good, I feel like I'm going to be able to get back out there and be ready."

Daniels's two-year contract was voided automatically before free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. Friday. He said the Redskins have spoken with his agent, "and they have told me they want me back," Daniels said. "Everyone has just been great, letting me know they'd like me to come back, man, and I would love to come back.

"But you know what? You just have to be patient and see how stuff works out because you really never know what's going to happen. But like I said, I really do want to go back, and they've really made me feel good about wanting me back."

Daniels said he was surprised that Taylor was released, "because Jason is a great player, and you just don't expect that," he said. "But you know anything can happen in this game, so I'm just trying to be ready."

-- Jason Reid


NCAA Eyes Arizona

The NCAA is investigating the Arizona men's basketball program for alleged recruiting violations, according to a notice of inquiry sent to the school's president.

The Arizona Daily Star reported on its Web site that the allegations stem from initially self-reported violations involving a recruiting event at McKale Center, where the Wildcats play.

The NCAA began looking into the matter last year after Arizona reported that then-Coach Lute Olson asked donors to give money to support the event, which brings in hundreds of elite athletes for recruitment.

NCAA rules say a school or coach cannot offer or arrange financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to pay for a recruit's expenses before his university enrollment.

Penalties for violations could include loss of scholarships and recruiting visits. . . .

The Mountain West Conference has presented the Bowl Championship Series with a proposal to create an eight-team playoff in major college football that would allow greater access to teams outside the six most powerful leagues.

Commissioner Craig Thompson and four university leaders from the MWC announced details of the proposal on a conference call.


U.S. Tops Denmark

In Lagos, Portugal, Tina DiMartino scored her first international goal to help the defending champion United States beat Denmark, 2-0, in the Algarve Cup women's soccer tournament. . . .

Ryan St. Onge of the United States edged Canada's Steve Omischl to win the men's aerials event at the freestyle skiing world championships in Inawashiro, Japan.

-- From News Services

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