Clarett joins United Football League

"I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me," Maurice Clarett said in a statement.
"I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me," Maurice Clarett said in a statement. (Tom Dodge/associated Press)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett has signed a one-year contract with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

Clarett met Monday with team officials and UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue, who gave his blessing.

Clarett was expected to be on the practice field Monday night for his first football activity since he was a bust with the Denver Broncos and spent 3½ years in prison for having a hidden gun and holding up two people outside a Columbus, Ohio, bar, in 2006.

"I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me and will dedicate myself on and off the field to prove that I can be a valuable member of the team and the Omaha community," Clarett said in a statement. "I am committed to working hard to earn the right for a second chance in football and more importantly in life." . . .

The Western Athletic Conference is demanding a $5 million exit fee by Oct. 25 from Fresno State and Nevada, which are bolting to the Mountain West Conference.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson said the league would sue the universities if they don't pay up. He also said the league won't let the schools leave until after the 2011-12 season.

Fresno State and Nevada were informed of the WAC's hard-line stance by letter on Friday. The schools announced Aug. 18 they would join the Mountain West. Because they didn't announce their decisions prior to a June 30 deadline required by WAC bylaws, neither school can leave for two years unless the league agrees to an early exit.

Benson said that by leaving before 2012, Fresno State and Nevada would cost each of the remaining WAC schools - Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State - $2 million or more.

The U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union is promising a review of its motorcycle racing safety rules, conceding it will never be able to eliminate the dangers in a high-speed sport where teenage competitors are the norm.

One day after a 13-year-old rider was killed in Indianapolis, the union's chief steward, Stewart Aitken-Cade, said series officials will review all safety measures, including new age limits.

A formal investigation, however, is not planned.

"I don't believe there are grounds for anything drastic," Aitken-Cade said in a phone interview. "That doesn't mean we're not going to look at anything that we can do to prevent something like this from happening again. This is the first accident we've had like this in nine years, and that's a tremendous safety record."

Government officials say Sao Paulo, South America's biggest city, will likely have two stadiums ready to host World Cup matches in 2014.

The club team Corinthians is planning to build a stadium that could host the tournament's opener, and Sao Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab said that Palmeiras' facility could also host matches after its renovation is complete.

Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium was set to host the opener, but it was dropped earlier this year because of a lack of financial guarantees. . . .

A FIFA delegation began its trip to assess Spain and Portugal's joint bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, saying the countries got off to a good start by presenting all the required documents on time.

Delegation leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls said the seventh and final inspection tour in Europe would last four days. Only the United States and Qatar remain to be visited. . . .

The U.S. men's team will host Colombia on Oct. 12 at the new PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

The match at the home of the Philadelphia Union of MLS is the first for the Americans against Colombia since the 2007 Copa America, in which the United States lost 1-0.

Overall, the United States is 3-9-3 against Colombia, with the most famous American victory coming in the 1994 World Cup, a 2-1 win that helped the U.S. team advance to the knockout stages.

Former West Virginia basketball star Da'Sean Butler has signed with the Miami Heat

- From news services

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