Virginia Tech football Coach Frank Beamer announced Wednesday that embattled place kicker Cody Journell has been kicked off the team for a violation of team policies. In a school release, Virginia Tech said Beamer would not have further comment.

Journell has been the team’s starting place kicker since 2011. But Journell, a redshirt senior, has struggled to avoid the spotlight during his time on campus.

Before the 2012 season, he needed to be reinstated to the program by Athletic Director Jim Weaver after being charged with felony breaking and entering and spending a week in jail.

He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing but missed the 2012 Sugar Bowl as a result.

In September, Journell was suspended for a 29-21 overtime win against Marshall after violating team rules. Nonetheless, Beamer continued to support Journell.

— Mark Giannotto

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault reported nearly a year ago. The university and Winston’s attorney confirmed the Tallahassee (Fla.) Police Department is conducting an investigation.

Winston has been spectacular for the No. 2 Seminoles in his first college season and the redshirt freshman is one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy.

Tallahassee Police Department officials refused to answer any questions, although they did release a heavily redacted two-page incident report. . . .

Jordan Lynch threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help No. 20 Northern Illinois beat Ball State, 48-27, at home.

Lynch threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Da’Ron Brown to break a tie with 5 minutes 49 seconds left, and the Huskies (10-0, 6-0 Mid-American) ran the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 25. The victory preserved their hopes for a second straight Bowl Championship Series appearance. . . .

A former band member charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major pleaded no contest to manslaughter and could become the first person to go to prison for his involvement in the beating.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton described Jessie Baskin, 22, as being “most consistently identified as the most enthusiastic” band member participating in the hazing ritual that led to Robert Champion’s death.

Baskin was beating Champion with his hands and feet, Ashton said. A deal with prosecutors calls for Baskin to spend nine years in prison.

high schools

Einstein High football Coach Jermaine Howell resigned Tuesday after three seasons.

Howell, 40, said he decided to leave the job to spend more time with his family.

Einstein finished 4-5 this season, fourth in the Montgomery County 3A division.

Howell will remain at the Kensington school as a physical education teacher.

— Roman Stubbs


Oribe Peralta scored twice and host Mexico beat New Zealand, 5-1, in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff to close in on a spot in the World Cup next year.

Paul Aguilar put Mexico ahead in the 32nd minute. Raul Jimenez made it 2-0 before the break and Peralta scored his first goal three minutes into the second half.

The second leg is Wednesday in Wellington, New Zealand.

Mexico scored only seven goals in 10 qualifying games, but broke through under new Coach Miguel Herrera. Herrera, the team’s fourth coach in two months, used only players based in Mexico’s domestic league.

Mexico finished behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras in CONCACAF qualifying, with those three advancing automatically to Brazil.

— From news services

and staff reports