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Seattle releases Alexander

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Seattle Seahawks released former most valuable player Shaun Alexander, only 26 months after he signed a $62-million contract as the franchise’s cornerstone.

Seahawks President Tim Ruskell said Tuesday that the team released Alexander unconditionally hours after the running back passed a physical. It has been a rapid fall for the 30-year-old. When he signed that deal, he was coming off an MVP season in 2005 and a Super Bowl appearance.

“I will be playing for another NFL team this fall, and doing everything I can to contribute,” Alexander said.

Minnesota acquired NFL sacks leader Jared Allen from the Kansas City Chiefs for a first-round pick and both of the Vikings’ third-round selections in the 2008 draft, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

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Allen, according to the Fox Sports website, will become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history with a new six-year contract for almost $74 million. Allen told Fox this includes $31 million guaranteed.

Allen, 26, had 15.5 sacks last season.

A federal judge denied the NFL’s motion that he vacate his earlier ruling that allows suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to keep $16.5 million in bonuses. U.S. District Judge David Doty also declined the NFL’s motion that he recuse himself from the case. The league had accused him of bias.

Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker, 33, announced his retirement after nine seasons.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Florida State receiver Parker facing charges

Florida State’s Preston Parker was arrested late Monday in Tallahassee, Fla., and charged with carrying a concealed .45-caliber pistol and a small amount of marijuana.

The 21-year-old receiver was arrested shortly before midnight and accused of carrying a loaded semiautomatic .45-caliber pistol wedged into the dash of the car next to a bag of marijuana. Police also found a container stuffed with marijuana, according to the arrest report.

Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter will have minor surgery today on the thumb of his throwing hand.

BASKETBALL

Olivier is hired by Nevada Las Vegas

Nevada Las Vegas has hired Kathy Olivier, the former UCLA coach, as its new women’s coach.

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Olivier, 48, replaces Regina Miller, who was fired after 10 seasons. She finished with a 175-125 record at UNLV.

Olivier, who resigned last month after the Bruins finished the season 16-15, said she was thrilled to return to coaching at her alma mater.

“UCLA’s been very good to me, and the job at UNLV was the only one that would have gotten me back into coaching,” she said.

Massachusetts has agreed to hire Memphis assistant and former Minuteman player Derek Kellogg as its new coach. Kellogg, 34, played at Massachusetts from 1991-1995 under current Memphis Coach John Calipari.

The Sparks traded forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin and their 2009 first-round draft pick to the Washington Mystics for forward DeLisha Milton-Jones. Milton-Jones played for the Sparks from 1999-2004, helping them to win consecutive WNBA championships in 2001 and 2002. She averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Mystics last season. McWilliams-Franklin, a nine-year veteran, averaged 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds last season.

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Dan Arritt

Sparks rookie Candace Parker has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Adidas.

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MISCELLANY

Schumacher Racing draws $100,000 fine

Don Schumacher Racing drew a record $100,000 fine from the National Hot Rod Assn. for having unapproved nitromethane fuel in its pit area during the NHRA’s Powerade Series drag-racing event in Las Vegas on April 10-13.

But team owner Don Schumacher said he would appeal because the infraction was the result of “a series of errors.”

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Jim Peltz

Novak Djokovic reached the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters by beating Ivan Ljubicic, 6-3, 6-3, in Monaco.

PASSINGS

Chynoweth was former president of WHL

Ed Chynoweth, a former president of the Western Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League, died in Calgary, Canada. He was 66.


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