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Vikings didn’t violate rules

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has ruled that contact between the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre this summer did not violate league tampering rules.

Goodell said Monday that although there were conversations between then-retired Favre and Vikings coaches, none of the conversations suggested Favre was soliciting a job or that anyone was soliciting his services.

After the ruling the Packers released a statement saying, “Based on the information that we had, the Packers thought it was appropriate to bring this matter to the league’s attention. We respect the commissioner’s investigation of this matter and we now consider it closed.”

Meanwhile, Favre reported to the Packers as expected Monday but managed to do so without being noticed by fans and media members staking out several entrances to Lambeau Field hoping to catch a glimpse of him.

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Coach Mike McCarthy scheduled a news conference for today after meeting with Favre until after midnight in Green Bay.

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A subdued Steve Smith apologized to his Carolina Panthers teammates, coaches and fans, three days after he punched teammate Ken Lucas at practice, leaving the starting cornerback with a broken nose that will require surgery.

Smith, who was suspended without pay for the first two regular-season games, did not answer questions.

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Smith never mentioned Lucas by name in his statement, nor did he explain the incident.

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Philadelphia Eagles guard Shawn Andrews is battling depression and might arrive at training camp this week, the two-time Pro Bowl selection told the Philadelphia Daily News.

“I’m willing to admit that I’ve been going through a very bad time with depression,” Andrews said in his first public comments about his training camp absence. “I’ve finally decided to get professional help. It’s not something that blossomed up overnight. I’m on medication, trying to get better.”

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New York Giants halfback Ahmad Bradshaw said he has to serve another 30 days in jail after the season for violating terms of a probation he received as a 15-year-old. . . . The Cincinnati Bengals released running back Kenny Irons. . . . Buffalo Bills linebacker Alvin Bowen is scheduled for surgery next week on a torn right knee ligament, ending his rookie season before it starts. . . . Washington Redskins rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks. . . . Offensive lineman John Welbourn, who started every game at right guard last season for Kansas City, signed with the New England Patriots. . . . Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Chris Gray has retired on the eve of his 16th NFL season. . . . The Kansas City Chiefs say rookie defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is expected to sit out about a week after spraining his left knee in practice during the weekend.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

All six Trojans home games sell out

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USC became, perhaps, the toughest sports ticket in town when the school announced that all of the tickets for the Trojans’ Nov. 1 game against Washington had been sold, meaning all six 2008 home games will be sellouts.

-- Gary Klein

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Georgia Coach Mark Richt announced backup linebacker Darius Dewberry was suspended for the first two games of the season, making him the sixth player to be suspended or dismissed from the team in the off-season.

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Kentucky cornerback Paul Warford has been ruled ineligible for the 2008 season, costing the Wildcats a returning starter.

Warford started 11 games last season, and had 41 tackles and two interceptions.

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Running back Lance Smith was dismissed from Wisconsin’s football team, a month after he was expelled from a first-offenders program for failing to meet its requirements.

MISCELLANY

Kings name three assistant coaches

The Kings hired Mark Hardy and promoted Jamie Kompon and Nelson Emerson as assistants on the staff of new Coach Terry Murray.

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Assistants Mike Johnston and Dave Lewis will not return next season, although Johnston has been offered another position with the team.

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Tennessee women’s basketball Coach Pat Summitt will donate $600,000 to the university to be shared by the Knoxville and Martin campuses.

The donation will be given over several years to support the women’s basketball programs at both campuses and includes a $100,000 endowed scholarship for a Lady Vols basketball graduate assistant.

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NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst of Duke shot a six-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Eugene, Ore.

The field of 156 will be cut to 64 for five rounds of match play beginning Wednesday.

PASSINGS

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Former sprint car champ Weld, 64

Greg Weld, who won 21 U.S. Auto Club sprint car races and was the series national champion in 1967, died in Kansas City, Mo. He was 64. The cause of death was not immediately known.


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