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NASCAR settles lawsuit

staff and wire reports

NASCAR has settled a $225-million lawsuit filed by former official Mauricia Grant, who said she was subjected to racial discrimination and sexual harassment during her two-plus years working for the stock-car organization.

Settlement terms were confidential.

Grant, who is black, worked as a technical inspector responsible for certifying cars in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series from January 2005 until her October 2007 termination.

BOXING

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Pacquiao, Hatton near deal on fight

Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton are close to finalizing a deal to meet in a 140-pound bout on May 2 in Las Vegas, Hatton’s promoter, Richard Schaefer said. The fight will probably be at MGM Grand or a Planet Hollywood-sponsored card at the Thomas and Mack Center, he said.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, discussed the fight with Pacquiao while attending Pacquiao’s 30th birthday celebration this week in the Philippines, and Schaefer has maintained contact with Hatton and his family.

Hatton was impressive in November, battering Paulie Malignaggi in a 140-pound fight, but Pacquiao was destructive in beating Oscar De La Hoya in an eighth-round TKO earlier this month in their welterweight bout.

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-- Lance Pugmire

JURISPRUDENCE

No charges filed against Dragovic

The city attorney has completed a pair of hearings in the misdemeanor battery case involving UCLA basketball forward Nikola Dragovic and no charges have been filed, a spokesman said Thursday. Dragovic was arrested in early November on suspicion of pushing his live-in girlfriend to the ground during an argument.

The city attorney’s office met with the alleged victim to discuss the incident and advise her of various options, including the possibility of obtaining a restraining order.

“Nothing more is pending at this time,” spokesman Frank Mateljan said. “But we reserve the right to file charges.” He said the statute of limitations is a year from the date of the incident.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland suspended Dragovic for one game and said the junior would face internal discipline. Dragovic had two points and five rebounds against Loyola Marymount on Wednesday night.

-- David Wharton

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Police in Cincinnati arrested Mississippi men’s basketball Coach Andy Kennedy after a cab driver said the coach punched him while calling him “bin Laden” and other racial insults.

Kennedy was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor count of assault. He denied the allegations.

ETC.

Sundin signs with Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks signed free-agent center Mats Sundin. The 37-year-old center became an unrestricted free agent at the end of last season and was being courted by a half dozen teams. . . . Miami quarterback Robert Marve will not play in the Emerald Bowl against California on Dec. 27 because of a violation of team academic rules. . . . Second-seeded Stanford advanced to its third straight NCAA women’s volleyball title match with a 20-25, 18-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-13 victory over No. 3 Texas at Omaha. The Cardinal (31-3), the runner-up the last two years, will face top-seeded Penn State in the final Saturday. Penn State beat Nebraska in five sets.

PASSINGS

Jerry Long, 79; UCLA assistant

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Jerry Long, who was an assistant on two of UCLA’s Rose Bowl-winning football teams and later worked in athletic administration for the Bruins, has died. He was 79. Long, who had been in a hospice for several months, died of a heart attack earlier this week.


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