Barkley owes money to casino

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Charles Barkley acknowledged he owes a $400,000 gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino and promised Thursday to repay it after a prosecutor said the retired NBA star faced criminal charges.

"My mistake," Barkley said in an interview at a pro-am golf tournament in Hoover, Ala. "I'm not broke, and I'm going to take care of it."

Barkley, a basketball analyst for Turner Network Television, was responding to comments by Clark County District Attorney David Roger, who said prosecutors would file a criminal complaint if he did not pay the debt cited by the Wynn Las Vegas resort.

"He'll have an opportunity like anybody else to make restitution to the hotel," Roger said.

The casino alleged in a civil complaint filed Wednesday in a Nevada state court that Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19.


Sharapova, Williams sisters advance in Italy

Maria Sharapova rallied from a four-game deficit in the second set to defeat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 7-6 (3), advancing to the Italian Open quarterfinals along with sisters Serena and Venus Williams in Rome.

Seventh-seeded Venus Williams rolled past Vera Zvonareva, 7-5, 6-2. Serena Williams beat Sara Errani, 6-4, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal defeated Andy Murray, 6-3, 6-2, to join Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the Hamburg Masters in Germany.

Federer beat Robin Soderling, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic defeated Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten was given a wild-card entry into this year's tournament by the French tennis federation.


Sorenstam shoots a 67 for share of the lead

Two days after announcing this would be her final season on the LPGA Tour, Annika Sorenstam shot a five-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead in the Sybase Classic in Columbia, S.C. Two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa was a stroke back.

Song-Hee Kim also was at 67 along with Rachel Hetherington.

Kenny Perry endured a steady -- and occasionally driving rain -- to claim a share of the first-round lead with a six-under 66 at the AT&T; Classic in Duluth, Ga. The other leaders -- Jonathan Kaye, Ryan Palmer, Jonathan Byrd and Parker McLachlin -- all teed off in the morning, before a huge weather system engulfed the suburban Atlanta course.


USC recruit Simmons faces May 29 court date

A preliminary hearing for USC football recruit Maurice Simmons, arraigned last month and charged with felony robbery and assault with a firearm, was held in Compton Superior Court, and another court hearing was set for May 29, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said.

Simmons, who remains free on bail, signed a letter of intent with the Trojans in February. Coach Pete Carroll has said a determination about the linebacker's status would not be made until the legal proceeding is complete.

-- Gary Klein

Venjah Hunte, 20, one of the five suspects charged in the killing of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, will serve 29 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and armed burglary, his lawyer said.


UCLA women defeat USC in NCAA match

The UCLA women's tennis team defeated USC, 4-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA championships at Tulsa, Okla. The Bruins will play Arkansas on Saturday. The Razorbacks defeated Georgia, 4-2.

Pepperdine, USC and UCLA play today in the men's championship.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, 81, spent several hours at a hospital being treated for dehydration before returning home late Thursday.

The Arena Football League Board of Directors unanimously approved the use of instant replay as an officiating tool for the 2008 playoffs. It will be the first time in the league's 22-season history that instant replay will be used.

Indiana University has reached a settlement with former interim coach Dan Dakich, paying him the $185,000 he was scheduled to earn next season.

Mike Dunlap is leaving his job as a Denver Nuggets assistant coach to serve on Lute Olson's staff at Arizona.

Cammie Granato, Geraldine Heaney and Angela James became the first female players inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.

Libby Callahan, 56, qualified for her fourth U.S. Olympic team, finishing second in the sport pistol competition at the U.S. shooting trials in Ft. Benning, Ga.

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