Sidney lawyer appeals to Congress

Staff and Wire Reports

The attorney for former Los Angeles Fairfax High basketball standout Renardo Sidney has asked Congress to investigate what he labeled in a news release Tuesday as “racially selective conduct by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and Eligibility Center.”

Attorney Donald Jackson said he has turned over “considerable” information to the NCAA in an effort to have the player deemed eligible for his freshman season at Mississippi State, beginning in late November.

He said the NCAA has “demanded that Sidney and his family produce several years of bank records, income tax returns for family members [including grandparents] and cellular telephone records for every member of the family among other things.”

The NCAA has declined to certify Sidney because he has not provided the organization the documentation they have requested, spokeswoman Stacey Osburn told The Times on Tuesday.


-- Lance Pugmire


Connecticut basketball Coach Jim Calhoun is talking to the school about a new multiyear contract, ESPN reported. Calhoun, 67, is set to make $1.6 million in 2009-10, the final year of a six-year deal.



No deal for referees

The NBA has told teams it’s going ahead with replacement referees, days after the league thought a deal had been reached with locked-out officials.

The league sent a memo Tuesday informing teams it had “no expectation of concluding a timely labor contract.”

According to the memo, the sides had agreed in principle on a new two-year deal Friday. But the National Basketball Referees Assn. rejected the NBA’s proposal Sunday.


Cappie Pondexter missed a game-winning tip-in at the fourth-quarter buzzer then scored seven of her 23 points in overtime to help the Phoenix Mercury escape with a 120-116 victory over the Indiana Fever at Phoenix in a wild opener of the WNBA finals. Penny Taylor scored 23 points and newly crowned league MVP Diana Taurasi 22 for Phoenix in the highest-scoring game in WNBA history.


U.S. game to go on


The United States can qualify for soccer’s World Cup in South Africa next year with a victory at Honduras on Oct. 10. But because of the unstable political situation in the Central American country, where martial law is in effect and civil liberties have been curtailed, there remained some doubt whether the match would go ahead as planned.

In an attempt to dispel those fears, Jerome Valcke, the secretary general of FIFA, said that world soccer’s governing body has no intention of postponing or moving the game.

Valcke said the situation in Honduras, following the ouster of Manuel Zelaya as president and his subsequent return to the country, had not caused safety concerns that would affect the qualifying game.

-- Grahame L. Jones


Lombardi, Gretzky talk

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said he has spoken informally with Wayne Gretzky and invited him to renew his relationship with his former team, perhaps in an advisory role.

“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Lombardi said, explaining remarks he first made to Toronto radio station the Fan 590. “I told him, ‘Just take your time, but I just wanted to let you know the door is always open for you.’ He’s got a lot on his plate. It was more to let him know we’re thinking about him.”


-- Helene Elliott


Jerry Rice to turn pro

Hall of Fame-nominated wide receiver Jerry Rice will make his professional golf debut next year as a tournament host and player at a Nationwide Tour event in Northern California.

The Stonebrae Classic announced that the Jerry Rice 127 Foundation has been named the primary receiver of the tournament’s charity proceeds.


Bay Hill is returning to a par 72 from par 70 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational after the tournament host decided that it was more fun for the gallery to see players making birdies. . . . The Verizon Heritage, one of the PGA Tour’s most popular spring tournaments, is losing its longtime namesake sponsor after 2010.


Bowl game for N.Y.

A college football bowl game will be played at Yankee Stadium starting in 2010. The New York Yankees have scheduled a news conference today to announce the details. The game is expected to match teams from the Big East and Big 12 conferences.


Former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch has been charged with assaulting his common-law wife. A judge set Knoblauch’s bond at $10,000 after he appeared in court. . . . Meb Keflezighi, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, will run this year’s New York City Marathon.