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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apologizes

A chastened Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger accepted his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy Monday and promised to “comply with what is asked of me — and more.”

In his first comments since the NFL handed down the penalty last week, Roethlisberger apologized to his teammates and fans for his behavior last month in a Georgia bar, where a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexual assault.

“The commissioner’s decision to suspend me speaks clearly that more is expected of me. I am accountable for the consequences of my actions. Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family,” Roethlisberger said in the statement.

Roethlisberger was cleared of charges, but Commissioner Roger Goodell cracked down on the Steelers star because “you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville (Ga.) that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”

The New England Patriots released former Pro Bowl linebacker Adalius Thomas, who joined the team as a high-profile free agent in 2007 but fell into disfavor with Coach Bill Belichick last season The Jacksonville Jaguars released two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle John Henderson, opening up a starting spot for first-round draft pick Tyson Alualu.

BASKETBALL

UCLA announces Mathews’ hiring

UCLA made official its hiring of Philip Mathews as an assistant basketball coach.

Mathews spent the last four years as an assistant at Nebraska but has extensive ties to Southern California. He played at UC Irvine, was an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton and was head coach at Ventura and San Bernardino Valley community colleges.

Mathews won a state title at Ventura in 1994-95. He also spent nine seasons as head coach at the University of San Francisco.

Mathews’ son, Jordan, is a highly regarded shooting guard who is a freshman at Riverside North High.

—Chris Foster

Iowa State’s Greg McDermott is leaving to become the new men’s coach at Creighton.

Creighton announced the hiring less than an hour after Oregon introduced former Bluejays coach Dana Altman as its coach.

McDermott will be formally introduced Tuesday.

Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials.

ETC.

Bruins game now set for Thursday

The University of Washington announced that the Huskies’ home finale against UCLA has been moved from Saturday, Nov. 13, to Thursday, Nov. 18.

Kickoff will be at 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast by ESPN.

Ducks right wing Mike Brown (four goals, one assist) had surgery last week to repair a torn abdominal muscle — the result of wear and tear. Recovery time is expected to be four to six weeks.

New Jersey Devils Coach Jacques Lemaire retired following his team’s first-round playoff elimination for the third straight year.

The 64-year-old Lemaire says he doesn’t have the energy to coach anymore. He will stay with the Devils in a role yet to be determined.

Former heavyweight champion John Ruiz is retiring.

The 38-year-old boxer said in a statement that he’s leaving after an 18-year career. He was the World Boxing Assn. champion two times and finished with a record of 44-9-1, including 30 knockouts.

Ruiz was knocked down four times in a loss to David Haye this month.


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