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USC’s Christian Tupou likely to miss season with knee injury

Christian Tupou, USC’s starting nose tackle, will “likely” sit out the 2010 season because of a knee injury suffered in last week’s scrimmage at the Coliseum, the school announced.

Tupou, a senior, will have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left knee. Tupou was injured in the second half of the scrimmage when he made a cut and his knee buckled without being touched, the school said.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened, but I’m OK,” Tupou said in a statement. “I’ll deal with it. It’s part of the game. I’m down, but I’m not out because I can come back in 2011.”

Juniors DaJohn Harris and Hebron Fangupo are expected to get more of an opportunity in Tupou’s absence.

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— Gary Klein

PRO FOOTBALL

The New Orleans Saints and All-Pro guard Jahri Evans have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract worth nearly $57 million, making Evans the highest-paid interior lineman in the NFL.

TENNIS

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Top-ranked Serena Williams and older sister Venus Williams each advanced to the quarterfinals at the Italian Open in Rome. Serena, in her first tournament in three months, defeated Andrea Petkovic of Germany, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. Venus ousted Shahar Peer of Israel, 6-3, 6-4.

Both sisters are back from knee injuries and could meet in the semifinals.

Second-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark lost her third-round match to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, and eighth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was ousted by Czech player Lucie Safarova, who rallied to win 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1).

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Roger Federer captured his first singles win on clay this season, beating Bjorn Phau of Germany, 6-3, 6-4, at the Estoril Open in Oeiras, Portugal.

Federer, who had a bye into the second round at Estoril, will meet Arnaud Clement of France in the quarterfinals.

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Third-seeded Sam Querrey of the U.S. and Igor Andreev of Russia advanced to the quarterfinals of the Serbia Open in Belgrade. Querrey defeated Evgeny Korolev of Russia, 6-3, 6-4, while Andreev ousted fifth-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, 6-4, 7-5.

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JURISPRUDENCE

Adding to an already contentious divorce battle, Dwyane Wade’s estranged wife has filed a lawsuit, claiming his relationship with actress Gabrielle Union is causing her and the star Miami Heat guard’s two sons emotional distress. Dwyane Wade called the lawsuit “baseless and meritless,” and Union issued a statement insisting the allegations are false.

Siohvaughn Wade filed the suit in Chicago this week, the latest chapter in the lengthy, often-nasty divorce saga between the former high school sweethearts who separated in 2007. She and Dwyane Wade had two sons, ages 8 and 2, who are listed as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges Union “engaged in sexual foreplay” in front of the boys, which “severely inflicted the Plaintiffs emotionally and mentally.” It also claims that the boys received “medium size gifts” from Dwyane Wade for Christmas last year, while Union got “the biggest gift of all.”

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A Miami jury has awarded former Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie $11.5 million in his lawsuit against a prominent physician over a career-ending toe injury. The jurors returned the award against Dr. John Uribe following a 2 1/2 -week trial. Uribe, a former Dolphins team doctor, called the decision a travesty and an appeal is likely.

McDuffie sued for negligence and malpractice over treatment for the toe injury he originally suffered in 1999. He reached settlements with several other doctors.

ETC.

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Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge said that he regrets tossing a towel in the air to distract an opponent during a free throw attempt, calling himself “unprofessional” for doing so.

“This is very simple, OK: I regret that. That was very unprofessional,” Ainge told WEEI-AM. “I was having fun with the hecklers and the crowd sitting around me. You know what, there’s just no excuse. It was unprofessional.”

Ainge was caught by the TV broadcast of Monday night’s game in Cleveland throwing a towel in the air when Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson was at the line in the third quarter. Boston led by 23 points at the time, and Hickson made the free throw anyway.

HOCKEY

Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was named captain of the 2010 U.S. National Team for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Championship, which gets underway Friday in Germany.

Kings teammate and fellow defenseman Matt Greene was named an alternate captain. The U.S. opens against host Germany.

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

A California legislative committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would place a two-year moratorium on the use of metal bats in high school baseball, responding to safety concerns that were raised when a Marin County teenager was severely injured earlier this year.

The moratorium would allow time for the bodies that govern baseball at the high school and collegiate level to review the safety of aluminum and metal bats, which some say are more dangerous than their wooden counterparts.

The March incident left Gunnar Sandberg, a 16-year-old pitcher for Marin Catholic High, in a coma for weeks, and prompted the Marin County Athletic League to suspend the use of metal bats.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, passed the Senate Education Committee on a 5-1 vote, and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The NCAA is recommending tougher penalties for players who throw elbows in basketball, and women’s teams could be experimenting with a longer three-point line next season. If the new elbow rule passes, referees would be required to call a flagrant or intentional foul for anything more than incidental elbow contact above the shoulders. Last season, officials had the discretion to call either a flagrant or common foul for the contact. Common fouls could still be called if the contact is below the shoulders.

A flagrant foul would give the opponent two free throws and possession of the ball. A flagrant foul would also lead to the player’s ejection. The women’s committees also recommended experimental use of the men’s three-point line during all exhibition games and scrimmages that simulate a 40-minute game. The men’s line is established at 20 feet, 9 inches. The women’s arc is at 19 feet, 9 inches.

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Mo Cassara moved from first-year assistant to first-time Division I head coach to cap Hofstra’s hectic week.

Cassara was promoted to succeed Tim Welsh, who resigned from the head coaching job on Monday, two days after he was arrested on a DWI charge.

An assistant coach at Boston College the last four years and the head coach at Division III Clark for two seasons, Cassara had been at Hofstra even less than the monthlong tenure of Welsh, who succeeded Tom Pecora after he took over the program at Fordham.

SOCCER

Inter Milan won the Italian Cup by beating AS Roma 1-0, on a goal by Diego Milito in the 40th minute at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The victory may have come at a price, with Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder and defender Ivan Cordoba both injured during the game.

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Tottenham qualified for the Champions League for the first time, beating Manchester City, 1-0, on Peter Crouch’s headed goal in the 82nd minute in Manchester, England.

Chelsea (26-6-5) is first with 83 points and would win the Premier League for the first time since 2006 if it beats visiting Wigan on Sunday in its season finale. Manchester United (26-7-5), whose run of three straight league titles could come to an end, hosts Stoke on Sunday.

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Marseille clinched its ninth league title by beating Rennes, 3-1, in Paris, moving within one of the French record. Gabriel Heinze, Mamadou Niang and Lucho Gonzalez scored for Marseille, which only trails Saint-Etienne in French titles.

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

Cal State Northridge plays Penn State and Stanford faces Ohio State Thursday in the NCAA men’s volleyball Final Four at Stanford. Northridge (23-9) is seeded second, while third-seeded Penn State (23-7) is trying to win a second title in three seasons. Stanford (22-6) is the top-seeded team, with Ohio State (22-7) fourth. The championship match is Saturday.

MOTOR SPORTS

The Indy Racing League has the green light to launch a new event in Baltimore. City officials approved a contract with local investors who’ve been working to launch a race known as the Baltimore Grand Prix. The league is expected to sign a sanctioning agreement in the next two weeks.

The race would be the Indianapolis-based league’s only event in the mid-Atlantic region. Drivers would race in a loop around downtown at speeds up to 185 mph.


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