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Sports Briefs

- The Washington Times - Monday, March 21, 2011

NHL

Penguins' Cooke sits at least 14 games for elbow to head

@-Text.rag:DETROIT | Penguins forward Matt Cooke was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and first round of the playoffs by the NHL for elbowing Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers in the head.

Pittsburgh has 10 games to play, including Monday night's game against the Detroit Red Wings, in the regular season, so the suspension will be a minimum of 14 matches. He will also lose $219,512.20 in salary.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said in a statement the suspension was "warranted because that's exactly the kind of hit we're trying to get out of the game.

"Head shots have no place in hockey. We've told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message."

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Tennessee reportedly fires embattled head coach Pearl

@-Text.rag:KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | Tennessee has fired Bruce Pearl after a season that saw the coach charged with unethical conduct for lying to NCAA investigators during a probe into recruiting, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

The person spoke with the Associated Press on Monday on the condition of anonymity because the university has not announced the firing.

In six seasons, Pearl, 51, led the Volunteers to their first No. 1 ranking in 2008 and first NCAA tournament regional finals appearance, missing out on a trip to the 2010 Final Four by a single point.

NFL

No legal means to stop lockout, NFL tells court

@-Text.rag:MINNEAPOLIS | The NFL asked a federal judge Monday to keep its lockout in place, claiming there are no legal grounds to stop it while accusing the players of trying to manipulate the law with a bogus antitrust lawsuit.

The NFL filed its arguments in federal court in St. Paul, Minn., where U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson has scheduled an April 6 hearing on the players' request to stop the lockout. The injunction request was filed the same day as an antitrust lawsuit by Tom Brady, Drew Brees and eight other current NFL players against the league on March 11.

The NFL said any decision on a lockout must wait until the National Labor Relations Board rules on an unfair labor practice charge against the now-dissolved players' union that contends the players "failed to confer in good faith." That charge was filed Feb. 14 and amended March 11 to include reference to the union's decertification.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Report: Longtime men's coach Wolff to lead Hokie women

@-Text.rag:RICHMOND | Dennis Wolff has agreed to become the women's basketball coach at Virginia Tech, according to an Associated Press report.

Wolff, who turned 56 earlier this month, spent 18 years as a men's head coach - the first three at Connecticut College from 1980 to 1982 and 15 at Boston University from 1994 to 2009. He was fired following the 2008-09 season with a record of 247-197.

SOCCER

U.S. midfielder Holden to miss 6 months with knee injury

@-Text.rag:BOLTON, England | American midfielder Stuart Holden will miss June's CONCACAF Gold Cup because of a knee injury that will require surgery and sideline him six months.

Holden hurt his left knee Saturday in Bolton's 1-0 defeat at Manchester United in the Premier League. The U.S. Soccer Federation said Sunday an X-ray revealed no broken bones, but Holden needed 26 stitches to close a gash near his knee. Bolton said it did not have more details on the injury.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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