- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2012

PRO BASKETBALL

Spurs’ Ford retires after latest scare involving spine

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs point guard T.J. Ford abruptly retired Monday following the latest scare to his surgically repaired spine that once sideline him for an entire NBA season and hampered the dazzling promise that made him a college star.

Ford, 28, told reporters that lying motionless March 7 on the court against the New York Knicks wasn’t the first time it had happened, and that he decided to walk away while he still had a chance.

He was playing just his 14th game in an injury-prone season when Knicks guard Baron Davis elbowed him in the back, knocking him to the ground. Ford didn’t move for several minutes and wobbled while being helped off the court.

• New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams missed Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a strained right calf. Williams aggravated the calf injury in a win over Charlotte on Friday and sat out Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

Williams is averaging 22.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists. Jordan Farmar replaced him in the starting lineup for the second straight game.

• Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao’s broken right wrist will not be re-examined by doctors until next week. Varejao has been out since Feb. 10, when he broke his wrist during a game against Milwaukee. The Cavs expected Varejao, one of the NBA’s top rebounders, to miss from four to six weeks and were initially optimistic he would return sooner.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

North Carolina punished over benefits, academic fraud

The NCAA infractions committee has hit North Carolina’s football program with a one-year postseason ban, a reduction of 15 scholarships and three years of probation following an investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct.

In a ruling Monday, the committee said the school was responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud and a failure to monitor its football program. It also issued a three-year show-cause penalty for former assistant coach John Blake, who had received personal loans from an NFL agent.

HORSE RACING

Ailing leg to keep ‘Kingdom’ out of Dubai World Cup

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has developed lameness in his left hind leg and won’t run in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

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