Sunday, January 21, 2018
Colleges

FSU dismisses Mario Pender after arrest, domestic battery accusation

Florida State running back Mario Pender was jailed Saturday on complaints of domestic battery by strangulation and resisting an officer without violence.

The Seminoles dismissed the 5-foot-10, 204-pound redshirt senior from the team within a few hours of his arrest.

The Leon County Jail could not provide details of the arrest by the Tallahassee Police Department. A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Pender, a Cape Coral native, was expected to be one of the Seminoles' top backups last year but missed most of the season with a collapsed lung. In 12 career games over the past two seasons he rushed 71 times for 349 yards and five touchdowns.

Pender, 23, did not participate in the spring game, and his role was uncertain heading into this season. Starter Dalvin Cook is a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. St. Petersburg Catholic product Ryan Green switched back to running back and performed well in the spring game, and Jacques Patrick rushed for 314 yards and five touchdowns last fall as a freshman.

Pender was arrested in 2008 in Lee County on a charge of felony grand theft. Three years later he was accused of battery and arrested on a grand theft of a motor vehicle complaint. The case was later dropped.

Blazer in critical condition: UAB running back Greg Bryant was "fighting for his life" after he was shot in South Florida, coach Bill Clark said. West Palm Beach detective Rob McGinley, the lead investigator in the shooting, said through a spokeswoman that Bryant was in critical condition at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. UAB initially had issued statements from Clark, school president Ray Watt and athletic director Mark Ingram saying Bryant had died. The statements "were based on information a family member at the hospital provided and gave us permission to release," Clark said.

Lattimore to coach preps: Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, denied a job at his alma mater after the NCAA found he was working at high school football camps, will be an assistant at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C., FootballScoop reported.

golf: Florida tied for first in its region and Florida State and Miami also reached the women's NCAA tournament with top-six finishes. The Gators and SEC rival South Carolina finished at 7-under 857 in Baton Rouge, La., after UF's final-round score of 11-under 277. The Seminoles shot 21-over 309 and were second in the Shoal Creek (Ala.) region at 41-over 905 over three days, 18 shots behind Northwestern. FSU's Matilda Castren (75) finished in a three-way tie for first at 4-over 220 with Northwestern's Janet Mao and California's Marianne Li. Miami (299) was fifth in Bryan, Texas, and qualified for the NCAAs by three strokes with a total of 13-over 877. The NCAA finals are May 20-25 in Eugene, Ore.

Baseball: Tampa swept a doubleheader at Eckerd, including a 24-9 win in the nightcap. Laz Rivera hit for the second cycle in program history and was 5-for-6 with five runs and four RBIs as the Spartans (39-7, 18-3 Sunshine State Conference) recorded a season high in runs. UT won the opener 5-4 over the Tritons (16-26, 4-17). … USF (21-25, 6-11 American Athletic Conference) lost 7-1 at home to No. 20 Tulane. … UF (39-8, 16-7 SEC), ranked first by Baseball America, lost 5-2 at Tennessee as Gators ace A.J. Puk lasted only 31/3 innings, allowing six walks and two runs. … Three pitchers combined to strike out 14 and No. 5 FSU (31-13) beat Bowling Green 10-0.

Basketball: Florida Gulf Coast gave coach Joe Dooley a two-year extension through the 2019-20 season.

Softball: Florida (51-4, 19-4) clinched the regular-season SEC title late Friday, then defeated visiting Arkansas 5-0 Saturday.

Lacrosse: The UF women won the Big East tournament, defeating Temple 16-4 in Washington. The Gators (18-1) continued the best start in program history and clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Volleyball: Ohio State (31-3) won its second men's national title, topping BYU 32-30, 25-23, 25-17 in State College, Pa.

Times researcher John Martin and Times wires contributed to this report.

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