FSU penalty challenge proves costly
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's outside legal costs while unsuccessfully challenging part of an NCAA penalty that took away a dozen of former coach Bobby Bowden's victories totaled more than $172,000. The university paid the Gray Robinson law firm of Tallahassee for representing it in appealing part of the NCAA penalty and to defend a public records suit brought by media organizations. The university spent $70,000 of boosters' money to appeal the penalties and more than $102,000 in tax dollars to unsuccessfully fight the public records requests. The NCAA stripped FSU of wins in 10 sports.
More football: Gators junior QB John Brantley is missing practice because of fever and possible strep throat. Brantley is awaiting word on strep tests. He appeared to tweak his right knee Monday, but school officials say his absence Wednesday was not injury-related. No timetable for a return was given.
Chinese pair dominates
Silver medalists at the Vancouver Olympics, Pang Qing and Tong Jian easily won their second title at the world championships in Turin, Italy. The Chinese pair finished with 211.39 points, more than six points ahead of two-time defending world champs Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany.
U.S. champions Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were seventh, while Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig finished ninth. Both pairs train at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex.
Also, Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi leads the men's event after the short program. U.S. champ Jeremy Abbott is sixth.
Autos: Forbes' rankings show Hendrick Motorsports ($350 million) is the most valuable team in NASCAR for the second year in a row. Roush Fenway Racing is second ($238 million), and Richard Childress Racing is third ($153 million). Forbes ranked three Hendrick drivers as the highest paid: Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($30 million), Jeff Gordon ($27 million) and Jimmie Johnson ($23 million).
Horses: More than two thoroughbreds die a day from injuries at North American racetracks, according to early results from a monitoring system launched amid the high-profile deaths of Barbaro and Eight Belles. Numbers from the Jockey Club's equine injury database covering a one-year period beginning Nov. 1, 2008, show that one of every 500 starts resulted in a fatal injury. Based on the 378,864 starts in the study, that represents 773 deaths.
Soccer: Manchester United froze ticket prices for next season amid protests against the Glazer family, which owns the English team and the Bucs.
Swimming: The NCAA delayed the start of the Division I men's championships at Ohio State to Friday after 18 athletes and a coach from three schools came down with a gastrointestinal illness.
Tennis: Women's No. 1 Serena Williams received the 2009 WTA player of the year award and doubles team of the year honor with sister Venus at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne. Tampa's James Blake beat wild-card recipient Filip Krajinovic 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4, and Justin Henin beat Jill Craybas 6-2, 6-2.