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Sports in brief: Johnson retires as Vanderbilt football coach weeks before season opener

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johnson's retirement stuns vandy football

NASHVILLE — Bobby Johnson said Wednesday that there's never a good time for a football coach to quit — as he retired less than a month before Vanderbilt starts fall practice.

Johnson, 59, said it was a very difficult decision, one he began seriously considering a month ago. He said he informed vice chancellor David Williams in a meeting Monday. The announcement came Wednesday after Williams couldn't talk Johnson out of retiring even with offering more money.

"Football is not life, but it's a way of life and it consumes your life," Johnson said. "You only have so many years to live, and you want to see a different way."

Assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell was named interim coach.

"This isn't something you can sit around and mope about," defensive lineman T.J. Greenstone said. "Having Coach Caldwell helps a lot. … We're not planning on missing a beat here."

In eight seasons, Johnson went 29-66, coaching the Commodores to their only nonlosing season since 1982 in 2008 (7-6). He went 2-10 in 2009.

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After resting injured thumb, Miami's Harris looks to improve

The thumb injury Miami quarterback Jacory Harris dealt with on his throwing hand last season was repeatedly dismissed as minor.

It apparently was far more severe than the Hurricanes acknowledged.

Harris feared "the worst" in the weeks following the injury, which was eventually announced as a torn ligament that required surgery six months ago. And although he's still recovering, Harris said he'll be pain-free and ready to play when Miami opens against Florida A&M on Sept. 2, followed nine days later by a trip to Ohio State.

"I guess the time off gave me time to rest," Harris said. "And when I got back, I was just in a mode where I've got to work to get better. I can't be the same person from last year. I've got to strive to get better."

Georgia: Sophomore running back Dontavius Jackson, arrested on alcohol-related charges last week, is transferring. Coach Mark Richt suspended him for at least six games after he was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and other motor vehicle offenses early Saturday morning in Athens, Ga.

Michigan: Brad Labadie resigned as director of football operations, saying the move is unrelated to an ongoing NCAA investigation into major rules violations.

ET CETERA

Soccer: Striker Thierry Henry signed a multiyear contract and is expected to make his New York Red Bulls debut July 22. Henry, 32, guided Arsenal to the Premier League title in 2002 and '04 before leaving in '07 to join Barcelona. … The Argentine Football Association says it will offer Diego Maradona a new four-year contract that would keep him in charge of the national team through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

NFL: Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers has reached an agreement that could dismiss charges that he tried to carry a gun through airport security in April. Prosecutors in Cleveland say when he appears in court today, he'll agree to meet with a diversion officer and do volunteer service.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Johnson retires as Vanderbilt football coach weeks before season opener 07/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 1:01am]
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