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REBELS RB MCCLUSTER HAS STINT AT HOSPITAL

Compiled from Times wires

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster spent Tuesday night in the hospital because of flu symptoms, and nearly two dozen other players missed practice Wednesday as the virus swept through the team.

McCluster, a versatile star out of Largo High, was released Wednesday morning but did not practice. As many as 27 players are in some stage of the flu. That includes starting quarterback Jevan Snead.

Officials believe it is swine flu and are following U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines that include isolating ill players. The flu also has swept through other athletic teams and the general student population with nearly 400 reporting flu-like symptoms to campus health officials through Wednesday.

The Rebels are off this week before facing Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 19. So offensive coordinator Kent Austin said the situation isn't dire.

"It's an opportunity to get the young kids a lot of reps," he said. "From that standpoint, it's a positive. I'd hate the think if we were playing this week."

Alabama: Mark Ingram, who rushed for 150 yards last week, has the flu, but coach Nick Saban said he expects him to play Saturday against Florida International.

Illinois: Mikel Leshoure, who tied for the team lead in rushing last week, was suspended for Saturday's game against Illinois State for undisclosed reasons.

Rutgers: Freshman quarterback Tom Savage, one of the most touted recruits in school history, will start Saturday against Howard. During Monday's 47-15 loss to Cincinnati, he threw for 135 yards and a touchdown after replacing fifth-year senior Domenic Natale, who threw three interceptions in his first career start.

Men's basketball

Gillispie enters rehab?: William Patrick, an attorney for former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, said his client is only considering entering a rehab program after last month's arrest on a drunken driving charge. WKYT-TV in Lexington, Ky., reported Gillispie, fired in March after two seasons, entered John Lucas' program in Houston.

Arkansas: Three unidentified players will not face sexual assault charges. A student's complaint came after a fraternity party during the first week of classes. Prosecutor John Threet said witness interviews and statements from the woman didn't show she was unaware a sex act occurred or she was unable to say no. "There's a misconception with some people that if somebody's been drinking and someone has sex with them, there's a rape," he said. "That's not the law."

Women's basketball

HARTFORD, Conn. - A daughter of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was hired by the Courant to help cover the six-time national champion Huskies.

Alysa Auriemma's articles will be published on her blog and linked to the Courant's Web site. Auriemma, 23, who graduated from UConn with a degree in dramatic arts, said she'll take readers behind the scenes, not write anything controversial and counter "false press."

"This is a good format to kind of clear up some things and kind of get the truth out there," she said.

John Altavilla, who covers the team for the Courant, said on his blog Auriemma will blog, write stories and participate in question and answer sessions.

Geno Auriemma was not available for comment.

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