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LIGHTNING'S RANGER ON PERSONAL LEAVE

MAKING NEWS

Defenseman Paul Ranger has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team, the Lightning said. Coach Rick Tocchet said Ranger has to "take care of a couple of things" but declined to elaborate. Ranger's agent Joe Resnick said only that his client left the team for "personal reasons." Ranger, 25, spent the past two summers rehabbing surgeries to both shoulders. Said general manager Brian Lawton in a statement: "Paul indicated to coach Rick Tocchet that he and the team might be better served if he took a personal leave. After some internal consultation and further discussions with Paul, we agreed with him on both fronts and intend on allowing him the personal time he needs. ... We ask that everyone please respect Paul's privacy at this time."

Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer

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Ex-Tampa player accidentally shot

A Hampton basketball player from Tampa is in critical condition after being accidentally shot. Theo Smalling, 22, a senior and team captain who attended Bloomingdale, was shot in a parking lot just after midnight Saturday when Dominique Devon Smith mishandled a gun. Smith, 21, was charged with reckless handling of a firearm.

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Woman in affair with Phillips fired

The ESPN production assistant whose affair with baseball analyst Steve Phillips led to his termination also was fired, network spokesman Mike Soltys said. He did not say why Brooke Hundley, 22, was fired. Phillips last week entered an inpatient treatment facility.

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Griese suspended over Montoya joke

ESPN suspended broadcaster Bob Griese one week for his remark about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Griese cracked that Montoya, a Colombian, was "out having a taco" when analyst Chris Spielman noted his absence from the points leaders.

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OUT OF BOUNDS

If volubility is a qualification ...

Charles Barkley thinks he can do better than some of the general managers he criticizes on TV. The Hall of Fame player and TNT analyst said he'd like his chance to run an NBA team. He said some GMs have done a "bad job, plain and simple" in making draft picks and worry more about keeping their jobs than winning.

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QUOTABLE

"I think I'd have to get in line."

Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt football coach on his intention to speak with SEC officials about iffy officiating

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