Sports in Brief

Published March 27, 2014


Hamlin had metal in eye, not infection

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A small piece of metal in his eye, not a sinus infection, led to Denny Hamlin sitting out Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at California, his team said Wednesday. But he will race this weekend at Martinsville.

Hamlin wasn't cleared to race by doctors in the infield care center at Auto Club Speedway. He visited the care center Saturday and Sunday complaining of an irritation to his eye, and it was determined it was related to a recent sinus infection. Hamlin went to a local hospital for further evaluation. There, "a small piece of metal was found," Joe Gibbs Racing said.

The metal was removed, and JGR said, "Hamlin felt immediate improvement." By then, the race had started and Sam Hornish was driving Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota.

Hamlin had further testing in California before flying home to North Carolina. He was evaluated in Charlotte on Monday and Wednesday, and it was determined he had no lingering issues.


Seminoles outfielder suspended for brawl

The NCAA suspended Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart for four games for his role in a brawl against Florida on Tuesday. In the eighth inning in Jacksonville, Stewart hit a roller down the first-base line that pitcher Danny Young fielded. Stewart ran through Young, knocking down him and first baseman Zack Powers. Powers confronted Stewart, who shoved Powers. Then both benches emptied. "I plan to meet with the appropriate national organizations … and address this issue," FSU coach Mike Martin said, "as I feel the punishment does not fit the crime."

UMass to exit MAC: Massachusetts football will leave the MAC after 2015. UMass, in the Atlantic 10 for all other sports, joined in 2012 as part of realignment. At the time, the sides agreed if Temple left the MAC, UMass had to join for all sports or leave within two years. Soon after, Temple left for the Big East. UMass said it will remain I-A but didn't say if it will be an independent. The exit leaves the MAC at 12 schools, and it said it plans to remain at that.

Obituary: Hank Lauricella, a single-wing tailback at Tennessee from 1949-51 and the Heisman Trophy runnerup in 1951, died late Tuesday in Jefferson, La. He was 83. Mr. Lauricella was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

Et cetera

Tennis: Novak Djokovic benefited from a bad call to beat Andy Murray 7-5, 6-3 in the Sony Open quarters in Key Biscayne. With Murray serving at 5-6 in the first, Djokovic charged and hit a winner. Murray complained (and replays showed) Djokovic's racket was over the net. But the umpire disagreed, and such calls can't be appealed via video review. Murray committed unforced errors on the next three points to lose the set.

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Golf: The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, exclusively for men since it was founded in 1754 at St. Andrews, will vote in September on if women can join. A statement from the club said all committees were "strongly in favor" and asked members to go along.

Figure skating: Japan's Tatsuki Machida won the short program at the world championships in Saitama, Japan. Machida, fifth at the Olympics, earned 98.21 points, 1.79 more than Spain's Javier Fernandez. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won the pairs short program.

Horses: Cairo Prince drew the third post and was listed as the 9-5 favorite for Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, a Kentucky Derby prep race. In another prep race, Saturday's Grade II $1 million Louisiana Derby, Intense Holiday drew the first post and was listed as the 2-1 favorite.

Times wires