LSU postponed its football game against Troy after Hurricane Gustav damaged Tiger Stadium and battered Louisiana’s capital city far worse than anticipated.
The university made the decision Wednesday after having a full day to get a handle on damage to the stadium and the community, much of which is expected to be without power into next week.
“It’s the right decision,” LSU head coach Les Miles said. “Our guys are maybe a little more affected than the Katrina and Rita duo – more firsthand concerns, more power lines that they saw, more trees down that they saw and power outages affected us, affecting them than the last storm we had. They were a little ragged on Tuesday.”
LSU players reported to their indoor practice field on Tuesday afternoon, first so coaches could make sure everyone was OK, then so they could have position meetings and practice in the hope that Saturday’s game could be played as scheduled. A day later, it was obvious to LSU officials that it wasn’t going to happen.
“We would have loved to play the game, but it’s not possible and the city of Baton Rouge is in too bad shape to take resources away to play a football game,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “The welfare of the people of Baton Rouge, the uncertain power issues facing all of us and the condition of Tiger Stadium were all factors in making this decision.”
The seventh-ranked Tigers’ game against the Trojans will be played Nov. 15.
“We are fortunate that both schools had a common open date later in the year,” Alleva said. “I am appreciative of the cooperation of the good people at Troy for their understanding of this situation.”
•Broken neck sidelines Pitt senior : Pitt outside linebacker Adam Gunn may miss the rest of his senior season with a broken neck caused when he collided with teammate Scott McKillop during a season-opening loss.
Gunn, who became a starter last season, played every down on defense and also was on the kickoff team before sustaining a concussion during the third quarter of the 27-17 loss to Bowling Green on Saturday.
•Tupou will return: Oregon offensive tackle Fenuki Tupou will return to the Ducks on Saturday against Utah State after serving a one-game suspension because he received improper benefits from the representative of a management company.
•Seminoles go with Ponder: Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for Florida State in its season opener against Western Carolina on Saturday.
Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher selected Ponder over senior Drew Weatherford and sophomore D’Vontrey Richardson.
•Mauk denied in final appeal: Former Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk lost his final appeal to the NCAA for more playing time.
Mauk was turned down by the NCAA’s reinstatement committee, the last step in trying to get another season of eligibility.
It was the fifth time that he was turned down by the NCAA staff or its reinstatement committee.
•Dickenson career in question: Calgary Stampeders quarterback Dave Dickenson will miss the rest of the season because of post-concussion symptoms, leaving the former University of Montana star’s playing career in doubt.
The Stampeders placed the 35-year-old Dickenson on the nine-game injured reserve list effectively ending his season.
Chalmers sent home
Former Kansas stars Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home from the NBA’s mandatory rookie transition program for violating unspecified league rules.
Both the Miami Heat, who drafted Chalmers, and agent Sam Goldfeder confirmed to the Associated Press that the guard left the program. Neither would divulge the reasons why the former Kansas standout, who hit the overtime-forcing jumper in the Jayhawks’ win over Memphis in the national championship game five months ago, was asked to depart early from the resort in southern Westchester County, a short drive north of Manhattan, where the event was taking place.
The players were sent home for violating program rules,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said. “They will be appropriately sanctioned and will have to repeat the program next year.”
In addition to returning to the symposium in 2009, the former Jayhawks both may be facing a fine and suspension from the NBA.
•Ginobili undergoes surgery: San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili had arthroscopic surgery to repair a ligament injury in his left ankle.
The Spurs said that the surgery in Los Angeles had gone well and Ginobili will be in a splint and on crutches for three weeks. Then, his rehabilitation schedule will be determined after his ankle is re-evaluated.
An MRI taken last week showed no more damage but no improvement, setting up the need for the arthroscopic surgery.
Penske hires Stremme
Penske Racing hired David Stremme to replace Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman.
The move has long been expected. Newman will leave the No. 12 Dodge at the end of the season to drive for Tony Stewart’s new team. Stremme has been under contract as a test driver for Penske waiting for an open Sprint Cup seat.
“We’re pleased to have David join Penske Racing as the driver of the No. 12,” Roger Penske said. “His past accomplishments and current experience as our NASCAR test driver, as well as his character and desire for success, make him a good fit into our culture.”
•Justice brother dies: Ed Justice, a race car builder who joined his brothers to start the Justice Brothers Inc. car care products company, has died. He was 87.
Justice, the last surviving brother, died Saturday in Arcadia, Calif., of complications from kidney failure, said his son, Ed Justice Jr.
Russian trio out
Russia will be missing three top players – Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina – when it faces Spain in the upcoming Fed Cup final.
They’re ranked in the top 10 on the WTA Tour, but were left off the team announced for the Sept. 13-14 matches on outdoor clay at Club de Campo in Madrid.
Selected for the Russian team were No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 10 Vera Zvonareva, No. 56 Ekaterina Makarova and No. 71 Elena Vesnina.
Spain will be led by Anabel Medina Garrigues, Carla Suarez Navarro, Nuria Llagostera Vives and Virginia Ruano-Pascual.
•Top horse’s owners indicted: A federal grand jury has issued new indictments against two part-owners of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
Attorneys William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. are accused of defrauding clients of $94 million after winning a settlement from manufacturers of the diet drug fen-phen.
A jury couldn’t reach a verdict against them in July during a trial on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The new indictment charges the men with eight counts of wire fraud.
•Hatton hires Mayweather Sr.: Junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton will be trained for his next bout by Floyd Mayweather Sr., the father of the man he fought for a welterweight title last year.
Mayweather will prepare Hatton for his fight against IBF 140-pound champ Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas on Nov. 22.
•U.S. Open champ dies: Tommy Bolt, the 1958 U.S. Open champion who had one of golf’s sweetest swings and most explosive tempers, has died. He was 92.
His wife, Mary Lou Bolt, said he died Saturday in Cherokee Village, Ark., after “his liver shut down.”