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Investigating The University of South Florida has retained a person from outside the school to assist with an investigation of the accusation that football coach Jim Leavitt struck one of his players in the locker room. Leavitt reportedly grabbed sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and hit him in the face twice during halftime of a game on Nov. 21.

Facing Atlanta Falcons receiver and return specialist Eric Weems is facing a charge for driving under the influence last month near Atlanta. Falcons coach Mike Smith said he became aware of Weems’ arrest on Tuesday.

Settlement Former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino will be paid $3 million as part of a settlement both sides signed last week.

Surgery Light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder and will be unable to train or fight for about nine weeks.

Hired Louisiana- Monroe has hired Todd Berry as its new head football coach. Berry is a former head coach at Army and was Louisiana-Monroe’s offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005. Berry spent the past three seasons at UNLV working as quarterbacks coach under coach Mike Sanford, whose entire staff was let go last month.

Apologized Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, facing a felony marijuana possession charge, said he is sorry “for being a distraction” to the Atlanta Falcons. The apology came one day after the release of a Gwinnett County police report which stated Babineaux told officers he was smoking marijuana while driving with a friend. Police said they found about 11/2 ounces of the drug in Babineaux’s car. He also faces a four-game suspension from the NFL.

Sidelined Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza will miss six to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his right knee. Spezza was injured during a 3-2 loss in Toronto on Monday.

Pleaded A man accused of stabbing University of Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard to death in October has pleaded not guilty to murder in Hartford, Conn. Defense attorney Deron Freeman says his client, John Lomax III, entered the not guilty plea in Rockville Superior Court.


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