Out The reigning Olympic and world silver medalists in ice dance, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, have withdrawn from next week’s Grand Prix final. Belbin had surgery Tuesday to treat an infected wisdom tooth and has been advised to avoid strenuous activity for a week. Agosto says the pair is confident it will be ready for the U.S. championships in January. This is the second straight year Belbin and Agosto have withdrawn from the Grand Prix final. They were forced out last year by Agosto’s back injury, which also kept them out of nationals.
Demoted Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris will call defensive plays for the Buccaneers after demoting defensive coordinator Jim Bates following a 1-9 start. It’s the second major change Morris has made with the coaching staff since training camp. Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski was fired 10 days before the start of the season. It’s not clear what Bates’ duties will be the rest of the season. He was hired last winter to install a system to replace the one the Bucs ran for 13 seasons under former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
Suspended The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere two games for a late hit on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Scott Hannan that occurred on Monday night. Briere will miss games today against the New York Islanders and Friday at Buffalo. He will be eligible to return Saturday at Atlanta. He will forfeit $67,358 in pay, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Fired Head coach Denis Hamlett will not return to the Chicago Fire next year after leading them to the MLS’s Eastern Conference finals in each of his two seasons. Hamlett’s contract expires at the end of the year, and the team says he plans to pursue other coaching opportunities.
Retired Longtime D.C. United and U.S. team midfielder Ben Olsen has retired, finally succumbing to the numerous ankle injuries that kept interrupting his career. Olsen leaves United as one of the most popular players in franchise history. He was the MLS rookie of the year in 1998 and helped the United win the MLS Cup in 1999 and 2004. He was the MVP of the 1999 championship game and a two-time league All-Star.