March 16, 2012 in Sports

Newsmakers

 

Waived The Trail Blazers waived center Greg Oden, ending the former No. 1 overall pick’s disappointing NBA career in Portland. Oden was limited to just 82 games by injuries since the Blazers took him over Kevin Durant with the first selection in the 2007 draft. He recently underwent his third microfracture knee surgery, the second on his left to go with one on the right. Oden averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots. He will become an unrestricted free agent next season.

Convicted A man was convicted of first-degree murder in Redwood City, Calif., after his second trial for killing the daughter of former Oakland Raiders star Fred Biletnikoff in 1999. Prosecutors said Mohammed Haroon Ali, 36, strangled Tracey Biletnikoff, 20, then his girlfriend, at a drug and alcohol treatment center during a fight over whether Ali had relapsed. Ali acknowledged strangling her but said he didn’t intend to. Defense attorney Peter Goldscheider had argued for an involuntary manslaughter conviction, saying the killing was done in a fury of emotions.

Signed The Kansas City Royals signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a $10.5 million, four-year contract extension that includes two option years that could drive the value to $21.75 million. Escobar will make $1 million this season and $3 million each of the next two seasons. The options are for $5.25 million in 2016 and $6.5 million in 2017 with $500,000 buyouts each year. The 25-year-old Escobar was acquired from the Brewers in December 2010 in the deal that sent pitcher Zack Greinke to Milwaukee. He hit .254 with four homers and 46 RBIs while stealing 26 bases last season.

Pleaded The former chief operating officer of the Fiesta Bowl pleaded guilty to a felony federal conspiracy charge for her role in a fraudulent campaign-contribution scheme. Natalie Wisneski entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Phoenix and could face up to a year in prison. She also could receive probation. Wisneski’s ex-boss, former Fiesta Bowl chief John Junker, pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the scheme earlier this week. Junker and Wisneski admitted they conspired with each other and a bowl lobbyist to ask bowl employees to make campaign contributions. The employers were then reimbursed by the bowl.

Retires Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury, 52, announced that he is retiring after 14 seasons. Stansbury has led the Bulldogs to a 293-166 record, including 11 postseason appearances – but last went to the NCAA tournament in 2009. The team’s season ended on Tuesday with a 101-96 loss to Massachusetts in the first round of the NIT.


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