Around the Nation (March 8): Thibodeau says Rose 'not quite' ready to play

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

BASKETBALL

Thibodeau says Rose 'not quite' ready

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose is "not quite" ready to return from his knee injury.

He says the superstar point guard continues to practice without restrictions but won't play in games until he's ready.

ESPNChicago.com reported Friday that Rose's doctor has cleared him to play. Thibodeau said a decision "hasn't been finalized yet."

Asked if Rose would be allowed to play if he felt he was able, Thibdodeau said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. We're just going day by day." He was also noncommittal when asked if he expects Rose to play, saying the Bulls are prepared either way.

Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in last year's playoff-opener against Philadelphia.

Lehigh's McCollum out for Patriot semifinal

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Lehigh star guard C.J. McCollum (GlenOak) has been ruled out for Saturday's Patriot League semifinal at Lafayette.

McCollum hasn't played since Jan. 5, when he broke his left foot during a 59-55 loss at Virginia Commonwealth. The school had given a possible recovery time of eight to 10 weeks, which presented the possibility of McCollum being available for the conference tournament.

But coach Brett Reed said this week he was preparing for postseason play with the team that finished the regular season -- without McCollum. Reed has been cautious when talking about the status of the potential NBA Draft pick, and a team spokesman confirmed Friday that Reed ruled McCollum out when third-seeded Lehigh visits second-seeded Lafayette.

McCollum was leading the country in scoring (25.7 points) when he got hurt.

COLLEGE

Shapiro attorney faces scrutiny from judge

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- An attorney who represents the convicted felon at the center of the Miami athletics scandal is facing additional scrutiny, with a federal judge asking if her relationship with the NCAA was unethical.

Maria Elena Perez's actions will be reviewed and she may face discipline, says the order signed this week by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno.

At issue, Moreno wrote, is whether Perez acted unethically in taking money from the NCAA for her work in Nevin Shapiro's bankruptcy case.

Moreno asked a court committee for a report and recommendations by May 8. The same committee looked into Perez's actions after a separate case in 2010.

The Florida Bar is also looking into Perez's work with the NCAA.

Perez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ICE HOCKEY

Dorsett out for season with broken collarbone

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed right wing Derek Dorsett on injured reserve after he broke his collarbone in the first period of Thursday night's 2-1 overtime win over Vancouver.

The club expects Dorsett to miss the rest of the season.

Columbus also added center Nick Drazenovic to the roster on emergency recall from their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass

Dorsett has 27 goals and 38 assists in 280 career NHL games, all with Columbus.

The Blue Jackets' ninth pick, 189th overall, at the 2006 draft, he had three goals, six assists and 53 penalty minutes in 24 games this season.

Last season, Dorsett led the NHL in penalty minutes with 235 and set career highs in goals (12), points (20), shots (137) and games played (77).

SOCCER

Solo out 3-4 months following wrist surgery

CHICAGO -- American goalkeeper Hope Solo will be sidelined for three-to-four months following surgery to repair torn cartilage in her left wrist.

The U.S. Soccer Federation made the announcement Thursday, a day after the operation. The USSF said she likely will miss at least the first half of the Seattle Reign's season in the National Women's Soccer League, which starts its first season next month.

The 31-year-old Solo, who has 135 international appearances, is missing the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal, where the Americans have won their first two games. No. 2 goalkeeper Jill Loyden broke a bone in her left hand during training Thursday and will be out for six months. Nicole Barnhart was in goal for Friday's 5-0 rout of China.

FOOTBALL

Former Eagle pleads guilty in tax scheme

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell has admitted to his role in a tax-fraud scheme.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in federal court in Orlando, Fla., Friday to a single count of conspiracy to file a false claim. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Prosecutors say Mitchell and two others concocted a scheme that involved filing a false tax return on behalf of another professional athlete.

They say Mitchell told the athlete, only identified as "A.G.," that he could help him get a bigger tax refund from the IRS.

Mitchell and his two associates filed a return on behalf of A.G. that contained blatantly false information.

A.G. was unaware that the false tax return had been filed.

Creditors: Bankrupt Smith dumped $2M

LITTLE ROCK, Ark -- Creditors suing former Arkansas coach John L. Smith claim he stashed or lost track of more than $2 million before asking for liquidation of his $40.7 million debt in bankruptcy court.

Prior to starting his lone season leading the Razorbacks, Smith revealed he would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to wipe away the debt incurred through real estate deals. In a recent filing, creditors say Smith can't account for $1 million and moved more than $1 million to family members.

Smith's lawyer, Jill Jacoway of Fayetteville, didn't return phone and email messages seeking comment. Smith didn't reply to an email requesting comment and a spokesman at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., where Smith is now head coach, said Smith was out of town.

BASEBALL

Family of Yankees' Rivera Florida-bound for closing chapter

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera's family is on its way to Florida for the expected announcement that one of baseball's greatest relievers is retiring after the season.

There have been numerous reports -- one by The Associated Press -- that this will be the last season for the 43-year-old closer.

A news conference is scheduled for Saturday at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa. Rivera said after working out Friday that those wanting to know his plans will have to wait. He said "whatever's out there is speculation until I talk to you guys."

Rivera is baseball's saves leader with 608. He is regarded as one of the best clutch pitchers in history, posting a record 42 postseason saves with an 0.70 ERA while helping the Yankees win five World Series championships.

Ailing Yankees creak toward opening day

The New York Yankees are looking more and more banged up every day, with an assortment of ailments slowing them in spring training.

Alex Rodriguez was already out until at least the All-Star break, and recent injuries to outfielder Curtis Granderson and first baseman Mark Teixeira have sidelined them past opening day.

Reliever David Robertson has a sore shoulder after sleeping on it the wrong way. And the topper came earlier this week when even general manager Brian Cashman got hurt, breaking a leg while skydiving in Florida.

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