By The Associated Press
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — With his wife, Juli, looking on at the postgame news conference and his young children close by, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s final remarks were not about his milestone 900th career victory.
Instead, he was thinking about two 6-year-old boys who were buried Monday, victims along with 18 other children and six adults in a shooting massacre last week at an elementary school in Connecticut.
“If we cannot get the people who represent us to do something about firearms, we are a sad, sad society,” Boeheim said Monday night. “If one person in this world, the NRA president, anybody, can tell me why we need assault weapons with 30 shots — this is our fault if we don’t go out there and do something about this. If we can’t get this thing done, I don’t know what kind of country we have.”
It was a sobering end to what was a memorable evening for Syracuse basketball. The third-ranked Orange’s 72-68 victory over Detroit in the Gotham Classic made Boeheim just the third Division I men’s coach to reach 900 wins.
Boeheim, 68 and in his 37th year at his alma mater, is 900-304 and joined an elite fraternity. Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902) are the only other men’s Division I coaches to win that many games.
HARTFORD, Conn. — The Huskies wanted to show that they care about the victims and those affected by the shooting of 20 children and six adults in Connecticut on Friday.
Freshman Omar Calhoun scored a season-high 22 points, sophomore Ryan Boatright had 21 points and UConn shot a season-high 66 percent in an 84-50 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore at the XL Center in the Huskies’ first game since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
“We just wanted to make sure we came out here and put on a good show for the crowd and stick together as a team, and play for everybody that was in that tragedy,” Calhoun said.
A pregame ceremony was held and there was a moment of silence as 26 cheerleaders, members of the dance team and the band held candles and formed a circle with the UConn players at midcourt.
INDIANAPOLIS — Butler President James Danko is not changing his mind.
Two days after telling The Associated Press he wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of joining a new conference, Danko issued a statement that will likely keep the conference realignment talk buzzing.
“Our administrators, our coaches, our trustees and our team will continue to do what is right for Butler and its students,” he said.
In other words, the school is keeping its options open.
When word leaked last week that seven Catholic schools in the Big East were looking to leave the conference and form their own league, Butler was one of the first names to pop up as a possible new member. Since then, the parties involved have done nothing to dissuade such talk.
An Atlantic 10 spokesman said the league would not immediately respond to the reports, and Butler athletic director Barry Collier has declined to comment on any potential move.
Duke advanced one spot to replace Indiana at the top of The Associated Press’ Top 25, drawing closer to UCLA’s record for most No. 1 rankings.
Indiana (9-1) held the top spot from the preseason poll through the first five weeks of the season. Butler beat the Hoosiers 88-86 in overtime Saturday. The Blue Devils (9-0), who were off last week, received 62 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.
This is the 123rd week Duke has been No. 1, 11 weeks behind UCLA.
Michigan (11-0), which received the other No. 1 votes, and Syracuse moved up one place each to second and third. They were followed in the top 10 by Arizona, Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas and Illinois.
NEW YORK — R.A. Dickey broke the news of his trade even before the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.
A few minutes ahead of the teams announcing the seven-player swap that sent the NL Cy Young Award winner to Toronto, he tweeted his thanks to Mets fans and added he was all set to pitch for the Blue Jays.
“Now that it’s official, I want to say that I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support,” Dickey posted on Twitter. “Thank you for making me feel wanted.”
“Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays,” he wrote.
Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and veteran catcher John Buck, plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
ASHBURN, Va. — Get ready for another week of RG3 guesswork.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he’s still waiting for a thumbs-up from the doctors before declaring that Robert Griffin III can return to game action.
The quarterback sprained the lateral collateral ligament his right knee in last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens and missed Sunday’s 38-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
In other RG3 news, the rookie’s No. 10 jersey is the top seller on NFLShop.com this season, the website says. The top six spots belong to QBs, with Peyton Manning of the Broncos at No. 2, followed by Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, Eli Manning of the Giants, Tom Brady of the Patriots and Andrew Luck of the Colts.
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins tackle Jordan Black was suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the team’s sixth drugs-related suspension in less than two seasons.
Black’s suspension began immediately and will include postseason games if the Redskins advance to the playoffs this season.
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher blamed security workers at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a confrontation that led to the arrests of several of his relatives during his first NFL game in his hometown.
A report from the Cleveland Police Department, however, blamed what it called a “riot” on the fans who were arrested, saying a security official was punched and knocked to the ground while trying to escort an unruly spectator from the stadium.
Fletcher said four of his family members were arrested and in custody as of Monday afternoon.
FLORENCE, Ala. — The University of North Alabama says a walk-on football player is off the team after sending a racist tweet about President Barack Obama.
The university said coaches made the move after Bradley Patterson described Obama with a racial slur while complaining that the president’s speech about the Connecticut school massacre pre-empted an NFL game Sunday night.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III and offensive tackle Zack Martin will return to school next year and skip the NFL draft.
Coach Brian Kelly started a news conference by announcing that two of his top players would be back. Kelly also says running back Cierre Wood will wait until he receives an evaluation of his draft stock from an NFL advisory committee before deciding if he will return for another season.
LONDON — Mohamed bin Hammam resigned from all soccer-related posts and received a new lifetime ban from FIFA, perhaps closing one of the most damaging corruption scandals to hit the sport’s world governing body.
Bin Hammam, a FIFA executive committee member from Qatar who challenged incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency last year, gave up his long-running dispute with the organization after being found guilty by FIFA of “repeated violations” of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation.
MOSCOW — Fans of two-time defending Russian champion Zenit St. Petersburg are calling for non-white and gay players to be excluded from the team.
Landscrona, the largest Zenit fan club, released a manifesto demanding the club field an all-white, heterosexual team. It added that “dark-skinned players are all but forced down Zenit’s throat now, which only brings out a negative reaction” and said gay players were “unworthy of our great city.”
ALTA BADIA, Italy — Lindsey Vonn is heading back to the United States for an unexpected break in the middle of the World Cup ski season and is unlikely to return to Europe until January.
After a weekend of disappointing results at a World Cup meet in France, the four-time overall champion said in a statement on her Facebook page that she needs to get her full strength back before returning to the slopes after New Year’s.
Vonn stayed two nights in a hospital in Vail, Colo., in November after suffering from severe intestinal pain.