Sports, December 21st

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

The Rifle Lady Bears beat Palisade last night 43-26. Chante Church led the winning effort with 19 points. In the boy’s contest, Rifle fell to the Bulldogs 49-39 despite a 23 point night for junior forward Tanner Quick.

BRONCOS WANT TO HOLD ON TO DEL RIO

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The more the Denver Broncos win, the better the chance they lose – coordinators, that is.
Defensive boss Jack Del Rio and his offensive counterpart, Mike McCoy, figure to be hot commodities for any head coaching vacancies when the season finally winds down. That’s simply the price of success.
Coach John Fox says: “You like to see people get opportunities and have those options. I’m sure it will be no different this year.” The Broncos (11-3) have won nine straight heading into a game against Cleveland (5-9) on Sunday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL/LAS VEGAS BOWL

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Once again, Boise State is in this gambling city for a bowl game to end yet another successful season. Unlike previous years, though, no one is talking about where the Broncos should really be.
There is no BCS controversy for the No. 20 Broncos coming into the Las Vegas Bowl to play Washington. No talk about Boise State being in the chase for a national title, either. But if this season is what rebuilding is all about, Boise State coach Chris Petersen will gladly take it. Petersen’s team wasn’t perfect this year, though the Broncos aren’t complaining about a 10-2 record and a national ranking. Not after losing six starters from last year to the NFL draft and having to find a quarterback to replace Kellen Moore, who went 50-3.

COLLEGE RECRUITING CHANGES PROPOSED BY NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An NCAA committee is recommending changes that would affect recruiting in all college sports. One proposal would allow coaches in all sports to begin contacting potential high school recruits after July 1 of their sophomore year. There would still be no-contact periods, but a second proposal would remove limitations on how or how often coaches contact recruits when they’re allowed to. It’s part of a larger package that is expected to be voted on Jan. 19 at the NCAA convention near Dallas. If approved, the new rules could take effect Aug. 1. Two other proposals would allow potential recruits and college athletes to accept up to $300 beyond normal expenses to participate in non-scholastic events.

ELSEWHERE IN SPORTS…

UNDATED (AP) – After claiming the all-around title in women’s gymnastics at the London Olympics, Gabby Douglas has a new honor. She’s been chosen The Associated Press’ 2012 female athlete of the year in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors. Douglas is the fourth gymnast to win the award, and the first since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – With a playoff spot on the line against Cincinnati Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to have cornerbacks Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown back in the lineup. All three are listed as probable. Top cornerback Ike Taylor remains out, however, so responsibility for covering Bengals’ star receiver A.J. Green is expected to fall to Lewis.

NEW YORK (AP) – ESPN has suspended commentator Rob Parker for questioning the “blackness” of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. The network announced the 30-day suspension today after Parker, who is black, apologized for his comments. Acknowledging he “blew it,” Parker says race in sports is a sensitive issue and “needs to be handled with great care.”

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Twins have signed Rich Harden to a minor-league contract with an invitation to compete for a spot on the staff in spring training. The 31-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2012 season after surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. He last pitched for Oakland.

INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) – The reigning women’s World Cup slalom champion won’t be able to defend her title. Austria’s Marlies Schild will be out three months following surgery for a torn collateral ligament in her right knee. She was hurt yesterday during training.

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