Culpepper retires; Burress gets new deal
Daunte Culpepper, who starred for the Minnesota Vikings before a major knee injury in 2005 curtailed his career, announced his retirement in an e-mail yesterday, saying he has simply grown tired of fighting for one more opportunity. Culpepper completed 64 percent of his passes in a nine-year career, with 142 touchdowns. He tried to resuscitate his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 and the Oakland Raiders last season, struggling in both of those stops, and he wasn't in training camp with any team this year. "Since I was not given a fair chance to come in and compete for a job, I would rather move on and win in other arenas of life," Culpepper, 31, said. He was the Vikings' first-round draft choice in 1999, became their full-time starter a year later and teamed with Randy Moss to pile up yards and touchdowns at an impressive rate. .
Giants:: Hours before New York kicked off the season against Washington, Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress signed a two-year contract extension that will bump his salary into the $7 million range over the next five years. The receiver had three years remaining on his original contract that he signed in 2005. He was to have earned about $10 million over that period.
Jaguars:: Offensive tackle Richard Collier is making gradual improvement from gunshot wounds but is "not out of the woods yet," his agent told a newspaper. Collier remained in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, but agent Jeff Jankovich told the Florida Times-Union he was encouraged by what limited knowledge he has of Collier's condition. Collier was shot several times while sitting in his Cadillac Escalade early Tuesday morning.
Et cetera: : The NFL decided to recognize Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson's legal name change to Chad Ocho Cinco. The new name will be on the back of his uniform for the season opener at the Ravens on Sunday. ... Browns coach Romeo Crennel said Antwan Peek ruptured his right patellar tendon while running during Wednesday's workout, an injury that will end the linebacker's season. Peek was being counted on to improve the Browns' weak pass rush. Cleveland recorded just 28 sacks last season, tied for 26th in the league. ... Bills starting linebacker Angelo Crowell was placed on injured reserve in a surprise move that came after the player chose to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Chris Nickson threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Vanderbilt finally beat a ranked opponent on its own field, upsetting No. 24 South Carolina, 24-17, in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Vanderbilt (2-0) had made it a habit of knocking off SEC teams on the road but hadn't upset a ranked team in Vanderbilt Stadium since Sept. 19, 1992, a 31-9 win over then-No. 25 Mississippi. South Carolina (1-1) survived four interceptions in shutting out North Carolina State, 34-0, last week. The Gamecocks couldn't escape their mistakes against Vanderbilt. The Commodores picked off two of Chris Smelley's passes and sacked him four times, recovered a punt that bounced off a South Carolina player and blocked a field goal. South Carolina's lone touchdown was after Vanderbilt's only turnover, which the Gamecocks recovered at the Commodores' 20-yard line in the first quarter.
Penn State: A player has been kicked off the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules, and three others will miss this weekend's game against Oregon State because of a separate off-field issue, coach Joe Paterno said. Reserve defensive back Willie Harriott is off the squad, Paterno said on his weekly radio show. Paterno also said defensive linemen Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma and tight end Andrew Quarless will sit out tomorrow's game against the Beavers. University police seized marijuana from an apartment shared by Evans, Koroma and Quarless on Tuesday.
Ohio State: Coach Jim Tressel said tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells (foot) will not play when the third-ranked Buckeyes take on Ohio tomorrow. The junior, who rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, is considered one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy.
Mauk: Former Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk should be granted a sixth year of eligibility because injuries prevented him from playing his freshman season, his attorney told Hardin County (Ohio) Judge William Hart in a lawsuit against the NCAA. Mauk testified that a foot injury prevented him from playing or even practicing at times during his freshman season in 2003.
Curlin's next race is Jockey Club Gold Cup
Curlin will get his chance to become thoroughbred racing's richest horse in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., on Sept. 27. The 2007 Horse of the Year and Preaknes winner, fresh from a victory in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York, has earned $9,796,800 with 10 wins in 13 career starts. The record of $9,999,815 is held by Cigar. Golf:: California state Sen. Leland Yee is seeking a legal opinion to determine whether the LPGA Tour's language requirement for players violates state or federal law. The policy requires players to speak English starting in 2009.
Varsity: : Because of the threat of bad weather tomorrow, the Calvert Hall-McDonogh football game has been rescheduled for today at 3:30 p.m. at McDonogh.
Olympics: : The Belarus silver and bronze medalists in the men's hammer throw at the Beijing Olympics are being investigated for doping offenses by the International Olympic Committee. Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan tested positive for traces of testosterone after the hammer final Aug. 17, the Russian news agency Allsport said.