The Baltimore Sun

Gators' Harvin to play in national title game

col. football

Playmaker Percy Harvin is good to go for No. 1 Florida's national championship matchup against No. 2 Oklahoma on Thursday, Gators coach Urban Meyer said. "Oh, he's playing," Meyer said. "Unless there's a setback. He's good. He should practice [today]." Harvin was slowed during the regular season by a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the Southeastern Conference championship game against Alabama. The running back-wide receiver has 16 touchdowns and 1,133 yards of total offense in 11 games.

Tennessee: : New Orleans Saints assistant and former Mississippi coach Ed Orgeron is returning to the Southeastern Conference as part of coach Lane Kiffin's staff. Orgeron will work as an assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach.

Miami: : The school lifted some of the sanctions regarding starting quarterback Robert Marve's transfer. Marve can transfer to a Southeastern Conference school - with the exception of Tennessee, Florida or LSU - but is still prohibited from transferring to schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference and within the state of Florida.

Ohio State: : The school did not bring starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor to the Fiesta Bowl media day, snubbing bowl officials who had hoped the Buckeyes and Texas would make their starters available ahead of Monday night's game. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said it would be better for the freshman to attend meetings instead of the 30-minute session with reporters yesterday at the Fiesta's resort headquarters.

Rice: : Coach David Bailiff said he agreed in principle to a new five-year contract.

Diamondbacks CEO agrees to buy Padres


Jeff Moorad resigned as Arizona Diamondbacks chief executive officer and says he has reached an agreement in principle to buy the San Diego Padres. Moorad said he heads a "small but significant" group of investors that has an exclusive right to complete the specifics of negotiations with Padres owner John Moores. Moorad said he hopes the transaction can be completed in the next three months. Moorad said he has a long friendship with Moores and his wife, Becky, whose divorce precipitated the potential sale. The Moores reportedly own 90 percent of the Padres. Community property laws in California give Becky Moores a 50 percent share of that asset, and she must agree to any sale. Moorad said he would be the majority owner if the deal goes through. He would have to sell his share of ownership in the Diamondbacks if the Padres deal is finalized.

More Diamondbacks: : First baseman Tony Clark is returning to Arizona, agreeing to a one-year, $800,000 contract. Clark, 36, hit .225 with three homers and 24 RBIs with San Diego and Arizona last year.

New York stadiums: : Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who is investigating the financing for the Mets' and Yankees' new ballparks, released a letter yesterday requesting the city Industrial Development Agency delay the Jan. 16 vote on additional public bonds for the projects. The teams are asking the city for $450 million more in public bonds to pay for their new parks. IDA spokeswoman Janel Patterson said the agency had followed the public process and would vote as scheduled. ... A construction worker at the new Yankee Stadium was taken to a hospital after falling 4 feet off a mobile scaffold. The Yankees said the worker is under observation. The team's $1.3 billion stadium is due to open April 16.

Et cetera: : Former Dodgers right-hander Scott Proctor reached an agreement with the Marlins on a one-year, $750,000 contract with an additional $250,000 in incentives, a person familiar with the negotiations confirmed to the Associated Press. ... Josh Bard signed a non-guaranteed one-year contract with Boston, giving the Red Sox additional depth at catcher. The deal includes a club option for 2010.

Patrick pays fine to settle speeding ticket

auto racing

Danica Patrick paid a $196 fine to settle a speeding ticket after the star racecar driver was caught going 54 mph in a 35 mph zone last month in Scottsdale, Ariz. Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race, was due in traffic court Monday, but a Scottsdale City Court clerk says she paid the fine Wednesday. Patrick, 26, was pulled over Dec. 9 in her hometown while driving a 2007 Mercedes. A year ago, she was ticketed for driving 57 mph in a 40 mph zone in Scottsdale and was ordered to attend traffic school. Scottsdale court records show the recent tickets are among several she has received in the past three years.

Gaborik to have surgery on hip, miss 10 weeks

et cetera

Minnesota Wild star Marian Gaborik will have surgery on his injured left hip Monday and is expected to be out for about 10 weeks. After being limited to 48 games in 2006-07, Gaborik played in 77 games last season. He recorded career highs in goals (42), assists (41), points (83) and plus-minus (17) to lead the Wild to the first division title in franchise history. The situation casts further doubt on Gaborik's future with the team. The last original member of the Wild, Gaborik, 26, is in the final year of his contract.

College basketball: : Duke point guard Nolan Smith's injured knee won't keep him out of the Blue Devils' Atlantic Coast Conference opener tomorrow night against Virginia Tech.

Horse racing:: Ocean Downs Racetrack in Berlin has suspended simulcast wagering at the track and its off-track betting location until it resolves differences with horsemen. The track said in a statement Thursday that the horsemen have refused to continue contract negotiations and have withdrawn their consent for the simulcasting.

Tennis: : Andy Murray dominated Roger Federer again, beating the 13-time Grand Slam title winner, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6), in the semifinals of the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The exhibition event, which is not part of the ATP Tour, features six of the top 10 players and offers a winner-take-all prize of $250,000. Murray will play top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who defeated Nikolay Davydenko, 6-2, 6-3. Murray entered the exhibition with a 4-2 record over Federer.

Obituary: : Roy Saari, who set four world records in his career and won a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics, has died. He was 63. Saari, who won nine NCAA individual titles at Southern California, died Tuesday in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., USC announced. No cause of death was given.

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