QB Bradford will return to Okla., pass on draft
Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, a third-year sophomore quarterback, will return to Oklahoma next season, passing on a chance to be a high NFL draft pick. "I really feel that there's no need to cut this experience short," Bradford said yesterday at a news conference in Norman. Bradford led the nation with 50 touchdown passes and guided the Sooners to the Bowl Championship Series title game this season, but Oklahoma lost, 24-14, to Florida. Bradford also let it slip that tight end Jermaine Gresham and offensive lineman Trent Williams decided not to enter the draft early. Today is the deadline for underclassmen to make themselves eligible.
More NFL draft:: Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy is passing up his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the draft. ... LSU running back Charles Scott and offensive lineman Ciron Black will return to school for their senior seasons. ... Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline will skip his final year of eligibility.
North Carolina:: Quarterback Cameron Sexton plans to graduate in May and use his remaining year of eligibility elsewhere, the school said.
Mayor changes name for Ravens-Steelers
What's in a name? For Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the answer is his favorite football team. Ravenstahl called a news conference at which he announced that he's "changing" his last name to Steelerstahl - at least through Sunday's AFC championship game between the Steelers and the Ravens.
Cardinals: : Wide receiver Anquan Boldin practiced and said he will play in Sunday's NFC championship game against the Eagles. Boldin said a trip to a Dallas chiropractor greatly improved his strained left hamstring.
Giants: : A jury in Lebanon, Pa., sided with Plaxico Burress in a dispute over how much the wide receiver should pay in damages for a car he borrowed that ended up getting impounded by New York City police. A jury in Lebanon County civil court decided that Burress owes $1,700 in damages, far less than the $19,000 sought by the dealer who loaned the car to Burress. Police impounded the car after it was connected to a shooting incident.
Browns:: New coach Eric Mangini hired Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator, Rob Ryan - twin brother of Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan - as defensive coordinator and Brad Seely as special teams coach. All four worked together with the Patriots from 2000 to 2003. Daboll was Mangini's quarterbacks coach with the Jets, Rob Ryan spent the past five seasons as the Raiders' defensive coordinator and Seely was the Patriots' special teams coach the past 10 seasons.
Redskins: : The team is holding general admission ticket prices steady for the third straight year because of the troubled economy. The team announced that prices - ranging from $29 to $99 - will remain the same for the 2009 season.
Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist and the Washington Capitals ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins. Niklas Backstrom had three assists for the Capitals, who scored four third-period goals.
Baseball: : Mets ace Johan Santana is unsure whether he will be able to pitch in the World Baseball Classic after offseason knee surgery. The two-time Cy Young Award winner said he would love to play for his native Venezuela in March, but the Mets will determine whether to clear him for the WBC. ... The Angels avoided arbitration with versatile Chone Figgins by agreeing to a one-year, $5.78 million contract with him. ... Designated hitter-outfielder Jack Cust, a former Oriole, and the Athletics agreed to a one-year, $2.8 million contract.
Tennis:: Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will be the No. 1 seed at the Australian Open starting Monday, ending Roger Federer's four-year run atop the Melbourne Park draw. Jelena Jankovic is the women's top seed for the year's first major, with three-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams seeded second.
More tennis:: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round of the Sydney International, a joint ATP-WTA tournament. Williams, the women's top seed, edged Caroline Wozniacki, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3). ... Federer beat Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), to advance to the final of the Kooyong exhibition event in Melbourne. He will play either Stanislas Wawrinka or Fernando Gonzalez.
College basketball:: George Washington guard Xavier Alexander, a 6-foot-7 sophomore from Forrest Park, Okla., has withdrawn from the university.