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Fla. St. to appeal NCAA's punishment


Florida State will appeal part of an NCAA punishment that would strip the school of victories in 10 sports, including as many as 14 in football. The university president called the penalty "excessive and inappropriate." Football coach Bobby Bowden has 382 career wins - one fewer than Penn State's Joe Paterno, the major college leader. "The coaches had no involvement," Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said yesterday. "To hold them responsible in this case is simply wrong." The school accepted the loss of scholarships in 10 sports and a four-year probation the NCAA announced March 6. That's in addition to stripping the school of victories in which any of the 61 athletes involved in the academic cheating might have participated. The cheating occurred mainly through online testing for a single music history course in the fall of 2006 and the spring and summer semesters of 2007.

More Florida State: : Men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton will be offered a contract extension that school officials said would make him a "happy camper." Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman acknowledged that they were working on an extension for Hamilton that they hope to get signed after the season. They declined to offer details. The Seminoles (25-9) are playing in the NCAAs for the first time in 11 seasons.

North Carolina: : Point guard Ty Lawson, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, is still hobbled by an injury to his big toe, leaving him uncertain for the top-seeded Tar Heels in the NCAA tournament first-round game against 16th seed Radford tomorrow.

Obama: : President Barack Obama is picking Louisville, North Carolina, Memphis and Pittsburgh for the Final Four in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The First Hoops Fan filled out his NCAA bracket yesterday for ESPN. The network, which is posting Obama's bracket online today, will reveal the president's pick for NCAA champion then.

Women's basketball: : Fourteen teams in the NCAA tournament have perfect graduation rates. That list includes the tournament's top seed, Connecticut, according to a report released Monday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. Of the other No. 1 seeds, Duke has a 90 percent graduation rate, Oklahoma is at 69 percent and Maryland is at 67 percent. The other schools with 100 percent graduation rates are DePaul, Evansville, Florida, Lehigh, Marist, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Sacred Heart, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt and Villanova.

Rockets' Landry shot after car crash


Houston Rockets forward Carl Landry is expected to miss one to three weeks after he was shot in the left leg early yesterday while driving near his home in Houston. The injury was minor, and the team said Landry was treated at a hospital and released. The shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m., a few hours after the Rockets returned from a game in New Orleans. Houston police said Landry was driving his sport utility vehicle when a car traveling in the opposite direction swerved into his path and collided with his vehicle. Landry and the driver of the other vehicle made U-turns and the vehicles collided again and Landry's SUV hit a utility pole. Smith said Landry got out of his SUV to inspect the damage and was shot by one of the two occupants of the car. The suspects then fled the scene, police said. Landry, 6 feet 9, is averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Bucks:: Coach Scott Skiles gave forward Charlie Villanueva a talking-to after learning that Villanueva posted a message to his Twitter feed - a "tweet" - from his mobile phone during halftime of Sunday's home victory over Boston. "It's nothing we ever want to happen again," Skiles said. Using the screen name "CV31" - Villanueva's initials and jersey number - Villanueva posted a message during halftime Sunday: "In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." Villanueva finished with a team-high 19 points in the win.

Devils' Brodeur No. 1 in wins by NHL goalie

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Martin Brodeur stands alone among NHL goaltenders. Brodeur posted his 552nd win and passed childhood idol and Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for the most career victories in league history. He made 30 saves in the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. The victory came in Brodeur's 987th game in a 15-year career played entirely with the Devils.

NFL: : A day after the Carolina Panthers dismissed an report that defensive end Julius Peppers was close to being dealt to New England Patriots for a second-round pick, a person close to Peppers told the Associated Press the Patriots are one of the teams for which the four-time Pro Bowl performer would like to play. The Dallas Cowboys and two other unidentified NFC teams also are on Peppers' four-team wish list, according to the same person.

More NFL: : Marshawn Lynch met with commissioner Roger Goodell, who will decide whether the Bills running back will be disciplined after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles. ... Two NFL players might have taken off their life vests after their hopes of being rescued at sea faded as they clung to their capsized boat, according to Coast Guard records on the eventual rescue of a sole survivor. Nick Schuyler told the Coast Guard that one by one, the other three men aboard the small boat in the Gulf of Mexico took off their life vests and eventually disappeared during the ordeal that began the evening of Feb. 28. The Coast Guard's account came in a 23-page report provided to the AP. The names were redacted.

Soccer: : Dozens of D.C. United fans pledged their allegiance to Prince George's County as they lobbied state lawmakers in Annapolis to support public financing to build a new stadium for the soccer team there. Legislators are weighing a bill that would allow the Maryland Stadium Authority to sell bonds to build the potentially $195 million venue.

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