Digest for 02-14-14


COMMUNITY

UAPB baseball planning PB&J Day

As part of their effort to encourage fan support for the team, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball team is planning a PB&J day for the April 28 game against Pittsburgh held at Taylor Field.

The game is slated to begin at 11 a.m. and will be approximately over at 2 p.m. Head coach Carlos James said he wants to invite children in the third through seventh grades to come out to the ballpark and enjoy a free lunch and “make a lot of noise for UAPB.”

James said all school districts are invited, including White Hall, Watson Chapel, Dollarway and Pine Bluff.

The game concludes a three-game series with the ACC school. UAPB is scheduled to play Pittsburgh in a doubleheader at Taylor Field on April 27 beginning at noon and wrap up the series the next day.

“Jim Hill is gracious enough to have us there and it should be a great time,” James said.

In a continuous effort to raise money for the team, UAPB is also planning on raffling a pair of $5,000 diamond ear rings from Sissy’s Log Cabin during the season. He also said UAPB should be releasing the price of season tickets soon.

STATE

Bielema confirms Hauser, Johnson leaving UA

FAYETTEVILLE — Chris Hauser, who was Arkansas’ director of recruiting, is leaving the program.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema announced Hauser’s departure via Twitter on Thursday night. He also confirmed that defensive assistant Taver Johnson has left the program. Johnson accepted a position at Purdue on Wednesday.

“Best of luck to @ChrisHauserJr & @taverj as they pursue new opportunities. Great people and families that will find success. #thankyou #wps,” Bielema tweeted.

Hauser had worked on Bielema’s staff for two years, joining him at Wisconsin as the program’s director of recruiting. He followed Bielema to Arkansas and worked as the Razorbacks’ recruiting coordinator.

Hauser becomes the fourth staff member to leave the program since the end of the 2013 season. He’s the third staff member who followed Bielema from Wisconsin to leave, joining defensive line coach Charlie Partridge (Florida Atlantic head coach) and defensive coordinator Chris Ash (Ohio State co-defensive coordinator).

Brooks leads UA women to victory

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ Kelsey Brooks scored 20 points off the bench to lead the Razorbacks to a big home win Thursday night.

Brooks led four Arkansas players in double-figures to a 75-55 win over Alabama in a Southeastern Conference game at Bud Walton Arena.

Jessica Jackson (15), McKenzie Adams (11) and Jhasmin Bowen (10) also reached double-digits for the Razorbacks (17-8, 4-8 SEC).

Daisha Simmons led Alabama (11-13, 4-7) with 15 points. Shafontaye Myers added 12 points and Ashley Williams chipped in with 11.

Arkansas led 37-26 at halftime.

A-State names Dodd TE coach

JONESBORO — Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson announced Thursday that Dan Dodd, a 34-year veteran in the collegiate and high school coaching ranks, has been named the Red Wolves’ tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

Dodd, who has coached in 10 bowl games and has playoffs experience at both the NCAA FCS and high school levels, replaces Keith Heckendorf on the A-State football coaching staff. Heckendorf recently accepted a position as the quarterbacks coach at North Carolina.

Dodd’s journey to Arkansas State included NCAA FBS stops at Tulane, New Mexico, TCU and Utah State, while he also coached at FCS member Western Illinois, Butler (Kan.) Community College and four high schools located in California. He most recently spent the last three seasons as the head football coach and athletics director at Capistrano Valley Christian School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He led the Eagles to back-to-back California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs in 2012 and 2013.

Dodd spent the previous four seasons (2007-10) as Tulane’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, including the final three years as assistant head coach for the Green Wave.

OBU to demolish FB stands Friday

ARKADELPHIA — Ushering in a new era of Ouachita Baptist football, demolition of the home football stands at A.U. Williams Field is set for Friday at 1 p.m. The demolition will make way for the new Cliff Harris Stadium to be constructed in time for the fall 2014 football season.

Cliff Harris, the stadium’s namesake, will be present to witness the historic moment and to field media interviews. Harris, an All-Conference and All-America safety for the Tigers in the 1960s and All-Pro safety for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s, played in six Pro Bowls and five Super Bowls for the Cowboys.

The stadium upgrade will include updated stadium seating, press box, parking lot and related improvements.

The campus community and guests are invited to watch the demolition process. Spectators may park in the lot located across 8th Street from the stadium and gather in the southeast corner of the main stadium parking lot.

A.U. Williams Field, originally constructed on land donated by Hot Springs physician A.U. Williams, dates back more than a century to 1912. The current stadium seating was erected in the early 1960s with expanded seating added in the 1970s. The current playing field will continue to honor Dr. Williams’ gift while the stadium facility will be dedicated in honor of Harris.

REGIONAL

Saints release Vilma, three others defensive veterans

Metairie, La. — The New Orleans Saints are parting ways with four veteran players from their defense.

The team announced on Wednesday that they have terminated the contracts of cornerback Jabari Greer, safety Roman Harper and defensive end/linebacker Will Smith. In addition, the club will not re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

All four players were part of the 2009 Super Bowl squad.

NATIONAL

Johnson tops crowded leaderboard at Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Dustin Johnson posted a 5-under 66 on Thursday and was alone in the lead when the opening round of the Northern Trust Open was suspended due to darkness.

Johnson, who is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, missed the cut at this event in two of the last three years.

Last year’s runner-up Charlie Beljan posted a 4-under 67 and he headlines a large group tied for second. He was joined there by Robert Garrigus, Charley Hoffman, three-time winner this season Jimmy Walker, Francesco Molinari, Matt Jones, Brian Harman, Blake Adams, Scott Stallings and Sang-Moon Bae.

J.B. Holmes also stands at minus-4, but he has only completed 16 holes of his opening round at Riviera Country Club.

Keegan Bradley, who shared second place here in 2012, managed a 3-under 69. He stands alongside Jim Furyk, Brendan Steele, Rickie Fowler and Cameron Tringale. Pat Perez joined that group in 13th place as he was minus-3 after 17 holes.

Lions release Burleson, Delmas

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday that the team has released veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson and safety Louis Delmas.

Burleson had one year left on a five-year, $25 million contract he signed in 2010 and Delmas was due to make $5.5 million with a $500,000 roster bonus. The moves will save the Lions $11.5 million toward the 2014 salary cap.

Burleson missed 17 games over the past two seasons due to a broken forearm and broken leg. In four seasons with the Lions, Burleson recorded 194 receptions for 2,083 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Delmas, 26, missed 11 games throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons due to knee injuries, but did play in all 16 games last season.

A 2009 second-round pick by the Lions, Delmas recorded 331 tackles, five sacks, six interceptions and four forced fumbles with the Lions.