Digest 12-19-13


REGIONAL

Jackson State cans Comegy

JACKSON, Miss. — Rick Comegy was dismissed as Jackson State’s football coach after eight seasons, the school announced Wednesday.

The move was announced 11 days after Jackson State lost its second straight SWAC championship game to Southern in overtime. Jackson State fell in the 2012 final to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in OT as well.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, Comegy had one year remaining on his contract and was paid $200,000 annually with escalators. His contract calls for a $50,000 buyout if terminated, the newspaper added.

Comegy went 55-35 at Jackson State. He spent the previous 10 season at Tuskegee (Ala.), where he went 90-26.

Jackson State is the fourth SWAC school to let go of its head coach. Grambling State fired Doug Williams early in the season and, after two interim coaches, replaced him with Broderick Fobbs. Alabama A&M’s Anthony Jones and Mississippi Valley State’s Karl Morgan are not retained after their contracts expired.

Blues give deserving Steen 3-year extension

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues have rewarded leading scorer Alex Steen with a three-year contract extension.

The club revealed the new pact, which is worth $17.4 million for the duration, on Wednesday.

Steen is putting together a career season, having totaled team-highs of 22 goals and 36 points in just 33 games. His 22 tallies rank second in the NHL, behind only the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin’s 28.

Included in the early-season tear was a 13-game scoring streak from Oct. 17 to Nov. 16, the first Blues player since Pierre Turgeon in 1999-2000 to do so. In addition, his 20 goals over the first 24 games was the fastest to that mark in franchise history since Brett Hull needed 20 games to accumulate 21 scores during the 1990-91 season.

Acquired from the Maple Leafs in November of 2008, Steen was previously the recipient of a four-year contract extension as a restricted free agent in July of 2010.

The son of original Winnipeg Jets icon Thomas Steen, the 29-year-old winger has racked up 145 goals and 339 points over 570 NHL appearances since 2005.

NATIONAL

Tar Heels welcome back McDonald

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald will play his first game of the season Wednesday against Texas after having his eligibility restored by the NCAA.

McDonald, as well as fellow guard P.J. Hairston, were suspended indefinitely at the start of the season for violating NCAA rules regarding impermissible benefits, and the Tar Heels went 7-2 in their absence.

McDonald, the lone scholarship senior on this season’s North Carolina roster, averaged 7.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in a reserve role in 2012-13. He was suspended for three games during his junior campaign for academic reasons.

Hairston, UNC’s leading scorer last season, has yet to be reinstated.