Friday's Sports In Brief

The Associated Press
The Associated Press


DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin will meet late next week in Los Angeles with the NFL's special investigator to discuss allegations in the team's harassment scandal, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person confirmed the upcoming meeting to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league and team haven't announced the details of the investigation.

Meeting with Martin will be Ted Wells, a senior partner in a New York law firm with experience in sports cases. Wells was appointed Wednesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate possible misconduct in the Dolphins' workplace and prepare a report that will be made public.

Dolphins guard Richie Incognito was suspended in the wake of allegations by Martin, who is with his family in California to undergo counseling for emotional issues. Wells is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin, and whether their teammates and the organization mishandled the matter.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - John Fox is out of the hospital, and the rest of the Denver Broncos are feeling better as well.

Interim coach Jack Del Rio said Fox was resting at his offseason home in Charlotte, where he'll continue his recovery and begin cardio rehab soon.

Fox had his aortic value replaced at the Carolinas HealthCare System's Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte on Monday, two days after becoming dizzy while playing golf during the Broncos' bye. Fox had hoped to put off the procedure until the offseason, but his cardiologist and heart surgeon determined he could no longer push back the surgery after he fell ill over the weekend.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico retired former Chicago Bears star Brian Urlacher's No. 44 jersey at halftime of the Lobos' 45-37 victory over Air Force.

The crowd of almost 22,000 people stood and cheered when the red banner lifted and ''44 Brian Urlacher'' showed up on the ring of honor at University Stadium. The Lobos also retired his locker, enclosing it in glass with his uniform inside.

Urlacher was a standout defensive back from 1996-99 at New Mexico, where he was a first-team All-America selection and a Jim Thorpe Award finalist. He played linebacker for the Bears, retiring after last season.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Charlotte Bobcats said head coach Steve Clifford underwent a successful procedure to have two stents placed in his heart.

Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said in a release that Clifford is ''resting comfortably'' in the hospital but it's too early to know when he'll return to work. Higgins said Clifford checked himself into the hospital Thursday night because he was suffering from chest pains.

Clifford, 52, joined the Bobcats this offseason after spending last year as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing served as Charlotte's acting head coach in the Bobcats' 101-91 lagainst the New York Knicks - the team Ewing spent the first 15 years of his career with.


AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jimmie Johnson, his eyes squarely on a sixth NASCAR championship, set the tone for what could be yet another dominating weekend in the desert by winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

He did it with a track record.

The five-time NASCAR champion turned a lap of 139.222 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to break the mark of 138.766 set by Kyle Busch last November.

Matt Kenseth, who trails Johnson by seven points in the standings, will start 14th Sunday in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Matt Crafton took all the drama out of the Truck Series championship with a solid finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

Crafton, who finished fifth, has a lead of 46 points over Ty Dillon and needs only to start next Friday night in the finale at Homestead to win the championship.

Erik Jones became the youngest winner in series history, racing to his first win on NASCAR's national level, at 17 years and 4 months. He broke the mark set in September by Chase Elliott, who was five months older when he won in September in Bowmanville, Ontario.

It was Jones' fifth start for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and he got his shot in the Toyota when he caught Busch's eye by beating him last December in the Snowball Derby.


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Here's the status of the Florida Panthers these days: The owner is disappointed, the general manager is angry and the players are underachieving.

Add it up, and it meant the coach is fired.

Kevin Dineen - the only coach to win a division championship in Panthers' history - was let go in a move general manager Dale Tallon called ''the first of many changes'' that are coming to a franchise that finished at the bottom of the NHL last season and is off to one of the worst starts in the league this year.

Peter Horachek was summoned from the team's AHL affiliate in San Antonio to replace Dineen on an interim basis.


LONDON (AP) - Stanislas Wawrinka reached another milestone.

Having played the best tennis of his life over the past 10 months, the 28-year-old Swiss player made another statement by beating David Ferrer 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semifinals in his first appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Wawrinka still had a nervous wait because he needed Rafael Nadal to beat Thomas Berdych in the late match in order to advance. The top-ranked Spaniard had already clinched a place in the semis but didn't falter, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to finish the group stage with a 3-0 record.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic won Group B and will face Wawrinka in the semis. The winner of Saturday's match between Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer will face Nadal in the other semifinal.