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Press Box: Battle gets Alabama AD job; FSU track athletes arrested

The SportsXchange

Bill Battle has received the recommendation of University of Alabama president Judy Bonner to become the school's new athletics director, the university announced in a press release Thursday

Battle, 71, played under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and served as Tennessee's head coach from 1970-76. He'll replace Mal Moore, who retired Wednesday due to health concerns.

Alabama's Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the recommendation during a Friday morning conference call.

"Over the past several weeks, we have had multiple conversations about who should follow Coach Moore as AD," Bonner said in a statement. "Based on Mal's strong endorsement as well as Coach Battle's affiliation with UA as a player, partner and donor, his experience as a coach and his significant business background, I am confident that he is the right person to serve UA in this position. I am looking forward to working with him as we continue to build on the foundation of excellence that is the hallmark of Coach Moore's tenure."

---Two Florida State University track athletes were arrested for discharging a firearm within city limits, according to multiple reports.

Josh Mance and Stephen Newbold are facing charges related to the incident, according to tomahawknation.com. Newbold is charged with discharging the weapon.

"We are aware of the arrests and are working to gather all the facts," Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said in a statement. "The students have been suspended from the team effective immediately. Whether they can return as student-athletes will be determined through our discipline policy and any legal proceedings."

The shooting didn't happen on Florida State campus, Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway told the Tallahassee Democrat.

TENNIS

Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati could face stalking and battery charges after police said she punched ex-boyfriend Ivan Brannan last month while he worked out at a gym, according to multiple reports.

Citing court documents, Gossip Extra reported that Capriati, 36, was charged with the first count for "actually and intentionally" touching or striking Brannan and "intentionally" hurting him.

Another charge accused her of "willfully, maliciously and repeatedly" harassed or cyberstalked Brannan.

NHL

--Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman during Wednesday's game in Toronto.

Lupul, 29, will also forfeit $45,945.94 in salary. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

--Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and forward Richard Panik were recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the AHL Syracuse Crunch.

Desjardins, 27, was recalled on an emergency basis. He has played in 30 AHL games between the Crunch and Hamilton Bulldogs. He has a 12-15-3 record with a 2.6.2 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. He was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 14.

Panik, 22, has played in 51 games, scoring 22 goals with 41 assists. He also has a plus-17 rating with Syracuse.

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