Press Box: Clements discusses suspension; KU's Johnson gets death threats

The SportsXchange

Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements elaborated Thursday on what led to his indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition.

Clements, who said he's suspended for at least two races, wouldn't reveal what comment he made, and paused when pressed as to whether it was racial in nature. Asked again, "Was it racial or not? Maybe not in context, but in term?" he replied: "Correct."

"When you say 'racial' remark, it wasn't used to describe anybody or anything," Clements told ESPN. "So that's all I'm going to say to that. And it really wasn't. I was describing racing, and the word I used was incorrect and I shouldn't have said it. It shouldn't be used at all."

Clements said he used the word once on Saturday. As he was exiting the driver's meeting at Daytona International Speedway, he said a female NASCAR employee approached him with a reporter from MTV. Clements told ESPN that the NASCAR employee asked if he knew where to find driver Johanna Long's transporter, and he personally took the pair to the location.

When they were walking, he inadvertently used a word that he shouldn't have.

"That's pretty much how it happened," he said. "And even after I said what I said, they still kept asking me questions. It didn't seem like it was a big deal at all. I didn't even think twice about it, like, after. I know I shouldn't have said it. Even when I did say it, I shouldn't have said it. But I didn't think it was going to be a big deal."

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Iowa State authorities are investigating the seriousness of death threats made toward University of Kansas senior Elijah Johnson after his career performance against the Cyclones, according to a Kansas City Star report.

Johnson scored 39 points to lift the Jayhawks to a 108-96 overtime win Monday, but angered the home crowd with a dunk near the end of overtime, after the outcome had been decided. The Iowa crowd showered him with boos, which continued during his on-court interview with ESPN.

NBA

---Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, who missed last summer's Olympics because of back surgery, said Thursday he wants to play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Howard won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, but was upset he wasn't able to repeat in 2012.

"I was mad I couldn't play in the playoffs," said Howard, who missed last season's NBA playoffs with the Orlando Magic because of the surgery before he was traded to the Lakers. "I was mad I couldn't play in the Olympics."

Because of injuries to Howard, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Miami center Chris Bosch and Portland center LaMarcus Aldridge, the U.S. won the gold with Tyson Chandler as its main big man.

---The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned forward Kevin Jones to their D-League team, the Canton Charge, general manager Chris Grant announced.

NHL

The Calgary Flames have acquired Brian McGrattan from the Nashville Predators for defenseman Joe Piskula.

McGrattan cleared waivers Wednesday and had been assigned to Nashville's AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. He'll now report to Calgary's AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, B.C.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has agreed to a raise and a new contract that runs through the 2017 season, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The paper obtained the contract details that Sumlin agreed to earlier this winter and signed Monday. He will earn $3.1 million in 2013, $1.1 million more than last season's reported $2 million salary.

WNBA

Former WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw was indicted by a Fulton County (Ga.) grand jury on Wednesday for a November altercation with her ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lacy.

Holdsclaw, 35, faces six total counts: two charges of aggravated assault, one count of criminal damage in the first degree, two counts of criminal damage in the second degree and one count of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

According to police, Holdsclaw fired a gun into a vehicle Nov. 13 while Lacy was in it. A warrant was issued for her arrest, and she eventually turned herself in. She was later released on $100,000 bond.

BOXING

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was fined and suspended \by the Nevada State Athletic because of a failed drug test prior to last year's Mexican Independence Day fight with Sergio Martinez.

Chavez, 27, the son of a famous boxer by the same name, tested positive for marijuana after his Sept. 15 unanimous decision defeat to Martinez in Las Vegas, his second offense in the state since 2009. This time, he received a nine-month suspension from the date of the fight and a $900,000 fine.
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