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Press Box: Hamlin intends to race Sunday

The SportsXchange

Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but won't finish it.

Hamlin tweeted Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start." echoing what he said last weekend at Richmond International Raceway when doctors didn't clear him for that race.

"They all came to the conclusion they were happy with me starting Talladega and getting out when it's a safe time to get out," Hamlin told reporters at RIR. "So ... we'll start our process at Talladega and then rescan again and try to go to Darlington."

Barring any setbacks during practice or qualifying, Hamlin will return for the first time since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The dispute over how much Steve Alford must pay back to the University of New Mexico to leave appears far from a resolution, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Alford agreed become UCLA's new men's basketball coach 10 days after agreeing to a 10-year extension with New Mexico. He told the Lobos Monday that he intends to comply with the terms of his previous contract, which called for a $200,000 buyout.

New Mexico maintains Alford owes $1 million as stipulated in the extension. The issue is whether the unsigned new contract had taken effect, and it will likely be decided by an independent arbitrator.

---Former Wisconsin-Green Bay walk-on Ryan Bross discussed publicly for the first time on Tuesday the allegations of abuse made against men's basketball coach Brian Wardle while he was a member of the program.

In early April, the accusations first came to light in a letter written by the mother of another former Green Bay player, Brennan Cougill, that was obtained by the Green Bay Press-Gazette. In it, she described her son as being bullied and verbally abused by Wardle.

Bross went into more detail in his interview with the Press-Gazette, saying Wardle made him defecate on himself during a preseason boot camp, urged him to have sex in violation of his religious beliefs in order to make him a better player and used homophobic slurs.

Wardle denied the allegations in a statement issued Tuesday.

GOLF

Vijay Singh acknowledged earlier this year that he had used a banned substance, but he will not be penalized by the PGA Tour as a result.

Singh, 50, was told Tuesday by commissioner Tim Finchem before a practice round for the Wells Fargo Championship that he would not face sanctions for taking a deer-antler spray after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) determined its use was no longer considered prohibitive.

The three-time major champion's case was subsequently dropped, Finchem said at a news conference, because WADA no longer considers the substance to be prohibited unless a positive test for 1GF-1, a growth factor, results from taking it. Singh did not test positive for the banned substance found in the spray.

"Based on this new information, and given WADA's lead role in interpreting the prohibited list, the tour deemed it only fair to no longer treat Mr. Singh's use of deer-antler spray as a violation of the Tour's anti-doping program," Finchem said.

Singh contended that he didn't know the spray contained a growth hormone. He was sanctioned by the tour on Feb. 19 for admitting its use, but the tour does not administer blood tests -- the only way to detect growth hormones -- as part of its routine regimen.

Singh appealed the sanctions and continued to play.

Earlier this week, former Tour player Greg Norman called for blood testing in the sport.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

A plan to make Texas A&M's Kyle Field one of the country's largest college football stadiums is close to being finalized, according to local TV station KBTX.

The A&M Board of Regents is set to meet Wednesday and has a final vote on the expansion project. The goal is to expand the seating capacity of 102,000, an increase of nearly 20,000 seats from the current official number of 82,589. Earlier reported estimates for the project come in at as much as $450 million.

NHL

Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist, the first Predators draftee to score 30 goals in a season for the team, has re-signed for five years and $21.25 million.

Hornqvist, 26, has scored at least 21 plus goals in each of three full NHL seasons. The Sollentuna, Sweden native has also been a mainstay on the Swedish National Team in recent years, participating in three World Championship tournaments since 2007, as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

---The NHL is nearing a deal to sell the Phoenix Coyotes, after several years of trying, according to a Fox Sports Arizona report.

Renaissance Sports and Entertainment -- headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc -- is concentrated on turning the team around financially and keeping it in Glendale. The report said that a purchase agreement could be in place within the next week.

OTHER

The X Games will be hosted in a location other than Southern California for the first time in more than 10 years beginning in 2014, with Chicago, Detroit, Austin, and Charlotte, announced as finalist cities.

The winning city will receive a three-year contract to host the North American summer stop on the X Games global tour.

The new host city is expected to be announced this summer.
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