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Press Box: Marshals defend Woods

The SportsXchange

A day after two marshals disputed Tiger Woods' version of events from a controversy with Sergio Garcia at the Players Championship, two others came to the defense of the world's No. 1-ranked golfer.

The issue stems from the second hole Saturday, with Garcia claiming Woods created a distraction by removing a club from his bag during Garcia's second shot, resulting in a poor shot that ultimately led to a bogey. Woods asserted he had been given the go-ahead that Garcia had already played his shot, but two marshals told Sports Illustrated on Monday that nothing had been said to Woods.

On Tuesday, two other marshals said there had indeed been communication.

"It is not true and definitely unfair to Tiger," marshal Brian Nedrich told the Florida Times-Union. "That's because I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio had hit."

On Monday, John North, the chief marshal for the first three holes, told SI.com: "Nothing was said to us, and we certainly said nothing to him. I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. We're there to help the players and enhance the experience of the fans. He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character."

MISCELLANEOUS

No athlete in American sports makes more money that Floyd Mayweather Jr. For the second consecutive year, the boxer tops Sports Illustrated's annual list, which was released Wednesday, with a projected $90 million in earnings in 2013.

Miami Heat star LeBron James ranks second but is well behind at $56.5 million.

Rounding out the top five were New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees at No. 3 with $47.8 million in earnings after signing a new contract last year, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers at slightly below $47 million and golfer Tiger Woods at $40.8 million.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

An angry Bill O'Brien defended the Penn State football program on Wednesday after a Sports Illustrated article accused school officials of providing inadequate medical care for players.

"At the top of [my] responsibility list is taking care of this program's players. The student-athletes in this football program are the number one priority to me," O'Brien told the Daily Collegian, the student-run school newspaper. "Their health and safety is the number one priority to me. It's not near the top, it's not around the top; it's at the top."

The 23-page Sports Illustrated story cited named and anonymous sources who claim the quality of care for players has been compromised since the removal of longtime team doctor and orthopedic surgeon Wayne Sebastianelli. The article also questioned the motives that resulted in the decision to remove Sebastianelli.

---TCU sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 for violating team and university policy.

Coach Gary Patterson announced Fields, a first-team All-Big 12 player as a freshman last season, would not play in the season opener against LSU or the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana.
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