Press Box: Suspended Predators won't play Game 4

The SportsXchange


Nashville's Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, who were suspended for Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference semifinals series, will not play for the Predators in Friday's Game 4, either.

Coach Barry Trotz said the pair will again sit against the Phoenix Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena.

"The decision for me was pretty simple," Trotz told The Tennessean. "The group that went in there was very committed and got the job done, plain and simple."

Radulov added: "The guys played well, so I think they made the right decision to stick up for the. It's a hard situation, but I've been in that situation when I'm not playing. As long as we're winning it's fine."

The Predators won 2-0 in Game 3 and trail the Coyotes 2-1 in the series. Radulov and Kostitsyn were suspended for violating team rules.


Clemson freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested by Clemson, S.C., police and charged with simple marijuana possession and possession of a controlled substance, the university announced Friday.

Also arrested was men's soccer player Amadou Tidane Daniel Dia. Both men, 18, were arrested early Friday morning, according to a police report.

Police officials said Watkins' car was pulled over after officers witnessed the vehicle scrape against a curb on campus. The officer smelled marijuana upon approaching the car and the vehicle was searched. Both athletes have been released on bond.

The controlled substance charge relates to two schedule-2 non-narcotic pills found on Watkins for which he did not have a prescription.

Last season, Watkins led the Tigers with 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.


Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari was given an 8.3 percent raise as part of an amended deal he signed Friday, athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced.

Calipari, who led the Wildcats to the NCAA championship last month, signed an eight-year deal last spring and received the raise as part of the final seven years of his contract.

For the next six seasons, he will be paid $5.2 million a year from endorsements, base salary and bonuses.

The Wildcats have a 102-14 record in three seasons under Calipari, including a 51-0 at Rupp Arena. They have been to two Final Fours and one Elite Eight in that time.

Also, Kentucky announced assistants assistant coaches Orlando Antigua, Kenny Payne and John Robic have signed multi-year contracts.

Antigua signed a two-year deal worth $525,000 plus incentives. Payne signed a three-year deal worth $1.05 million plus incentives, and Robic signed a two-year deal worth $575,000 plus incentives.

Horse racing

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert may have another champion on his hands.

Baffert's Bodemeister is the favorite when the 138th Kentucky Derby runs Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Bodemeister, which will be ridden by jockey Mike Smith, was a 4-1 favorite when the post positions were announced Wednesday because of his explosive speed. He will break from the sixth position.

This year's Derby has a purse of $2 million. Post time is set for 6:24 pm ET with NBC Sports coverage beginning at 4 p.m.

A Bodemeister victory would make Derby history: Not since 1882 has a horse won the Derby without running as a 2-year-old.

That doesn't seem to bother Baffert. In fact, these days not a lot bothers Baffert, who had a heart attack March 26 in Dubai. He already was back at Churchill Downs six weeks after having surgery to place stents on two arteries.

"Ever since it happened, I've changed," Baffert said this week. "I don't get so worked up about something. Still, I get excited. Sometimes I'd get overstressed. Right now, I just realize that I've got this second chance. I could easily have died in Dubai. If it would have happened on the plane, I would have been toast."

Bodemeister hasn't done much to stress out Baffert, He made his career debut Jan. 16, finishing second in a Santa Anita maiden race. He has since finished second in San Felipe Stakes and won the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park convincingly.

The victory at Arkansas, where he won by nine lengths, made him Saturday's favorite.

Bodemeister's biggest competition is expected to come from Union Rags (9-2 favorite), Gemolist (6-1 favorite), Dullahan (8-1) and Hansen (10-1).

Union Rags won the Fountain of Youth stakes on Feb. 26, but finished third at the Florida Derby. Gemoligist comes in with victories at the Kentucky Jockey Club last November and the Wood Memorial. Dullahan won last year's Breeders' Futurity and last month's Blue Grass Stakes. And Hanson won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Gotham Stakes in March.

Union Rags (fourth spot) and Dullahan (fifth) will be lined up next to Bodemeister (sixth) in the gate.

All of those competitors impressive, but can any of them catch the horse named after Baffert's 7-year-old son, Bode?

"I happened to be at the barn at Del Mar (in 2011) with Bode and his friends, and (owner Ahmed Zayat) told me he needed some papers and was going to change the name of that horse," Baffert said of the horse which was bought for $260,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. "I told him, 'I'll just call him Bodemeister until the name comes out.' I didn't think twice about it. A month and a half later, I saw the papers on the desk and my bookkeeper said, 'Look at this name, Bodemeister.' I said, 'What did he do that for?' Usually it's a jinx if you name one for your kid. I said, 'Well, forget that horse.' "

Smith said he is not concerned either about Bodemeister's lack of competitive racing experience. After all, the horse has 26 recorded workouts.

"My main concern is to get him relaxed, get him into a rhythm and go from there," Smith said. "His natural speed is a high-cruising speed, and I'm certainly not going to take that away from him."

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