T25 FOOTBALL-FLORIDA STATE
Florida State QB cleared to play
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis (JAYM'-ohs) Winston will not be charged with sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of raping her about a year ago. State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement at a news conference in Tallahassee, saying there was not enough evidence to win a conviction.
A search warrant from January, released hours before the news conference, detailed the woman's accusations for the first time. She told police she and friends had five to six shots at a bar and her "memory is very broken from that point forward." She said she remembered being in a cab with a "non-descript" black man and going into an apartment where she was raped.
The woman didn't identify Winston, who is black, until about a month after the alleged assault.
Winston has led the Seminoles to a No. 1 ranking and a shot at a national championship if they defeat Duke on Saturday.
Many Heisman voters were waiting to see whether Winston would be charged with a crime before casting their ballots. The deadline for ballots is Monday, and the trophy is awarded Dec. 14.
End of a conference rivalry
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The 19th-ranked Louisville Cardinals are on the road tonight for a game with Cincinnati's Bearcats. The Cards are 10-1 on the season while UC is 9-2. Each club features a good quarterback. Louisville has Teddy Bridgewater and Cincy features Brendon Kay. Bridgewater had his streak of 21 straight games with a touchdown pass snapped in a win over Memphis, while Kay has led the Bearcats to six straight wins.
Cincinnati has a slim chance of winning the first American Athletic Conference title. That happens if the Bearcats beat Louisville, first-place Central Florida loses to SMU and Cincinnati finishes higher in the final BCS standings. Louisville has been eliminated from title contention by its 38-35 loss to Central Florida.
This is the final meeting of these long-standing rivals as Louisville is headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference. They've competed together in the Missouri Valley Conference, Conference USA, the Big East and the AAC.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-COACH OF THE YEAR
Duke coach honored
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Duke's David Cutcliffe has been selected coach of the year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Cutcliffe has led the 20th-ranked Blue Devils, who are 10-2, to a school record for victories and their first appearance in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. Duke plays No. 1 Florida State in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday night.
Last year's winner of the Walter Camp coach of the year was Notre Dame's Brian Kelly.
Jags entertaining Texans
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Two teams with a combined record of 5-19 this season are meeting tonight in the Thursday NFL game. The matchup has Houston playing at Jacksonville, just 11 days after they met in Houston. The Jaguars, who have somewhat turned their season around with wins in three of their last four games, won that outing, 13-6.
Jacksonville is 3-9 on the season while the Texans are 2-10.
Royals and Brewers work out deal
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Brewers have traded outfielder Norichika Aoki (a-OH'-kee) to the Kansas City Royals. In return Milwaukee gets left-handed pitcher Will Smith. Aoki hit .286 this past season with eight home runs and 37 runs batted in.
The acquisition of Aoki means Ryan Braun might move from left to right field in 2014.
Old face returns to the M's
SEATTLE (AP) — Utility player Willie Bloomquist has signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, bringing him back to the team he started his major league career with. Bloomquist spent the past three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, appearing in 225 games and hitting .289 with 36 doubles and 63 RBIs over that time. Last season with Arizona, he appeared in 48 games and had 139 at-bats.
Deal set for Hughes
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have signed former Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes to a $24 million, three-year contract. The Twins reached agreement with Hughes last week and finished it after the 27-year-old passed his physical. Hughes went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA for the Yankees last season.
The Twins signed right-hander Ricky Nolasco to a $49 million, four-year contract Tuesday.
Winfield joins union leadership
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark. The 12-time All-Star was a player representative during 15 of his 22 major league seasons. He hit 465 homers in his career and was elected to the Hall on the first ballot in 2001.
Winfield has worked with the San Diego Padres since 2001 as executive vice president/senior adviser.
Light card in the NBA
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA schedule tonight is brief, just three games. The first game features two of the most disappointing teams of the new season, Brooklyn and New York. The home-standing Nets are 5-13 while the Knicks have lost nine straight and are 3-13. That said, playing in the weak Atlantic Division hasn't hurt the teams as first-place Boston is only 8-12.
The Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers remain on the road for a game tonight at Memphis. The Clips lost in Atlanta last night while the Grizzlies beat the Suns.
The final game is in Chicago and has the Bulls playing host to the Miami Heat. The two-time defending league champion Heat are coming to Chicago in a bad mood after losing at home Tuesday night to Detroit, 107-97. Chicago is a disappointing 7-9 while the Heat top the Southeast Division at 14-4.
A pair of good games on ice tonight
UNDATED (AP) — Ten games are on the NHL schedule tonight with two of them standing out. In Pittsburgh the Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins are taking on the Pacific-leading San Jose Sharks. The Pens have 39 points on the season while the Sharks have 43. This is the first of two meetings this season between the clubs and their first game in more two years. Each team is hot as the Sharks are riding a six-game winning streak while the Pens have won four in a row.
At the same time in Montreal the top two clubs in the Atlantic Division are facing off with the Canadiens playing host to the Bruins. Boston leads the division with 38 points while the Habs are right behind with 37. Tonight's game is the first of four meetings this season between the two teams. They next meet on Jan. 30 in Boston.
San Diego takes center stage in college hoops
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The city of San Diego is serving as the host to the only Top-25 men's basketball game this evening. The contest features No. 24 San Diego State playing San Diego. The Aztecs enter the game with a record of 5-1 and are the visiting team while San Diego is 7-2. They earned a spot in the AP poll with wins last week over then ranked Creighton and Marquette.
This is the 45th meeting between the two schools with San Diego State leading the series 27-17. The Aztecs have won the last seven games played.
Woods hosted event starts today
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tiger Woods serves as the host of the annual World Challenge every December and this year's event in Thousand Oaks, Calif., starts today. The field is a strong one, featuring Woods, Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk (FYOOR'-ihk), Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar (KOO'-chur), Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and others.
The event brings to an end 14 years of it being held at Sherwood Country Club in California. It will move to Florida next year.
NASCAR-HALL OF FAME
New rules for eligibility
LAS VEGAS (AP) — NASCAR has made sweeping eligibility changes to the Hall of Fame election process, including tweaks that make both Bill Elliott and Mark Martin immediately in line for induction. Among the six changes announced, drivers are now eligible if they have competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR or have turned 55 in the calendar year before nominating day.
The previous rule made drivers eligible after they'd been retired for three years. Drivers can continue to compete now under the new rules without compromising eligibility.
The ballot will also include only 20 nominees, down five from the first five classes.
Former NFL QB offered contract
ROME (AP) — Tim Tebow has been offered a four-month contract by the Italian federation for American football.
A federation spokesman tells The AP that the offer to play the Italian season beginning in March is for $270,000.
Tebow was cut by the New England Patriots before this NFL season. He would be the most prominent player to appear in the eight-team Italian league.