USC Aiken coach to do interview online

USC Aiken men's basketball coach Vince Alexander will take questions in an online chat with The Augusta Chronicle at 10 a.m. today. Go to augustachronicle.com to participate.


Pacers sign three pitchers for 2010

USC Aiken softball coach Jerry Snyder announced the signings of three pitchers to national letters of intent Monday.

India Kornegay , of Eufaula, Ala.; Samantha Lemm , of Berlin, N.J.; and junior college standout Kylee Knop , of Oxford, Ga., will join the program for the 2010 season.

USC Aiken finished last season ranked 12th in the nation among Division II programs and made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

- Freshman volleyball player Samantha Lukralle was named the USC Aiken Athletic Department's Student-Athlete of the Week.

Lukralle finished the 2009 season with a school-record 523 digs. She broke the mark during a loss to Montevallo in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Friday.


Hephzibah resident brings in 19th title

Hephzibah powerlifter Tee "Skinny Man" Meyers claimed his 19th world title at the World Natural Powerlifting Federation's World "Drug-Free" Powerlifting Championships in Kissimmee, Fla.

The 53-year-old came in first with a deadlift of 700 pounds, breaking two world records and earning the Best Deadlifter Pound for Pound Award.

His next event will be the Augusta Open in January.


Nadal to lead Spain in Davis Cup final

Rafael Nadal will lead defending champion Spain in next month's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic.

The second-ranked Nadal will return to the team for the first time since winning both singles matches against Serbia in the first round in March. Nadal missed last year's final victory over Argentina with a knee injury.

The best-of-five series on indoor clay will be played at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona from Dec. 4-6.

- Swiss bank Credit Suisse has signed a 10-year sponsorship with Roger Federer and will make a "significant annual contribution" to the Roger Federer Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children in Africa.

Credit Suisse declined to say how much the deal is worth or how much would go to the foundation. It pulled out as a Formula One sponsor last year.


Ex-coach Backman joins Brooklyn club

Wally Backman was hired as manager of the New York Mets' Brooklyn Cyclones farm team in the New York-Penn League.

A member of the Mets' 1986 World Series championship team, Backman was hired to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2004. He was fired four days later after The New York Times reported he had been arrested twice and had financial problems.

Backman, who spent nine of 14 major league seasons with the Mets, managed the South Georgia Peanuts of the independent South Coast League in 2007. He resigned that August after run-ins with umpires and a press box argument with another team's radio announcer. There was also a forfeited game when his team refused to return to the field after a brawl with rival Macon.


Gruden signs deal to stay with ESPN

Jon Gruden has agreed to a multiyear contract to stay at ESPN, suggesting he won't be returning to coaching anytime soon.

Gruden led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title after the 2002 season.

He was fired by the Buccaneers in January, then became a Monday Night Football analyst.



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