Gamecocks ace gets SEC honor
South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth was named the Southeastern Conference’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced Roth’s honor on Friday. Roth will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. He and women’s winner Wendy Trott, of Georgia, will be honored at the league’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., in May.
Roth and Trott were chosen by a committee of SEC faculty athletic representatives.
Thomas is fired as coach at FIU
Isiah Thomas arrived at Florida International knowing that he was taking a risk.
Three years later, the school didn’t see enough reward.
The Basketball Hall of Fame player was fired Friday by FIU, after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons. His hiring came out of nowhere in 2009 –“No one thought we could pull this off,” FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia proudly said at the time – and in the end, so did his firing.
FIU announced the decision in a simple three-line statement.
“We want to thank Isiah Thomas for his three years here at FIU,” Garcia said. “However, we have decided to take the program in a different direction.”
• Alabama forward Tony Mitchell, a former Swainsboro High standout, has left the team after ending the season on suspension.
Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant said Friday that Mitchell and guard Charles Hankerson Jr. requested and received releases from their scholarships.
Mitchell missed Alabama’s final 11 games, including the NCAA Tournament, after being suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.
• Deshaun Thomas will not be joining Ohio State teammate Jared Sullinger in the NBA –yet.
Thomas said Friday he will return for his junior season. Two days earlier, Sullinger, also a sophomore and a two-time All-American, said he would give up his last two years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
Minnesota player found dead at 22
Gary Tinsley, a Minnesota linebacker who had overcome some personal problems early in his Gophers career and was set to earn his degree in just a few weeks, was found dead in his campus apartment Friday morning, university officials said. He was 22.
Tinsley was found unresponsive in his apartment at Roy Wilkins Hall on the Minneapolis campus, university Police Chief Greg Hestness said.
The cause of death wasn’t immediately released as authorities awaited autopsy results from the medical examiner.
Yamanaka keeps batamweight belt
In Tokyo, Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka defended his WBC bantamweight title on Friday with an unanimous decision over Australia’s Vic Darchinyan.
Yamanaka overpowered his opponent in the late rounds at Tokyo International Forum in his first defense of the title he won by beating Mexico’s Christian Esquivel in November 2011.
The judges scored it 117-111, 116-112, 116-112 in favor of Yamanaka, who improved to 16-0-2 with 11 knockouts. Darchinyan dropped to 37-5-1 with 27 KOs.
In a WBC super featherweight bout, Japan’s Takahiro Aoh defend his title with an unanimous decision over Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng.