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UPI NewsTrack Sports

  |   Nov. 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM
Lakers fire Coach Mike Brown

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Lakers, off to a 1-4 start this season, have fired second-year Coach Mike Brown, General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Friday.

A three-paragraph statement on the Lakers' website announced Brown was "relieved" of his coaching duties.

The statement said assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff would serve a interim head coach and a search for a new head coach would begin immediately.

"This was a difficult and painful decision to make," Kupchak said. "Mike was very hard-working and dedicated but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change at this time. We appreciate Mike's efforts and contributions and wish him and his family the best of luck."

Los Angeles lost its first three games this season before beating Detroit -- in a game between winless teams. The Lakers fell to 1-4 after losing at Utah Wednesday.

Team owner Jerry Buss had given Brown a vote of confidence Wednesday.

Brown, 42, led the Lakers to a 41-25 record last season, which ended with the Lakers losing to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs.

He previously coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons, building a 272-138 record. The Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals in 2007.


Prosecutors: No charges against Bernie Fine

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- No charges will be filed against an ex-Syracuse University assistant basketball coach who was accused of molesting young boys, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Prosecutors said an investigation "revealed insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges" against Bernie Fine, the (Albany, N.Y.) Times Union reported Friday.

Fine was fired Nov. 27, 2011, after three men accused him of molesting them when they were young,

The Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard reported the 66-year-old Fine, who served under Coach Jim Boeheim, has maintained his innocence in the case.

The investigation involved more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviews with 130 witnesses, the attorney's office said.


Russian World Cup stadium to cost $276M

SARANSK, Russia, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Officials in Russia's Mordovia region said the stadium planned for the 2018 World Cup in Saransk is projected to cost $276 million.

The Mordovia regional government released a statement saying the federal budget will pay for half the cost of the 45,000-seat stadium and the remaining $138 million will come from unspecified sources, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The statement said the stadium, dubbed Yubileiny, is expected to recoup its construction costs after the World Cup.

"The stadium will be completely self-financing and make a profit thanks to offices, cafes, restaurants, sport facilities, cinema, auto showrooms and other outlets," the statement said. "The designation of this complex will be universal. It will be a sports, cultural, leisure, shopping and business center, one of the city symbols."

The government said the stadium may be reduced to 26,000 seats after the World Cup and will serve as the new home of local team Mordovia Saransk.


Dyson, Nirat lead Singapore Open

SINGAPORE, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Chapchai Nirat and Simon Dyson shared the lead after Friday's play at the European Tour's Barclays Singapore Open but play was again suspended due to weather.

With rain and lightning causing a stoppage of play for a second day, little of the second round was completed. About half the players in the field had to complete their first rounds early Friday because weather had halted play early Thursday.

Organizers set a 7:30 a.m. Saturday time to resume play. There was no word on whether the tournament would be cut to 54 holes. Poor weather led to last year's Singapore Open being reduced to a 54-hole event.

Nirat led after the first round was complete at 6-under-par 65 and he was even par through the first nine holes of his second round when play was stopped. Dyson was 4-under through 13 second-round holes and at 6-under for the tournament.

Three players were at 5-under. Thomas Bjorn had the clubhouse lead at 5-under Thursday but didn't even get to start his second round. Matteo Manassero was 4-under through 14 holes in the second round and Francesco Molinari 3-under through 12. They were tied for third at 5-under.

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