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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM   |   Comments

Harvard gets $100M to study NFL injuries

BOSTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Harvard University will conduct a $100 million study on why professional football players die nearly 20 years earlier than other American men, officials say.

The National Football League Players Association selected Harvard for the study, the Boston Globe reported Monday.

About 1,000 retired NFL players will take part in the 10-year study.

Specialists from the university's many schools and affiliated hospitals will examine a range of factors among the players: repetitive brain traumas, torn knee ligaments, arthritic joints and even the effects of long-term exposure to acute pain and chronic use of painkillers.

The goal of the study is to improve the health of players within five years. White men in the United States have an average life span of 78 years, and African-American men, about 70, the researchers wrote in a summary of their project.

However, American and Canadian professional football players usually live on average to their mid-to-late 50s.

More than 100 lawsuits have been filed against the NFL claiming health problems from concussions.

Frustrated by the lack of attention to the issue, the players union allocated $11 million a year for research from its 2011 bargaining agreement.


Woods cuts into McIlroy's hold on No. 1

VIRGINIA WATER, England, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods collected his 75th PGA Tour victory and cut into world No. 1 Rory McIlroy's lead in the men's world golf rankings.

Woods won the PGA's Farmers Insurance Open, which wrapped Monday due to weather issues during the weekend. It was his 75th PGA win, which is seven off the record held by Sam Snead. More than 10 percent -- eight wins -- of Woods' championships have come at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., the site of Monday's win.

The win also sliced into McIlroy's substantial lead in the golf rankings. McIlroy this week has a ranking point average of 12.429 while Woods' increased to 9.285. The difference is 3.144, compared to 4.208 the previous week.

The only changes in the golf Top 10 came with Brandt Snedeker, a co-runner-up at Torrey Pines Monday, moving ahead of Lee Westwood for the No. 7 spot and Jason Dufner taking the No. 10 position from Steve Stricker.

Luke Donald, with an average of 7.936 remains No. 3 followed by fourth-ranked Justin Rose (6.628) with Louis Oosthuizen (6.601) a close fifth and Adam Scott (6.081) in sixth.

Snedeker moves up to seventh with an average of 5.743, just better than Westwood's 5.690. Bubba Watson (5.262) is again ninth while Dufner has an average of 5.147 and Stricker comes in at 5.050.

Chris Wood won the European Tour's Qatar Master on Saturday and sees his ranking jump from 142nd to No. 60 this week.

The PGA Tour this week is in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the Waste Management Phoenix Open while European Tour contests in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates.


X Games snowmobiler in critical condition

ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Snowmobiler Caleb Moore is in critical condition following a crash during competition at the X Games in Aspen, Colo., his family said.

Moore, 25, came up short during a back flip while competing in the snowmobile freestyle final Thursday, CNN reported Tuesday. The front skis of the vehicle clipped the ground and Moore flew forward over the handlebars.

The 450-pound snowmobile hit Moore and tumbled over him as the athlete slid down the hill, CNN reported.

The snowmobiler was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, though the staff there would not confirm his condition. Moore's family said he was being "closely monitored."

"The Moores want to express their gratitude to all of Caleb's fans, friends and family for their strong support and ask for continued prayers in the coming days," Moore's family said in a statement.

Moore's brother, Colten, also was injured Thursday while competing at the X Games though his specific event was not reported. He was released from the hospital Saturday, CNN said.

Colten Moore encouraged fans to pray for his brother in a Facebook post.

"We continue to fight and pray for him," he wrote.


Kwame Harris charged with assault

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in San Mateo, Calif., said former 49ers and Raiders player Kwame Harris has been charged with assaulting his boyfriend.

Court documents report Harris, 30, became angry with his boyfriend Dimitri Geier, at Su Hung restaurant in Menlo Park in August.

County Prosecutor Al Serrato said Monday Harris got angry when Geier attempted to put soy sauce on Harris' rice.

"Basically, they're having dinner together and they get into a verbal dispute and it gets violent from there," Serrato said.

Harris then accused Geier of stealing his underwear, Serrato said, and tried to pull down Geier's pants, before pinning Geier against a glass window and hitting him several times in the face and head.

San Francisco Chronicle said Geier suffered multiple facial fractures and underwent surgery.

Prosecutors said Harris was charged with felony domestic abuse with great bodily injury and assault with great bodily injury.

He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in April, prosecutors said.

Harris played for the 49ers for five years before signing with the Raiders as a free agent. He was released in 2008.

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