Suspended Clements to get counseling
AVONDALE, Ariz., March 2 (UPI) -- Suspended driver Jeremy Clements will undergo counseling before being allowed back on the track, NASCAR officials said Saturday.
Clements, who competes in the Nationwide Series, was suspended this week for uttering a racial slur during an interview with a reporter Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said the 28-year-old will get counseling from University of Central Florida professor Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.
"We believe strongly we made the right decision there," O'Donnell said at Phoenix International Raceway. "Our go-forward plan with Jeremy is to employ (Lapchick), have him work with (Lapchick) and get him back in a race car as soon as we deem fit."
Clements apologized publicly after receiving the suspension.
Angels assign Trout $21K more than minimum
TEMPE, Ariz., March 2 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Saturday renewed the contract of standout second-year player Mike Trout for $21,000 above the major league minimum salary.
Trout, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, batted .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, 30 home runs, 129 runs and 49 stolen bases last season.
Under salary rules, players with less than three years of service have little leverage, and teams can renew their first year's salary if they can't come to terms on a new deal.
The Angels and Trout are reportedly far apart in contract negotiations.
But the team's decision to assign Trout a 2013 salary of $510,000 --- only a $21,000 more than the MLB minimum -- despite turning in one of the best first-year performances in baseball history last season has rankled his agent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time," Craig Landis said in an email. "In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a 'fair' contract, and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process."
Spurs' Parker out for month with injury
SAN ANTONIO, March 2 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs said Saturday guard Tony Parker would be out for about a month with a sprained left ankle.
Parker was helped off the court Friday night after landing awkwardly during the Spurs' 130-102 win over Sacramento.
Parker leads San Antonio with 21 points and 7.6 points per game this season.
Iditarod dog sled race kicks off in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 2 (UPI) -- The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race kicked off Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska, with a short showcase of the competitors, officials said.
On Sunday, mushers and their dogs will set out on an 1,000-mile journey from Anchorage to Nome,
Last year's top 10 participants are back this year, plus a handful of others who fall into the top-contender category, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported.
"It's a unique mix of young and old," said reigning champion Dallas Seavey of Willow, who turns 26 on Monday, "and both are at their best and both are in their prime. There's no way to compete with experience but young mushers like me and [Pete Kaiser] have done this their entire lives -- 20-plus years, but we started when we were 5."
The top 30 finishers will split a purse of $600,000 -- $50,400 will go to the winner. Each musher who finishes 31st or lower will receive $1,049.