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April 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM
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Arkansas fires football coach Petrino

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., April 10 (UPI) -- The University of Arkansas Tuesday fired football Coach Bobby Petrino, who was caught up in a scandal involving a young female employee.

Athletics Director Jeff Long announced the decision at an evening news conference in Fayetteville.

Long said assistant coach Taver Johnson would take over as interim coach through the completion of spring practice.

Petrino was let go for "abusing his authority" and "jeopardizing the integrity of the football program," the AD said.

Arkansas placed the 51-year-old Petrino on paid leave last week following revelations he was with a 25-year-old female athletic department employee when he crashed his motorcycle April 1 southeast of the Fayetteville.

The young woman had been hired last week.

Petrino, who is married with four children, admitted an initial statement indicating he had been alone during the crash was false.

The coach said he has "been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces."

Petrino compiled a 34-17 record in four seasons leading the Razorbacks, including an 11-2 mark and a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State this past season.

Oilers win NHL draft lottery again

NEW YORK, April 10 (UPI) -- The Edmonton Oilers Tuesday won the lottery for the right to choose first in the NHL draft for the third straight year.

The Oilers landed the top pick despite having only the second-worst record in the league this season -- the Columbus Blue Jackets finished 30th overall.

Edmonton had an 18.8-percent chance to win the lottery.

The Oilers used their first-overall picks in the last two years to draft forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Taylor Hall (2010).

Columbus -- which had a 25 percent chance -- will go second when the draft is held June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.

The Blue Jackets will be followed by the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The top prospect is considered to by Ontario Hockey League forward Nail Yakupov.

Reds, Phillips agree to six-year extension

CINCINNATI, April 10 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds and second baseman Brandon Phillips agreed to terms Tuesday on a six-year contract extension said to be worth $72.5 million.

Terms of the deal weren't revealed by Phillips or the team, but The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the dollar amount and said Phillips will be with the Reds through 2017.

The signing came shortly after the Reds inked first baseman Joey Votto to a 10-year, $225 million contract.

Part of the deal was a restructuring of the $12.5 million option Phillips was playing under this season.

"I'm not going to lie to you. This is probably the first time I've ever been nervous," Phillips said at a news conference in Cincinnati. "I cried about this. This is where I wanted to be."

The 30-year-old infielder is in his seventh season with the Reds after being acquired from Cleveland in 2006.

The two-time all-star and three-time Gold Glove winner is a career .272 hitter with 130 homers, 524 RBI and 202 doubles in 1,045 games.

Reebok to recall Tebow Jets jerseys

NEW YORK, April 10 (UPI) -- Reebok will recall New York Jets jerseys bearing quarterback Tim Tebow's name and number under a settlement reached Tuesday with rival Nike.

Under the terms of a resolution filed in federal court in New York, Reebok International Ltd. will settle Nike Inc.'s suit against it by repurchasing the Tebow Jets merchandise from retailers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Reebok also promised not to make any more such unauthorized merchandise, the newspaper said.

Nike Inc. claimed in a suit filed in U.S. District Court last month Reebok took advantage of a lapse in the rights to such apparel by jumping into the market with a Jets jersey bearing the signal-caller's name and number after his March 21 trade from the Denver Broncos to New York.

In the suit, Nike claims Reebok's license to market NFL products lapsed March 1, while its own $1.1 billion deal with the league didn't begin until April 1.

"We're pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable resolution," the two companies said in issued statements.

A federal judge last week extended a restraining order banning Reebok's sale of the Tebow merchandise.

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