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Nov. 27, 2012 at 11:16 PM
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Sidney Crosby closer to playing in Europe

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says he's closer to writing off the NHL season and committing to playing in Europe as the lockout drags on.

Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday he's thinking more intently about joining an overseas team after collective bargaining talks to end the 9-week-old lockout by NHL owners seem no closer to a resolution.

"You know what? It's a lot more possible right now," Crosby told the newspaper. "I probably hadn't thought about it quite as much as I have the past few days.

"It's definitely been something ... with the way things are looking now, it's not looking too good."

The Penguins superstar has warned since the beginning of the lockout he'd look to Europe if too much of the season is canceled. The league has already wiped out all games through Dec. 15 and the entire 2012-13 season is now hanging in the balance.

Crosby agent Pat Brisson indicated he has been in contact with several teams in Russia and Switzerland.

"I don't know, specifically, if I've gotten to that point where I'm looking at (particular) teams, but I think I'm more or less thinking that playing is becoming a little more and more important here, the longer we go," Crosby said.

East Carolina, Tulane move to Big East

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- East Carolina and Tulane announced Tuesday they would be joining the Big East Conference as football members starting with the 2014 season.

"We are very excited to welcome East Carolina University into the Big East Conference for football," Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said. "They have a strong football tradition and a consistently successful program that will help elevate our football league immediately."

The Big East will have 12 football schools for the 2013 season, after which Pittsburgh and Syracuse will depart for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Former Big East member West Virginia earlier moved to the Big 12.

East Carolina and Tulane are currently part of Conference USA, which is also losing Central Florida, Houston, Southern Methodist and Memphis to the Big East.

Phillies' Ruiz draws 25-game suspension

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz Tuesday was slapped with a 25-game suspension after testing positive for amphetamines, the team said.

Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the 33-year-old catcher would be suspended at the start of the 2013 regular season, but will be allowed to participate in all spring training activities.

"The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball's drug program," Amaro said. "We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013."

"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a statement. "I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans."

The Panama native had the best season of his career in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 home runs, 32 doubles and 68 RBI over 114 games while garnering his first career all-star selection.

Detroit's Suh faces driving citation

LATHRUP VILLAGE, Mich., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Detroit Lions tackle Ndamukong Suh, who dodged NFL punishment this week for kicking a quarterback, still has a driving citation hanging over him, police say.

The Detroit News reported Tuesday Lathrup Village, Mich., police Chief William Armstrong and the city's attorney's office were reviewing the Nov. 15 ticket Suh received for allegedly failing to use due care and caution while driving through the town.

Suh allegedly was traveling at a high rate of speed and then merged in front of other vehicles when his lane ran out, Armstrong said.

"Right now, it's under investigation," Armstrong said. "He was cited for due care and caution, and we have to see if it fits."

Suh found out Monday he won't be suspended for kicking the groin of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub during the Lions' 34-31 overtime loss Thursday.

The Lions player was suspended two games last year for trying for to injure Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith by stomping on his arm.

Suh has a long history of driving-related incidents as well, the News said.

He escaped a traffic ticket following a fender-bender last month in Dearborn. Stephen Vines, 43, of Livonia accused Suh of sideswiping his car while on an exit ramp, the News said.

Dearborn police said they could not determine who was at fault.

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