COLUMBIA -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier hired a new assistant Tuesday -- and no, it wasn't a defensive coordinator.
While much of focus has been on who'll replace Tyrone Nix in leading the defense, Spurrier brought in Maryland assistant Ray Rychleski to lead the special teams.
Rychleski, 50, spent the past seven seasons coordinating special teams for the Terrapins, a span during which they had no punts blocked.
Assistants Fred Chatham and Shane Beamer shared those duties this past season. Rychleski said Spurrier made it clear he'd have autonomy over South Carolina's special teams.
Rychleski's hiring brings Spurrier's staff back to its complement of nine full-time assistants. That means Spurrier is going to have promote a staffer to Nix's coordinator spot or make additional changes.
USC athletic spokesman Steve Fink said no other assistants have left.
• An academic cheating scandal could leave Florida State without as many as 25 unidentified players for the Music City Bowl against Kentucky.
Many of the players who won't be going to Nashville for the New Year's Eve game could also be ruled ineligible for some games next season for their connection to a cheating scandal earlier this year.
Federal privacy laws prohibit the school from releasing names.
• Tim Tebow's unprecedented season keeps getting better.
The Florida quarterback won AP Player of the Year honors in a vote that was similar to the one that made him the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Tebow received 31 of a possible 58 votes from AP poll voters. Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, the Heisman runner-up, received 19 votes, and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was third with four votes.
• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Kevin O'Neill will succeed Lute Olson as Arizona's basketball coach when the Hall of Famer retires.
O'Neill, hired as an assistant in May, has served as the 19th-ranked Wildcats' interim coach since the 73-year-old Olson went on a personal leave of absence Nov. 4 -- a leave he recently extended through the end of the season.
• Dick Vitale, the voice of college basketball for almost three decades, had vocal cord surgery and is expected to be off the air until at least February.
The 68-year-old Vitale said on his Web site that he'll still give his take on college basketball through postings on ESPN.com and dickvitaleonline.com while he recuperates. He expects to return to the air in early February.
• WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Connecticut athletic officials say starting guard Kalana Greene has suffered a significant tear of her right ACL and will have surgery later this week.
Greene, a top defensive player for the second-ranked Huskies, was hurt Monday in the first half of UConn's 97-39 win over USC. A junior from St. Stephen, Greene had been averaging 8.6 points and just over 5 rebounds per game.
• MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -- Roger Clemens denied allegations by his former trainer that he took performance-enhancing drugs, calling them "a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take."
The accusations against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner from former trainer Brian McNamee were the most striking in last week's Mitchell Report. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell wrote McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998 while with the Toronto Blue Jays, and steroids and human growth hormone in 2000 and 2001, while with the New York Yankees.
• Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts has acknowledged using steroids, but insists he only tried it once before realizing he had made a "terrible decision."
Roberts, a former standout at South Carolina, has twice been named to the American League All-Star team, including this season. He has a career batting average of .281. Returning from offseason elbow surgery, in 2007 he batted .290 and stole a career-high 50 bases.
• NASCAR -- A security guard filed suit against Kasey Kahne seeking damages for "severe physical injuries" when the NASCAR driver allegedly shoved him to the ground at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Archibald Hutchinson is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $15,000 in the suit filed in the 11th Circuit Court.
Hutchinson and a Monroe County deputy sheriff stopped a golf cart carrying Kahne and his brother as they attempted to enter the motorhome lot at Homestead, and asked for credentials. Kahne is due in court Jan. 8 to answer charges of misdemeanor battery stemming from the Nov. 16 incident. The maximum sentence for misdemeanor battery is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
• HOLE IN ONE: Fort Mill's Jim Bethel scored a hole in one at Regent Park Golf Club. Playing from the white tees, Bethel aced the par-3, 135-yard 17th hole using a No. 5 hybrid club. The shot was witnessed by Larry Kessler, Pat Williams and Frank Lamanna.