Sports

Pirates, USC agree to 5-game football series

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina and South Carolina will play a five-game series beginning in 2011, officials said Friday.

The Pirates and Gamecocks will meet twice in Charlotte (2011 and 2014); twice in Columbia, S.C. (2012, 2016) and once in Greenville, N.C. (2013).

South Carolina leads the series 10-5. East Carolina won the last meeting 21-3 in 1999, and the Pirates stayed in Columbia an extra week when eastern North Carolina was ravaged by Hurricane Floyd.

East Carolina is 2-1 in games played in Charlotte. South Carolina has never played there.

East Carolina is currently coached by Skip Holtz, a longtime Gamecock assistant under his father, Lou Holtz.

• Wide receiver Slick Shelley has decided to transfer to Tulsa and defensive back signee DeShaun Barnes has been released from his letter of intent, Tennessee announced Friday.

A Fort Smith, Ark., native, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Shelley redshirted the 2005 season and did not appear in any games for the Vols in 2006. He hopes to get more playing time at Tulsa.

• COLLEGE BASEBALL -- Clemson catcher Doug Hogan announced Friday he will return for his senior season, turning down a 16th-round draft selection from Cleveland.

The redshirt senior hit .350 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs in his first season as starter, logging 62 of the Tigers' 63 games behind the plate. Hogan only hit .130 in his first two years.

"I have a lot of respect for the Indians' organization and all that they offered me," Hogan said.

• PRO BASKETBALL -- The NBA finals were a television bust.

San Antonio's four-game sweep of Cleveland finished with a record-low 6.2 television rating and 11 share on ABC, Nielsen Media Research said Friday. That was down 27 percent from the 8.5/15 for Miami's six-game victory over Dallas last year and 5 percent under the previous low, a 6.5/12 for San Antonio's six-game win over New Jersey in 2003. The NBA finals averaged 9.3 million viewers this year.

San Antonio's series-winning 83-82 victory on Thursday night got a 6.5/12, down 17 percent from the 7.8/14 for Game 4 last year.

The NHL Stanley Cup finals also hit a record low this year, with NBC averaging a 1.6/3 for the final three games of Anaheim's five-game victory over Ottawa. The first two games were televised on the cable network Versus.

• TRACK AND FIELD -- Meseret Defar of Ethiopia broke the women's world record in the 5,000 meters, finishing in 14 minutes, 16.63 seconds at the Bislett Games. She set the previous mark of 14:24.53 in New York last year.

• Marion Jones, conspicuously absent from the track scene since her February marriage, apparently will not compete in the 2007 season.

Jones is the defending U.S. 100-meter champion but has not declared her entry into that or any other event at next week's U.S. championships in Indianapolis.

Jones married Barbados-born sprinter Obadele Thompson in an extremely private, small ceremony in a small town near Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 27. Jones' representatives never acknowledged the wedding. The minister who performed the ceremony eventually confirmed it.

• BASEBALL -- Larry Whiteside, a baseball writer in Boston, Kansas City and Milwaukee for almost half a century who was a pioneer for blacks in journalism and a mentor for reporters, died Friday after a long illness. He was 69.

Whiteside worked for The Boston Globe from 1973 until he was sidelined by Parkinson's disease in the past decade. The paper reported his death on its Web site.

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