Nike turns down request to sack Vick

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Nike has no plans to dump Michael Vick from its roster of celebrity athletes, turning aside a request from the national Humane Society to cut ties with the Atlanta Falcons quarterback over alleged ties to dogfighting.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, on Tuesday released a letter that he sent to the apparel giant.

"We trust that Nike does not want to be associated with any celebrity who is linked to this odious form of animal cruelty," Pacelle wrote.

Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said the company planned to honor its lucrative deal with Vick, who worked with the company to design a line of athletic shoes and has been used prominently in advertising campaigns.

"There is no change in the status of the agreement between Nike and football player Michael Vick," Stoyer said. "He is rightfully presumed innocent and afforded the same due process as any citizen, rather than be tried in the court of public opinion. Nike will continue to monitor the situation, but has nothing further to say at this time."

• LOCAL BASEBALL -- The Carolina Sox pounded 10 hits and got seven innings of solid pitching from Michael Lewis and Austin Fleet to beat Morganton 6-1 Monday.

Lewis went seven innings, Fleet went two and they held the Aggies (7-5) to five hits.

Tommy Baldridge and Ryan Meng homered for the Sox, who improved to 5-6.

The Sox host the Aggies at 7 p.m., Thursday at Fort Mill High School.

• The Carolina Reds 15U showcase team went 2-2 this past weekend at the Diamond Devil University of South Carolina Showcase Tournament.

The Reds opened the tournament with a 7-3 victory over the Heat showcase 16U team. Josh Bowers threw a complete game and notched the victory.

The Reds dropped back-to-back games, to the Diamond Devils 15U Black Team 9-3 and the Diamond Devils 15U Blue Team 5-3.

The Reds rebounded and won their final game of the tournament, 9-1 over the East Cobb Panthers 16U Team. Jesse Brewer was on the mound and recorded the complete-game victory.

Offensively, the Reds were led by Josh Bowers' .545 batting average and Kris Thompson at .429. Josh Greene and Ethan Hines hit home runs.

The Reds' next tournament will be the AAU Top Gun World Series in Concord, N.C., over the July 4 weekend.

• COLLEGE BASEBALL -- South Carolina second baseman Travis Jones has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Braves, the school said.

Jones, a junior college transfer who hit 18 homers and led the team with 83 hits, was taken by the Braves in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball draft. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Jones, who was named to the all-Southeastern Conference first team this past season, is expected to report to the Braves rookie team in Danville, Va.

• WOMEN'S BASKETBALL -- Former Georgia star Saudia Roundtree has joined the Clemson women's basketball team as an assistant coach.

Roundtree, a native of Anderson, was the Southeastern Conference's player of the year in 1996 when she helped the Lady Bulldogs to a league title and a runner-up finish in the NCAA tournament.

Roundtree had been a head coach at Morris Brown and North Carolina A&T and an assistant at Alabama and Central Florida before taking the Clemson position on coach Cristy McKinney's staff.

• PRO BASKETBALL -- Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss is facing two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence in connection with his arrest last month.

The 74-year-old was taken into custody May 29 after he drove his gold Mercedes-Benz station wagon the wrong way on a street in an unincorporated section of Carlsbad that has double yellow lines, the California Highway Patrol said.

• The Sacramento Kings reached an agreement in principle with Reggie Theus to become their new coach, ending a meandering two-month search for Eric Musselman's replacement.

Kings spokesman Troy Hanson said the club plans to introduce Theus, the New Mexico State coach and a former Kings player, at a news conference Wednesday.

The Kings nearly hired Stan Van Gundy two weeks ago before he chose the Orlando Magic, while veteran coach Larry Brown recently expressed interest in the opening.