Test one for the Gipper

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The body of George Gipp, the Notre Dame football player who inspired the rallying cry "Win one for the Gipper," was exhumed recently for DNA testing in his Upper Peninsula hometown.

The test was sought by the Gipp family and met legal requirements, Houghton County Medical Examiner Dr. Dawn Nulf said Wednesday, although it angered some relatives who live in the area where Gipp was born and raised.

An ESPN crew filmed the exhumation for an upcoming story, but a spokesman said the network played no role in arranging it.

Gipp's remains were taken Oct. 4 from Lake View Cemetery near the village of Laurium, about 550 miles northwest of Detroit, where he was buried in 1920 after dying from pneumonia and a strep infection during his senior year at Notre Dame.

Gipp was a prolific runner, passer and kicker who was Notre Dame's first All-America selection. He scored 83 touchdowns and held the school career rushing record for more than 50 years.

But he's best known for the deathbed exhortation attributed to him years later by coach Knute Rockne. During a pregame pep talk, Rockne inspired his underdog Fighting Irish with the story of a dying Gipp urging the team to "win one for the Gipper."

• WINTHROP GOLF -- The Winthrop men's golf team struggled throughout the 54-hole Duke Coca-Cola Classic and finished last in the 15-team tournament earlier this week.

The one bright spot for Winthrop was the play of freshman Jakub Carlsson, who tied for 20th with a 1-over 217 (71-71-75).

The Eagles were tied for last after an opening 299 and continued that pace with rounds of 303 and 304 to finish at 906, 64 shots behind Duke and Chattanooga, who shared the team title with 22-under finishes (842).

Senior Pete Alminas and Kelly Manders tied for 69th place. Alminas opened with an even-par 72, but fell to 81 in the second round before finishing with a 74. Manders had rounds of 77-76-74.

Rounding out the scoring were juniors Brent Martin and Andrew Buergler in 83rd and 84th. Martin had a 238 (79-77-82) while Buergler finished with a 249 (80-81-79).

Jonathan Hodge of Chattanooga shot a 12-under 204 to claim medalist honors. He was one of 18 players who broke par.

• NBA -- Washington center Etan Thomas will undergo heart surgery today.

Thomas, a six-year veteran, missed the start of training camp after a routine physical revealed an abnormality.

After further evaluation, the team announced that surgery would be required to repair a torn aortic valve.

• Charlotte forward Sean May is facing 6-12 months of rehabilitation after undergoing successful microfracture surgery on his right knee.

May had the surgery Tuesday in New York. It involved drilling tiny holes in bones around the knee to try to stimulate cartilage growth.

May will be on crutches for up to two months. The Bobcats are hopeful the procedure will allow May to play in the 2008-09 season.

• HOLE IN ONE -- David Simril scored a hole-in-one last week at the Players Course in Santee. Simril, a member at Rock Hill Country Club, hit a 7-iron on the 126-yard fourth hole. He played with Bill Johnson, David Fudge and Mike Carrol.