Sports In Brief - October 23, 2007

Wingate's Sean Barnette, an All-American basketball player and former Northwestern standout, has been named the 2006-07 South Atlantic Conference Male Athlete of the Year following a vote of the league's Directors of Athletics, the conference office announced Monday.

The SAC Male Athlete of the Year award is given annually to a student-athlete based on athletic performance in one or more sports, and the impact of that performance on the SAC and NCAA Division II.

Barnette was the 2007 SAC men's basketball Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game. He also ranked among the league top 10 leaders in rebounding, assists, free-throw percentage, 3-point percentage, 3-pointers made, blocked shots and defensive rebounds.

Barnette helped lead the Bulldogs (25-9 overall, 11-5 SAC) to an appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. Wingate was the first team in SAC history to appear in the Elite Eight.

• WINTHROP BASKETBALL -- Eagle fans are invited to attend the weekly Winthrop Basketball Coaches Luncheon starting Nov. 5 at The Station, located on Oakland Avenue.

Winthrop men's and women's coaches Randy Peele and Bud Childers will preview upcoming games and discuss their respective seasons each week during the luncheon that will be held between noon and 1 p.m.

A total of 16 luncheons are scheduled throughout the season.

"We hope our fans, along with the media, will take advantage of this opportunity to talk and discuss Winthrop basketball with our coaches," said Daniel Hopper, assistant athletic director for marketing. "We want to make a special appeal to the downtown area business people to attend. That is one of the reasons we selected a downtown location for the luncheon," he said.

• WOMEN'S SOCCER -- High expectations can create major repercussions.

That was defender Cat Whitehill's reaction to the news Greg Ryan is out as the U.S. women's soccer coach. The decision came less than a month after his top-ranked team lost in the World Cup semifinals following a contentious goalie switch.

Ryan's contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the year. The squad does not play any more games in 2007.

• MLB -- Baseball investigator George Mitchell, also a director for the AL champion Boston Red Sox, denied providing information for a story that Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd used human growth hormone.

Before Game 7 on Sunday, Byrd acknowledged using HGH after the San Francisco Chronicle reported he spent nearly $25,000 on the drug and syringes from 2002-05 -- before HGH was banned by Major League Baseball.

• NFL -- Things go from bad to worse for the Miami Dolphins, who lost running back Ronnie Brown for the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Brown will need surgery to repair a torn ACL, coach Cam Cameron said. He twisted his right knee in the third quarter of the Dolphins' 49-28 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

"His spirits are up," Cameron said. "He's already talking about getting the surgery and getting ready to get back and get it rehabbed and be ready for spring."

Brown has been one of the few bright spots in Miami's bleak season. Coming into Sunday's game, he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage and had reached the 100-yard rushing mark for four consecutive games.