Sports In Brief - March 27, 2008

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina senior closer Curtis Johnson is expected to miss the remainder of the 2008 season due to an injury to his right arm. Johnson has a torn labrum and rotator cuff.

Johnson plans to apply for a medical redshirt and return for the 2009 season.

Johnson, labeled 'Cujo' for his bulldog mentality, had compiled a 1-0 record and one save with a 1.83 ERA in five relief appearances this season. He had 17 strikeouts in 19 2-3 innings.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- One of Davidson College's famous perks is the free laundry service for students. Now the school is adding another freebie: watching the Wildcats play in the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

The school's board of trustees set up a fund to pay for any student wishing to travel to Detroit to see Davidson play Wisconsin in the Midwest Regional semifinals. Students will get free bus transportation, two nights lodging and a ticket to Friday's game.

While the drop-off laundry service and trip to Detroit are free, annual tuition at the exclusive, liberal-arts school is just under $41,000 a year.

• Alabama forward Richard Hendrix has decided to enter the NBA draft, but is leaving the door open to return for his senior season.

The All-SEC pick said he will not hire an agent. That gives him until 10 days before the June 26 draft to withdraw his name.

Hendrix's averages of 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds a game led the Crimson Tide. He ranked among the SEC's top five in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots.

• California has fired coach Ben Braun following another disappointing season in which the Golden Bears missed the NCAA tournament.

Braun spent 12 years at Cal and made the tournament five times. But the Bears only went to the NCAA tournament once in his final five seasons, leading to the decision by athletic director Sandy Barbour.

• Ben Carnevale, the longtime Navy basketball coach who later headed the U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee, has died. He was 92.

The Naval Academy released a statement from Carnevale's family, announcing the death Tuesday. No cause of death was released. He had been living in Williamsburg.

In 1944, he became coach at North Carolina. The Tar Heels went 52-11 in his two seasons with them and played in the NCAA national title game in 1946, losing 43-40 to Oklahoma A&M.

He took over at Navy in 1946 and over the next 20 seasons became the school's winningest basketball coach.

• NHL -- Sidney Crosby, sidelined for 28 of Pittsburgh's past 31 games with a sprained right ankle, went through an optional practice without problems and plans to play tonight against the New York Islanders.

Crosby, who has missed the Penguins' past seven games, accompanied the team on a two-game road trip Monday and Tuesday, but did not play in either game. The Penguins lost to the Islanders 4-1 Monday and clinched a playoff spot after beating the Devils 2-0 Tuesday.

Crosby was hurt Jan. 18 against Tampa Bay and didn't play again until facing the Lightning on March 4. He played three games that week, but hasn't played since scoring two goals against the Capitals on March 9.

• NBA -- The Illinois Supreme Court said it would not hear an appeal in the long-running legal dispute between retired Chicago superstar Michael Jordan and an Indianapolis woman.

Jordan and Karla Knafel went to court in 2002 after she claimed he agreed in 1991 to pay her $5 million when he retired from professional basketball to keep an affair secret. DNA tests later showed her child wasn't Jordan's.

Jordan claimed Knafel was trying to extort him, and he won an appellate court decision last December. Knafel asked the state's highest court to reconsider, but it refused without explaining why.

• Chris Webber announced his retirement from the NBA, bowing to a knee injury that cut short his comeback attempt with Golden State.

Webber played only nine games with the Warriors before being sidelined by a bum left knee that's hampered him in recent years.