Sports

Clemson coach says he is not looking

CLEMSON -- Clemson coach Oliver Purnell says he's not going anywhere.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that Purnell's name was mentioned as a target for the LSU men's basketball opening.

But Purnell said Tuesday in a statement while he was flattered to be mentioned for the job, he is content at Clemson and has long range goals for the program.

Purnell led Clemson to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title game for the first time in more than four decades and the team's first NCAA tournament berth since 1998.

Purnell agreed to a two-year contract extension last month that would tie him to the Tigers through 2014. He has not signed that extension.

• PRO BASKETBALL -- Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace is leaning toward sitting out the last week of the season due to a groin injury.

An MRI exam showed no tear, but Wallace missed his second straight game against Minnesota. With the Bobcats eliminated from playoff contention, Wallace said he'll likely not play again this season.

"If I play, there's a risk of me having the injury throughout the whole summer," Wallace said. "I don't want to go through the whole summer with a groin injury."

Wallace aggravated the injury in Friday's win over Toronto and missed Saturday's loss to Boston.

• PRO FOOTBALL -- Matt Stover, the Baltimore Ravens' veteran kicker, has begun a campaign to replace Gene Upshaw as executive director of the NFL Players Association by next March.

Stover's action comes at a time when the union could be heading for critical negotiations with the league on the collective bargaining agreement.

"I feel that the board must begin to prepare for a change in leadership immediately," Stover said in an e-mail to the union's executive board and player representatives that was obtained Tuesday by ESPN. "I believe we have the proper environment with our teammates and leadership within the board to execute the process of this selection."

Union president Kevin Mawae of the Tennessee Titans said that Stover's opinion does not reflect the opinion of the players.

• TENNIS -- Six-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will be sidelined indefinitely, though she did not say why she will be out of action.

Williams said last week she was dealing with a medical issue when she announced her withdrawal from the Bausch & Lomb tournament. She played last week in the Sony Ericsson Open, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.

• AUTO RACING -- Stewart Cooper was hired as crew chief for Kyle Petty, taking over the slumping No. 45 Dodge after it missed the past two races.

Cooper replaces Billy Wilburn heading into this weekend's race at Phoenix. Petty is scheduled to return to the driver's seat after stepping out last week to allow Chad McCumbee the chance to qualify the car at Texas.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury says Bulldog sophomore guard Ben Hansbrough has decided to transfer following the spring semester.

A 6-foot-3, 205-pound guard from Poplar Bluff, Mo., Hansbrough was State's fourth-leading scorer this past season at 10.5 points per game.

He started 28 games and tied for the team lead with 62 made three-point field goals in shooting 36 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

He led the Bulldogs in free throw percentage (.789) this past year. Hansbrough was the team's third-leading playmaker with 77 assists (2.6 apg) while also averaging 3.8 rebounds a game.

• TENNIS -- Top-seeded Maria Sharapova made a successful debut at the Bausch & Lomb Championships with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Lindsay Davenport began her quest for a fourth Bausch & Lomb title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Vania King, overcoming a lack of sleep caused by her 9-month-old son's nagging cold.

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