Monday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 3:01 AM

YOUTH SPORTS

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah prosecutor said he plans to decide soon what charges to file against a teenager accused of punching a soccer referee who later died after slipping into a weeklong coma.

Authorities say the 17-year-old struck Ricardo Portillo in the head last month during a recreational league match after the referee called a penalty against him. Hours later, the 46-year-old went into a coma. He never regained consciousness and died Saturday.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he and other officials are reviewing evidence and state statutes to determine the appropriate charges, which he expects to announce by midweek.

The teen is in juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.

NBA

MIAMI (AP) — The writer who did not choose the Miami Heat's LeBron James as the NBA's Most Valuable Player believes Carmelo Anthony "meant more to his team" this season.

Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe says Anthony made the New York Knicks relevant again by leading them to their first division title in nearly two decades. Washburn's explanation was published one day after James won his fourth MVP award.

Washburn says the Knicks would not have made the playoffs without Anthony, while the Heat have plenty of other talent besides James. Washburn said his vote was "no LeBron conspiracy."

James collected 120 of 121 first-place votes. The NBA has never had a unanimous MVP selection.

BASEBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Alex Rodriguez was back on the field for the first time since having surgery on his left hip almost four months ago.

Rodriguez joined a group of injured New York Yankees starters at the team's minor league complex. The 37-year-old third baseman ran, played catch and hit off a tee.

Rodriguez said it was "pretty exciting" and he's "really looking forward to getting back."

The veteran slugger had surgery Jan. 16 and could return to the Yankees after the All-Star break. A surgeon repaired a torn labrum and impingement during the operation in New York.

Rodriguez is taking part in a 30-day rehab schedule setup by his doctors and team officials.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Dear Mr. President, please order the Jaguars to sign Tim Tebow.

That was the gist of a petition started by some Jaguars fans, hoping President Barack Obama makes their team bring the popular quarterback to Jacksonville for a happy homecoming.

It received a few hundred signatures before being removed from the White House's "We The People" website because "it is in violation of our Terms of Participation." The petition stated that if the Jaguars "sign & START Tebow, home games will be sold out, sales will spike, the team will win and the fans will be happy."

Jaguars GM David Caldwell has said he isn't interested in adding Tebow to his team.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Vikings released punter Chris Kluwe, bringing an end to his colorful and outspoken eight-year stay in Minnesota.

Kluwe announced the news on Twitter shortly after meeting with Vikings GM Rick Spielman. The 31-year-old Kluwe averaged 44.4 yards per punt over his career in Minnesota.

During his time with the Vikings, Kluwe earned a reputation as one of the most opinionated players in the league. He criticized union leadership during the lockout, wore a patch on his uniform to protest the lack of punters in the Hall of Fame and, most notably, became a vocal supporter of gay rights, penning a number of thoughtful, and occasionally profane, columns on the issue.

NHL

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NHL says the Los Angeles Kings will host the Anaheim Ducks in an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium next January.

The Jan. 25 contest will be the NHL's first outdoor game to be played in warmer conditions.

The logistics of playing outdoors in balmy California temperatures might seem daunting. Yet the NHL and the teams seem confident that ice-making technology exists that could meet NHL standards.

The Kings played the Rangers outdoors at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 1991 in 80 degrees.

Three baseball stadiums already have hosted Winter Classics: Chicago's Wrigley Field, Boston's Fenway Park and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.

SOCCER

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA is proposing tougher sanctions against teams whose players, officials or fans are found guilty of racist or discriminatory behavior.

Those punishments may include points deductions, expulsion from competitions or relegation.

The new FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination met for the first time following several racial abuse cases in recent years. The group proposes a two-stage warning, ranging from fines and matches behind closed doors for minor offenses to more severe punishments such as points deductions or relegation for repeat offenders or more serious offenses.

The draft resolution will be presented at the FIFA Congress at the end of the month.

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