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KNOXVILLE - Tennessee freshman Nicci Moats is leaving the program, coach Pat Summitt announced Thursday. Moats, a forward from Daleville, Va., played in nine games before she was placed on medical leave in January for unspecified reasons. She was not with the Lady Vols when they won the national championship in Cleveland last week. When she was placed on medical leave, Moats said it was so she could focus on "getting healthy and concentrating on my academics." In a statement released Thursday, Moats said: "This was personally a difficult year for me at Tennessee, and I feel it is in my best interest to pursue playing opportunities closer to home and my family." Moats is the fourth player to quit the team since December 2005.

Wooden has elevated heart rate

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LOS ANGELES - John Wooden will remain hospitalized at least one more day because of an elevated heart rate, the former UCLA basketball coach's daughter said Thursday. "Dad is feeling much better. He's ready to go home," Nan Muehlhausen said in a statement. The 96-year-old Hall of Famer claims his heart rate is up because he's been in the hospital too long, but his daughter said, "but the doctors just want to be sure everything is fine before they let him go home." Wooden was hospitalized Sunday when he started experiencing symptoms similar to those he experienced a year ago when he was hospitalized for diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets in the colon. Wooden coached the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span before retiring in 1975 with a 620-147 record in 27 years at UCLA.

Reeves joins Georgia St. football project

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ATLANTA - Dan Reeves is excited about the prospect of bringing football to Georgia State. "We really are going to explore this thing," the former NFL coach said Thursday. Reeves, who spent 23 seasons coaching the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, was hired as a consultant to study starting football at the downtown Atlanta university. He said he would find out if there is financial support among residents and the business community for football at the school. He did not discount the possibility of being involved in a football program if one is started at the school.

Cottam has hernia surgery

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KNOXVILLE - Tennessee tight end Brad Cottam underwent successful surgery Wednesday for a sports hernia, according to a Tennessee sports information office release. Head athletic trainer Jason McVeigh said Dr. William Meyers performed the surgery in Philadelphia. Cottam, who will be a senior this fall, should return to Knoxville today. "I expect Brad to make a full recovery and return full-go for the fall," McVeigh said.

Hokies sign Pellum

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BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech men's basketball program has signed Darrion Pellum for the 2007-08 academic year. A 6-6 guard from Hampton, Pellum averaged 18 points and six rebounds as a senior at Massanutten Military Academy.

Jackson enters JMU Hall of Fame

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HARRISONBURG, Va. - Former Powell Valley High School standout Eupton C. Jackson has been inducted into the James Madison University Athletic Hall of Fame. Jackson played football for JMU from 1987-90 and was a four-year starter at safety. He had 362 career tackles and was the 1990 Virginia Division I defensive player of the year.

South duo signs

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KINGSPORT - Sullivan South's Ryan Collier, a 6-foot, 220-pound lineman, signed Thursday to play football for Emory & Henry College. Also, Rebels basketball player Aaron Willey has signed to play for Lees-McRae College. The 6-4 senior averaged 16 points an eight rebounds per game last season for South.

Saban already sparring with media

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Coach Nick Saban's honeymoon with the media didn't last very long at Alabama. The $4 million-a-year coach is dealing with critical columns, radio talk shows and reporters' questions about restrictions imposed on the media since his arrival. He has allowed only limited access to players and assistant coaches, alternating days when he and Tide players are available to the media. Assistant coaches generally don't speak publicly. "I want to have a good relationship with the media," Saban said. "I have a lot of respect for what the media does for our program and for our players. I've always had that."

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