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KINGSPORT - Area track coaches are reminded that entries and scratches for the 29th Times-News Relays, set for Friday at Sullivan North, must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Contact Pat Kenney by e-mail at pkenney@timesnews.net, by phone at 423-392-1323 or toll-free at 800-251-0328, ext. 323, or by fax at 423-392-1385.

Pacman's appeal received by NFL

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NASHVILLE - Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has filed his appeal of a season-long suspension and a hearing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should be held within the next two weeks, a league spokesman said Monday. Jones said earlier this month he planned to appeal and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Monday that Jones' letter arrived at league offices over the weekend. "He will have a full opportunity to present his case," Aiello said. The hearing of his appeal was being scheduled and it should be held sometime within the next two weeks.

Derby sponsor puts up $1M bonus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - There will be a $1 million bonus at the Kentucky Derby if the first-place horse wins by more than 6½ lengths - the margin of Barbaro's victory last year. The bonus would be divided Saturday among the winning trainer, jockey, owner and a charity, with each receiving 25 percent, it was announced Monday. The designated charity is the Barbaro Memorial Fund. The so-called "Yumfecta" will be paid by Yum! Brands, the Derby's presenting sponsor for the second consecutive year and parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W restaurants. To pay the bonus, the Louisville company took out an insurance policy. Barbaro's winning margin was the largest since 1946 when Assault won by eight lengths.

Former NFL LB Mitchell dies at 36

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ASHBURN, Va. - Former NFL linebacker Kevin Mitchell died in his sleep at the age of 36. Mitchell died overnight Sunday at his home in Ashburn, near the Washington Redskins' training facility, according to the team. An autopsy was performed Monday by the Virginia state medical examiner's office. The cause of death was not immediately announced. Mitchell was drafted in the second round out of Syracuse in 1994 by the San Francisco 49ers, who moved the undersized college defensive lineman to linebacker. He played with San Francisco until 1997, then signed with New Orleans (1998-99). He played his final four seasons (2000-03) with the Redskins.

Bears' Johnson enters guilty plea

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. - Chicago Bears defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge Monday as part of an arrangement with prosecutors that will keep him from serving additional time in jail. The 25-year-old Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a firearm without an owner's identification, said Mary Stanton, chief of the Lake County Court's misdemeanor division. He was ordered to serve 45 days in jail, which will be served concurrently with a four-month sentence he's already serving in the Cook County Jail for violating his probation, she said. Johnson also was ordered to donate $2,500 to the Gurnee Police Department and $2,500 to the Gurnee Exchange Club's child abuse prevention program.

Appalachia sports physicals set

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APPALACHIA - Free sports physicals for upcoming Appalachia High School seventh- through 12th-graders will be held Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap. Athletes must sign up in the AES office or at Appalachia High School prior to May 9 and must use the recently revised VHSL physicals form. Physicals will also be done at Occu Med Health Center in Norton with May and June appointments; call 276-679-8867 for an appointment.

VI wins another national championship

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HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. - Virginia Intermont won the Intercollegiate Dressage Association national championship for the second consecutive year. The competition, held this past weekend, was hosted by Centenary College. It was VI's 11th national equestrian crown since 2001. Lady Cobras rider Julianne Wilson repeated as national champ in Up Training with a combined score of 69.2.

Michigan State hires Merchant

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Suzy Merchant was hired as the women's basketball coach at Michigan State on Monday after coaching Eastern Michigan the past nine seasons. She replaces Joanne P. McCallie, who was hired at Duke on April 18. Merchant was on maternity leave for much of last season.

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