WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer, giving the reigning NL East champions a leadoff hitter and center fielder.
Span is a career .284 hitter with 23 home runs, 230 RBIs, 90 steals and a .357 on-base percentage during five seasons with the Twins.
The acquisition of Span allows the Nationals potentially to move 20-year-old Bryce Harper to left field, with Jayson Werth staying in right. Michael Morse could then move to first base - the position played by free agent slugger Adam LaRoche.
Meyer went 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA at Class A this year.
MADRID (AP) - Spanish rider Alberto Contador has asked Tour de France organizers if his SaxoBank team will be invited to participate in cycling's premier event next year.
The two-time Tour champion said Thursday that "this is not a means of pressuring," but "we are waiting to see if we will be a World Tour team or not. If not, we'll need an invitation for the grand tours."
Contador was stripped of a Tour title, the 2010 edition, for testing positive for clenbuterol. He missed last year's race while serving a ban.
Contador says he needs at least two months to prepare for the Tour and is considering racing in only one grand tour next year.
He declined to comment on Lance Armstrong's doping case "until a certain time has passed."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Less than two weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens frustrated fleet-footed quarterback Byron Leftwich and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to take control of the AFC North.
In the rematch Sunday, the Ravens will face a quarterback with a different skill set. Whether it will be soft-tossing Charlie Batch or the gritty and poised Ben Roethlisberger remains to be seen.
Batch went the distance last week in a loss to last-place Cleveland. The 37-year-old completed 20 for 34 passes for 199 yards but threw three interceptions, explaining in part why Pittsburgh didn't score in the second half and finished with a whopping eight turnovers.
Roethlisberger has been sidelined since hurting his ribs and right (throwing) shoulder in a Nov. 12 win over Kansas City. The two-time Super Bowl winner threw in practice this week but is questionable for Sunday against the Ravens (9-2) at M&T Bank Stadium.
<VIDEO> Police say a traffic citation issued to Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in suburban Detroit will stand. An officer wrote up Suh after seeing the third-year pro driving fast and passing cars from the right lane.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Business in the area surrounding Washington's Verizon Center is suffering because the Washington Wizards have yet to win a game and the Capitals aren't playing at all.
Marcelo Del Rio is a manager at the Redline bar across the street from Verizon Center where both teams play. He says that business has taken a big hit because the bar depends on red-clad hockey fans. The NHL is in the midst of a lockout that threatens its entire season.
Meanwhile, the Wizards are 0-12 and are struggling to fill seats.
Jim Dinegar, president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, says Metro ridership is down in the area and the city is losing tax revenue. He says Verizon Center employees are also feeling the pinch.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASCAR will race on the dirt for the first time since 1970 next season when the Truck Series visits Eldora Speedway in Ohio.
The trucks will go to the Tony Stewart-owned track in Rossburg on July 24 as a lead-in to the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races later that weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 2013 Camping World Truck schedule also features the first international event with a September stop at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario. The series also races on a Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
A person familiar with the situation says that the Atlantic Coast Conference's presidents and chancellors have voted unanimously to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland.
The person says ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week before choosing to add the Cardinals from the Big East. The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday morning on condition of anonymity because the ACC has not publicly discussed future expansion plans.
The person says the vote came during a conference call of ACC presidents and chancellors.
Maryland announced last week it would join the Big Ten in 2014.
A person familiar with the situation says that the Atlantic Coast Conference's presidents and chancellors have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday morning to discuss plans about replacing Maryland.
The person spoke to The Associated Press early Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the ACC has not publicly discussed future expansion plans.
Maryland announced last week it would join the Big Ten in 2014.
If the ACC chooses to replace the Terrapins, Big East schools Louisville and Connecticut are considered the front-runners to fill that vacancy.
A message to ACC spokesman Brian Morrison was not immediately returned early Wednesday morning.
The plans for the conference call were first reported late Tuesday night by ACCSports.com.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Family, fans and fellow boxers said goodbye to Hector "Macho" Camacho at a memorial and wake for the slain former world champion fighter known for his flamboyance in and out of the ring.
Hundreds of people took pictures and filed past Camacho's open casket, displayed inside a gymnasium decked out for the occasion with black carpet and curtains. The boxer wore white, along with a large gold crucifix and a necklace spelling out his nickname, "Macho," in capital letters.
Camacho was shot in the face while sitting in a parked car a week ago and died when he was taken off of life support on Saturday. He was 50.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - The Washington Redskins have kept right tackle Jammal Brown on the physically unable to perform list, giving up hope that he will play this season.
Brown was placed on PUP after surgery on a torn ligament in his left hip in August. Tuesday was the last day the Redskins could activate him to the 53-man roster.
Brown was a two-time Pro Bowler with the New Orleans Saints but missed the 2009 season after hip surgery. He was then traded to Washington, where he has struggled to stay healthy but was nevertheless re-signed to a five-year, $27.5 million deal last year.
Brown re-injured his hip while running sprints before this year's training camp. He returned to practice two weeks ago but suffered another setback a few days later.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Duke's David Cutcliffe is the Atlantic Coast Conference's coach of the year and Miami running back Duke Johnson is its overall rookie of the year.
The league announced its coaching and rookie honorees Tuesday.
Johnson also was named the top offensive rookie following a vote of 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association while Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby won the defensive rookie of the year.
Cutcliffe received 25 votes, while Clemson's Dabo Swinney had seven and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher received five.
Cutcliffe, the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year in 2003 at Mississippi, led the Blue Devils to a 6-6 record and their first bowl berth since 1994.
Johnson received 34 votes for the overall award to 11 for Maryland's Stephon Diggs.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst says she is making the student-athlete her priority as she tries to navigate the school through the changing landscape of athletic conferences.
Herbst declined comment Wednesday when asked directly if UConn would leave the Big East for the ACC should an invitation be issued.
The ACC recently lost Maryland to the Big 10. Connecticut and Louisville have been the focus of speculation as to who might replace the Terrapins as the 14th member of the conference.
Herbst also would not comment on discussions with the ACC, or say when a decision might be made.
"I don't know when the realignment ends or how it settles," she said. "But I think we really just have to focus on students and then everything will be OK."
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - The Washington Redskins finally have a kicker who's a perfect 10.
Kai Forbath hasn't missed a field goal since the Redskins signed him last month. He's made all 10 attempts, including a late 48-yarder that helped stave off the Dallas Cowboys in the 38-31 win on Thanksgiving day.
Forbath became the Redskins' 19th kicker in 18 seasons after the team had enough of Billy Cundiff, who missed five of 12 attempts to start the season.
Instead of bringing in another veteran retread, coach Mike Shanahan opted for Forbath, the Lou Groza Award winner as a junior at UCLA.
Forbath is one of those kickers who uses a much smaller shoe on his kicking foot. His right shoe is a size 7 1/2, while his left one is 10 1/2.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - University of Maryland officials are touting the academic benefits of joining the Big Ten.
The Baltimore Sun reports Big Ten schools have a consortium that will allow Maryland students to study abroad through 1,700 programs, perform research on other campuses and share millions of books online.
The Atlantic Coast Conference, where Maryland has been a member for 60 years, is also highly regarded for academics. Four ACC schools are ranked among the Top 30 colleges, compared with two in the Big Ten.
Maryland President Wallace Loh says the academic component of joining the Big Ten is just as important as athletics. He says he will reinvest athletics money from the new conference into academics.
Loh and University System of Maryland Chancellor William Kirwan previously worked at Big Ten schools.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Taylor Braun scored 19 points and TrayVonn Wright added 12 and North Dakota State closed out the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic subregional round with a 66-44 win over James Madison on Wednesday.
Braun, who was 6 of 10 from the field, knocked down three 3-pointers and recorded team-highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (six).
North Dakota State (5-1) opened the game on a 7-2 run but saw the Dukes rally and take a 20-19 lead with 6:16 left in the half.
But James Madison (1-3) converted just one field goal over the final six minutes and Braun scored eight of North Dakota State's final 10 points of the half as the Bison entered intermission with a 34-24 advantage.
North Dakota State, which shot 55 percent (11 of 20) in the second half, held James Madison to 15-of-46 shooting for the game.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Olympic gold medalist Oksana Baiul (by-YOOL') is suing a talent agency claiming it mismanaged money she earned after her gold medal-winning figure skating performance in 1994.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles claims she signed contracts with the William Morris Agency shortly after her victory but only recently discovered that hundreds of thousands of dollars had gone uncollected or were improperly spent.
The lawsuit claims the Ukrainian-born skater signed the agreements without being able to read, write or understand English. She claims the agency failed to properly explain agreements to her and misrepresented the amounts she is owed.
The agency, now known as William Morris Endeavor, declined comment.
Baiul now lives in Pennsylvania and is seeking more than $1 million, although the exact amount owed would be determined by jurors.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - London Fletcher's consecutive games streak is in danger once again.
The Washington Redskins linebacker did not practice Tuesday due to a sprained right ankle and has little time to recover before Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Fletcher was hurt in Sunday's 31-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He has never missed a game in his 15-year NFL career and has appeared in 234 in a row, tying him with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber for the longest active streak.
Fletcher says he won't be able to give the ankle a good test until the pregame warmup.
His availability was also in doubt prior to last month's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of head and hamstring injuries, but he started and played all 61 defensive snaps.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Maryland's football team is headed for a second straight losing season and now has gone 11 straight years without winning an Atlantic Coast Conference title.
So how in the world are the Terrapins going to survive in the Big Ten?
Maryland announced Monday that it will leave ACC and begin play in the Big Ten in 2014. That means the struggling football program will be forced to swap out games against Wake Forest, Duke and Boston College for potential matchups with Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Terps coach Randy Edsall, who's 6-17 in his two seasons at the school, says the program will flourish in its new conference.
He says, "There's no doubt we will be able to compete and do well in the Big Ten."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has avoided a one-game suspension for late hits after an appeal. He instead will be fined $50,000.
Reed was suspended for one game without pay on Monday by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks for his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless players. The third violation occurred in Sunday night's game at Pittsburgh; Reed's hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Reed appealed the ruling, and hearing officer Ted Cottrell on Tuesday reduced the penalty.
In a letter to Reed, Cottrell wrote: "I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline. However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay."
<VIDEO> Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference and joining the Big Ten. The Terrapins were a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953. Maryland will become a Big Ten member starting in 2014.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The winless Washington Wizards have waived Jannero Pargo and signed free-agent guard Shaun Livingston, bringing back a player they hope can help fill the void until John Wall returns from injury.
Pargo appeared in all seven of Washington's games during its 0-7 start, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.
The 6-foot-7 Livingston was waived by the Houston Rockets in late October after spending the preseason with them. He played for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, averaging 5.5 points, 2.1 assists and 2.1 rebounds and making 27 starts.
Since being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft out of high school, Livingston has played for six clubs across seven seasons, averaging 6.8 points, 3.5 assists and 2.6 rebounds. He was with the Wizards in 2009-10.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Roush Fenway Racing is making more changes to its crew chief lineup, moving veteran Jimmy Fennig to work with Carl Edwards next season.
Fennig has been paired with Matt Kenseth, who is leaving at the end of the season.
He'll move to the No. 99 team with Edwards next year. Kenseth's replacement, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will be paired with crew chief Scott Graves, who has been working in the Nationwide Series this season. Graves led Edwards to a win at Watkins Glen in his first race as crew chief this year.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eagles quarterback Michael Vick did not practice on Wednesday, but has not yet been ruled out of Sunday's game vs. the Washington Redskins.
Vick suffered a concussion in the second quarter of a 38-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys four days ago. Backup Nick Foles, a rookie, took the first-team snaps at Wednesday's practice and would make his first career start should Vick not be able to play.
Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception in relief of Vick. Those numbers weren't enough to help the Eagles avoid their fifth straight loss, a first in coach Andy Reid's 14 seasons.
Vick's headaches are subsiding, Reid says, but the veteran still needs to complete the mandated concussion testing this week.
Philadelphia and Washington, both 3-6, are tied for last place in the NFC East.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Defenses across the Atlantic Coast Conference are having trouble getting stops or keeping offenses out of the end zone.
League teams are giving up points and yards at their highest rate in more than a decade. And that's led to plenty of shootouts, including last weekend's Georgia Tech-North Carolina matchup that was the highest-scoring game in ACC history.
ACC teams are giving up an average of 26.2 points per game this season, the highest since teams averaged 26.4 points in 2001, according to STATS LLC. In addition, teams are giving up an average of 389.4 yards per game, the highest since at least 1995.
Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe says high-scoring offenses "are here to stay" and that defenses constantly have to catch up to new offensive schemes.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a sprained right shoulder and his status for Sunday's showdown with AFC North rival Baltimore is uncertain.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger is "questionable" and is waiting for more details on the quarterback's condition. Roethlisberger left Monday night's 16-13 overtime win over Kansas City in the third quarter after getting slammed to the ground by Chiefs linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
Veteran backup Byron Leftwich filled in and completed 7 of 14 passes for 73 yards. Leftwich's last start came in 2009 while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Tomlin said safety Troy Polamalu remains doubtful with a right calf injury. Polamalu hasn't played since a win over Philadelphia on Oct. 7.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lance Armstrong has cut formal ties with his cancer-fighting charity to avoid further damage brought by doping charges and being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong resigned from the board of directors for Livestrong on Nov. 4. He had previously resigned as chairman from the charity he founded Oct. 17 but had kept a seat on the board.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency ordered Armstrong banned from the sport for life and stripped of his titles. The International Cycling Union, which had originally supported Armstrong's fight, later agreed to wipe out Armstrong's record seven victories.
Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said Monday that Armstrong "remains the inspiration," and is still its largest donor with nearly $7 million over the years.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Not every Richmond resident is a fan of the city's decision to lure the Washington Redskins' training camp to town.
They expressed their misgivings Thursday at what can be described as a contentious meeting. Speakers questioned city officials about financing for the $10 million training camp facility, traffic and noise and more.
The Redskins have committed to conduct their three-week training camp in Richmond for at least eight years starting next summer. The NFL team signed an economic incentive deal with the state in June.
Mayor Dwight Jones has submitted a plan that is subject to City Council approval.
City officials estimate the camp will draw 100,000 people a year and have a yearly economic impact of about $8.5 million.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Federal officials are dropping their investigation of sexual abuse claims against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
They said Friday they found no evidence to support a man's accusations that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room when the team played there. Zach Tomaselli initially said Fine put pornography on the hotel room television, then molested him. He later said he was lying.
Before Tomaselli's claim, two other men accused Fine of molesting them, but the statute of limitations prevented any investigation into those claims.
Fine denied the charges but was fired after Tomaselli went public in November.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL will hold 10 regional combines and a 2013 super regional combine beginning late in January.
The regional combines are a supplement to the NFL's national scouting combine in Indianapolis in late February.
Regional combines are conducted specifically for players eligible for the 2013 draft but not attending the Indianapolis combine; players with college playing experience who want to gauge their pro potential; and players with some professional playing experience but who have been out of the game for a period of time.
NFL executive Ray Anderson says the regional combines program " provides players who may not have had the chance before the opportunity to work out for NFL personnel executives. It allows all 32 clubs a chance to further evaluate future prospects."
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
Virginia Tech's goals for the season have withered from contending for the national championship to just qualifying for a bowl game.
The Hokies (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) need to win two of their last three to become bowl eligible, and with No. 8 Florida State coming to town Thursday night, coach Frank Beamer is putting the focus on "team."
The Hokies have struggled in all three phases of the game at times this season, and Beamer says "it's not defense, offense. It's a football team."
The Seminoles (8-1, 5-1) will likely be the best opponent the Hokies face all season,
Florida State leads the nation in total defense, allowing just 227 yards per game. It is ranked third in scoring at 44.78 points per game.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens' game at the Pittsburgh Steelers will remain on Sunday night Nov. 18.
Week 11 is when flexible scheduling kicks in, allowing the NFL to move a more appealing matchup into prime time if need be. But with the rival Ravens (6-2) and Steelers (5-3) again battling for the AFC North title, NBC is keeping the game.
The league said Monday that the Indianapolis Colts' trip to play the New England Patriots, matching quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, would move from 1 to 4:25 p.m. EST on CBS that weekend.