Sports News-July 10, 2013

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Documents show a man linked to the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez told police Hernandez admitted firing the fatal shots.  Carlos Ortiz reportedly told Massachusetts investigators that another man, Ernest Wallace, said Hernandez admitted shooting Odin Lloyd in an industrial park near Hernandez's Massachusetts home.  The documents were filed in court by the Miramar, Florida police department to justify a search of Wallace's home in that city.  The documents also say that while investigating Lloyd's killing, police did searches in Bristol, Connecticut, that turned up a vehicle wanted in connection with a July 2012 double homicide in Boston.  Police say the vehicle had been rented in the name of Hernandez.  Hernandez's legal team did not return email messages yesterday.

Steve Nash was pragmatic when looking back at what he described as a "disaster" of a season that led to Dwight Howard announcing last week his departure for the Houston Rockets: Howard never wanted to be a Los Angeles Laker in the first place.  ESPN reports that Nash told an ESPN radio station that "Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn't comfortable here and didn't want to be here and I think if he didn't want to be here, there's no point for anyone in him being here, so, we wish him the best and move on."  Nash, along with Kobe Bryant, were brought in by the Lakers to join their pitch, trying to persuade Howard to stay in Los Angeles.  The two-time league MVP was not hopeful heading into the sit-down with the three-time defensive player of the year.  Nash was reluctant to divulge specifics from the meeting, but acknowledged that Howard voiced some frustration.

The NBA has set next season's salary cap at $58.7 million, paving the way for contracts to be signed starting today.  The tax level is $71.7 million, with harsher penalties starting this season for teams that exceed it.  Teams formerly paid $1 for every $1 they were over, but the penalties now start at $1.50 for teams up to $4.9 million over, with increases from there.  Contracts such as the one Dwight Howard agreed to with Houston couldn't be signed during the league's moratorium period while the cap was calculated.  The cap is a slight increase from this season's $58 million.  The mid-level exception for non-taxpayers is $5.15 million.  It's $3.2 million for teams over the tax, and there's a mid-level worth $2.7 million for teams with room under the salary cap.

Maybe next time they'll spell Chris Wondolowski's name right.  The striker scored a first-half hat trick in a 6-1 victory for the United States men's national team over Belize in the opening round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last night.  Landon Donovan added a goal and two assists, becoming the first player with at least 50 career goals and 50 assists for the national team.  Wondolowski, who plays for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, sported an extra "W" on the back of his red and white jersey for the first international meeting between the two teams.  Costa Rica defeated Cuba 3-0 in an earlier match yesterday at Jeld-Wen Field.  The 12-team Gold Cup, which includes national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, is played every two years.

A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Detroit Lions have agreed to terms on a $53 million, three-year contract extension with Matthew Stafford.  Stafford will make $41.5 million in guarantees as part of a deal that keeps him under contract through the 2017 season.  Detroit drafted Stafford first overall in 2009 and signed him to a six-year contract worth as much as $78 million with $41.7 million in guarantees.  After two injury-shortened seasons, he helped the franchise reach the playoffs two years ago for the first time in more than a decade.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis from the University of Connecticut scored 19 points and Tricia Liston of Duke added 14 to lead the United States women's basketball team to a 101-61 victory over Czech Republic yesterday at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.  Team USA, which is now 2-0, led 48-27 at the half after Mosqueda-Lewis converted a three-point play at the buzzer.  Nebraska's Jordan Hooper scored four points and collected seven rebounds in 14 minutes of work.

The Husker athletic department will have a new figure in its administration next month.  The Lincoln Journal Star reports that athletic director Shawn Eichorst announced the hiring of Steve Waterfield as the senior associate athletic director for performance and strategic research.  Waterfield will begin a job Aug. 5 that includes administrative oversight of athletic medicine, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition and the training table.  He will also serve as a liaison to the new East Stadium research facility and oversee the student-athlete drug testing program and health insurance.  Waterfield will report to Eichorst and be part of the athletic department's senior management team.  He'll also serve as a sports administrator for soccer, and men's and women's tennis.

Local Schedule:  Nfk Golden Girls 18's Vs. Swingers-7:30; Vs. Nebraska Blue Diamonds-9:00 PM (Lincoln SB League); Omaha Storm Chasers at Memphis (Bsbl-7:05).

Local Scores:  Wayne 9 Nfk Seniors 5 (Bsbl); Memphis 2 Omaha Storm Chasers 1 (Bsbl).

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