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14 named to College Football Hall of Fame

NEW YORK — Desmond Howard scored two of the most memorable touchdowns in the storied history of Michigan football and struck the pose that Heisman contenders have been mimicking since.

Barry Alvarez resurrected a Wisconsin program that looked hopeless on the field and off and went on to become the only Big Ten coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls.

The game-breaker and the program-builder are now Hall of Famers.

Howard, Alvarez and the late Pat Tillman were among the 14 newly elected members of the College Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday by the National Football Foundation at a news conference at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in Manhattan.

The others included defensive lineman Dennis Byrd of North Carolina State; center Ronnie Caveness of Arkansas; defensive lineman Ray Childress of Texas A guard Randy Cross of UCLA; running back Sam Cunningham of Southern California; quarterback Mark Herrmann of Purdue; receiver Clarkston Hines of Duke; defensive back Chet Moeller of Navy; halfback Jerry Stovall of LSU; and linebacker Alfred Williams of Colorado.

Gene Stallings, who led Alabama to a national title in 1992, was the other coach elected to the Hall of Fame.

Wittels runs hitting streak to 50 games

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Garrett Wittels' hitting streak is still alive.

And thanks to clutch, late hits by Florida International, so is the Golden Panthers' season.

Florida International scored in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings Thursday to rally past Western Kentucky, 7-3, in a Sun Belt Conference tournament elimination game at Reece Smith Jr. Field.

Wittels singled to left field in the top of the third inning, extending his season-long hitting streak to 50 games, second-longest in Division I history.

2 UConn assistants leave on eve of probe

STORRS, Conn. — A University of Connecticut official told The Associated Press that two assistant coaches have left the men's basketball program a day before the school plans to hold a news conference to update an NCAA investigation of potential recruiting violations.

School officials, including coach Jim Calhoun, were to attend today's on-campus event, along with attorney Rick Evrard, an outside counsel who advises UConn on NCAA-related matters.

A school official said assistant coach Patrick Sellers and director of basketball operations Beau Archibald had both agreed to resign from the school in advance of the news conference. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

The Hartford Courant, citing unidentified sources, first reported the resignations Thursday.

Messages seeking comment from the AP were left for Calhoun, Sellers and an NCAA official.

Newman nabs pole for Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Newman got nervous when he discovered in practice the fastest way around Charlotte Motor Speedway was by hugging the outside wall.

The expert qualifier gulped and decided to take the high line on Thursday night. Newman promptly avoided the fence and captured his second straight Coca-Cola 600 pole and the ninth in 19 Sprint Cup races at the track.

All it required was what he called "the most courageous lap" he's run here. He was clocked at 187.546 mph and barely beat out All-Star race winner Kurt Busch, who will start second on Sunday.

"I've never run into a corner at 200 mph up against the wall and made it stick and still come out the other end," said Newman, who earned his 46th career pole, but first of the season. "To have the courage to put yourself in that position is tough enough, let alone doing it, pulling it off and winning that pole. I've never been a guy to run the wall, let alone in qualifying."

No active driver has more poles at Charlotte than Newman, who moved within five of David Pearson's track record.

Now he'd like to finally turn it into success in NASCAR's longest race. Newman has never won a Sprint Cup event at Charlotte.

Roethlisberger can rejoin Steelers' camp

NEW YORK — Ben Roethlisberger has been cleared by the NFL to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers beginning next week, although no decision has been made on the length of his suspension.

The quarterback was suspended without pay for six games last month by commissioner Roger Goodell after a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga. No charges were filed.

Roethlisberger underwent a behavioral evaluation as part of the suspension, which could be reduced to four games by Goodell, who will review the case again before the regular season.

The Steelers have six offseason workouts remaining before training camp opens on July 30.