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Morning Briefing Dec. 31, 2010

| December 31, 2010 8:00 PM

Football

Ohio State players facing five-game suspensions next season would not have traveled with the team to the Sugar Bowl if they had not pledged to return in 2011, head coach Jim Tressel said on Thursday.

The five players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were punished by the NCAA for selling championship rings and memorabilia and taking discounts from a tattoo parlor.

Tressel said he wanted to make sure that the players wouldn’t “skirt the consequences” by playing in the Sugar Bowl, then declaring for the NFL draft and avoiding any punishment.

“We told them they would have to make the decision on the NFL prior to leaving for the bowl game,” Tressel said at his first Sugar Bowl news conference in New Orleans. “It wouldn’t be fair to not face the consequences down the road.”

Tressel said their playing time against the Arkansas Razorbacks will hinge only on how they practice and fit into the game plan.

The other players are tailback Dan Herron, offensive tackle Mike Adams, receiver DeVier Posey and defensive end Solomon Thomas.

The New York Jets are paying for their sideline shenanigans.

The team was fined $100,000 by the NFL for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi ordered players to form a sideline wall, then tripped Miami’s Nolan Carroll during a punt return earlier this month.

The discipline was in response to the actions of Alosi, the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach, and comments made by special teams coach Mike Westhoff, who accused other teams of employing similar sideline wall tactics.

College basketball

TOP 25

No. 8 Villanova 78, No. 25 Temple 74: At Villanova, Pa., Corey Stokes scored 24, leading Villanova (11-1) past the Owls (9-3).

No. 10 Missouri 81, Old Dominion 58: At Columbia, Mo., Marcus Denmon scored 22, leading Missouri (13-1) past Old Dominion (9-3).

No. 16 BYU 90, Buffalo 82: At Amherst, N.Y., Jimmer Fredette scored 34, leading BYU (13-1) past Buffalo (7-4).

No. 19 Central Florida 68, Princeton 62: At Orlando, Fla., Marcus Jordan scored 26 and UCF (13-0) beat Princeton (10-4).

No. 21 Memphis 88, Lipscomb 70: At Memphis, Tenn., Wesley Witherspoon had 28 points and 14 rebounds, leading Memphis (10-2) past Lipscomb (7-4).

PAC-10

Oregon State 80, Arizona State 58: At Corvallis, Ore., Joe Burton had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Oregon State (6-6, 1-0 Pac-10) past Arizona State (7-5, 0-1).

Arizona 76, Oregon 57: At Eugene, Ore., Kevin Parrom scored 20, leading Arizona (12-2, 1-0 Pac-10) past Oregon (7-6, 0-1).

Magic 112, Knicks 103: Dwight Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds in Orlando’s win over visiting New York.

Spurs 99, Mavericks 93: Gary Neal scored 21, leading San Antonio at Dallas.

Trail Blazers 100, Jazz 89: Wesley Matthews scored 30, leading Portland past visiting Utah.

Lightning 4, Canadiens 1: At Tampa, Fla., Steven Stamkos had two goals and two assists, leading Tampa Bay past Montreal.

Sharks 5, Blackhawks 3: Joe Thornton scored in the third, leading San Jose at Chicago.

Avalanche 4, Oilers 3, SO: Milan Hejduk scored the lone shootout goal to help Colorado win at Edmonton.

Blue Jackets 3, Maple Leafs 2: Kristian Huselius scored twice and Columbus won at Toronto.

Thrashers 3, Bruins 2, SO: Tim Stapleton and Bryan Little scored in the shootout and host Atlanta beat Boston.

Philadelphia at Los Angeles: Late

— The Associated Press

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