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CARL PELINI

Carl Pelini says AD's agenda led to firing at FAU

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Carl Pelini says in an radio interview that his firing at Florida Atlantic last year was unjustified and the result of a new athletic director who wanted to hire his own football coach.

Pelini told KFAB radio in Omaha, Neb., that there is nothing he did at Florida Atlantic that he is embarrassed about. KFAB is the flagship station of the network that broadcasts Nebraska football.

Pelini was defensive coordinator at Nebraska for his younger brother, Bo Pelini, from 2008-11. Florida Atlantic was his first head coaching job.

Carl Pelini resigned from FAU Oct. 30 amid allegations he used illegal drugs. He denied he used illegal drugs.

YANKEES-TRIPLE PLAY

Yankees turn triple play vs Rodriguez, Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Sean Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Rays has grounded into a triple play for the second time in his career.

The Rays had runners on first and second in the second inning Thursday night against the Yankees. Rodriguez hit a hard grounder off CC Sabathia that rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte fielded, and he stepped on the bag to retire Evan Longoria.

Solarte threw to second baseman Brian Roberts to get Wil Myers. The play ended when Scott Sizemore, playing at first base for the first time in his career, made a nice scoop of Roberts' relay throw to get Rodriguez.

It was the first triple play hit into by the Rays since Rodriguez grounded into one on Aug. 16, 2011, at Boston.

Sabathia was pitching the previous time the Yankees turned a triple play. That happened on April 12, 2013, against Baltimore.

SENIOR PGA PROFESSIONAL

Gene Fieger leads Senior PGA Professional

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

The 53-year-old Fieger, the PGA director of golf at Hideout Golf Club in Naples, Fla., had a 10-under 206 total at PGA Golf Club in the event postponed in October in Virginia because of rain and flooding. The top 35 on Friday will earn spots in the Senior PGA Championship on May 22-25 at Harbor Shores in Michigan.

Steve Parker and Frank Esposito were tied for second.

Parker, a 56-year-old PGA Life Member from Houston, shot a 67. Esposito, the 50-year-old PGA head pro at Brooklake in Florham Park, N.J., had a 74.

UFC-ORLANDO

Werdum, Browne meet for UFC heavyweight title shot

The UFC will anoint its top heavyweight title contender this weekend, and Fabricio Werdum believes he has waited long enough for his shot at the belt.

Travis Browne is equally certain he's ready to cut in line.

Browne faces Werdum in the five-round main event at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., to determine who gets the next chance to take on champion Cain Velasquez.

Werdum (17-5-1) has been the presumptive choice for a title shot for several months, but he elected not to wait around longer than a year while Velasquez recovered from surgery on a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Velasquez won't be ready to return until late fall after getting hurt in his second victory over Junior Dos Santos last October.

YANKEES-TEIXEIRA

Teixeira plays in 2nd extended spring game

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira singled in five at-bats during his second extended spring training game since injuring his right leg.

Teixeira played five innings of defense in Friday's intrasquad game at the Yankees' minor league complex. He says he is ready return Sunday, the first day he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Teixeira hurt an adductor muscle that runs alongside the hamstring trying to make a play on a foul grounder during an April 4 game against Toronto. He is to play seven innings in extended spring Saturday.

Closer David Robertson is scheduled to pitch in Saturday's extended spring training game. On the disabled list due to a left groin strain, Robertson is expected to return Tuesday.

SAINTS-MOVES

Saints bring back WR Meachem

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has re-signed veteran free-agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is entering his eighth NFL season and seventh with New Orleans. He played in 15 games last season, starting five, and caught 16 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns.

He also has three receptions for 109 yards in New Orleans' two playoff games last season.

The 6-foot-2 Meachem was the Saints' first-round draft pick, taken 27th overall, in 2007 out of Tennessee.

He has played in 92 regular season games, and has 171 receptions for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns. He has played only one season outside of New Orleans, spending the 2012 season in San Diego.

Financial terms of Meachem's contract have not been released.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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