FORMER ILLINI DT BRENT RETIRES FROM NFL, STILL CHARGED IN CRASH: Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent says he is retiring from football as he faces trial for a fatal crash that killed a teammate.
Brent's agent, Peter Schaffer, said Thursday that the 25-year-old Brent was "taking care of his priorities."
Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter in a December crash that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player and close friend. Police say Brent was driving drunk the night of the crash.
Brent has since tested positive for marijuana twice while on bond. He was released from jail earlier this month.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of intoxicated manslaughter, though he could also get probation.
PENN STATE EX-PRESIDENT FILES LIBEL LAWSUIT: Penn State's former president Graham Spanier is initiating a libel and defamation case against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director whose university-funded report blamed Spanier and other high-ranking school officials for failing to protect children from convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier's lawyer filed paperwork Thursday in Centre County that describes the case as "slander/libel/defamation." It disclosed little about the nature of his claims.
The filing comes one day before the one-year anniversary of Freeh's report, which concluded that Spanier, late football coach Joe Paterno and others failed to protect children from Paterno's longtime assistant.
TWO CRUSADERS HONORED: Phil Steele's College Football Preview has listed Valparaiso's Pat Derbak and Jake Hutson as second-team selections for the Pioneer Football League.
Derbak, a senior linebacker, finished second among Crusaders last season with 73 tackles, including 36 solo stops. He also ranked second on the squad with six tackles for loss and forced one fumble.
Hutson, a sophomore, is listed on offense and kick returns. He closed out his rookie campaign with 753 rushing yards, the highest single-season total by a Crusader since 2008 and fourth-most among FCS freshmen.
BROEKHOFF SHINES AT WORLD GAMES: Former Valparaiso star Ryan Broekhoff helped the Emerging Boomers to the silver medal at the 27th World University Games in Kazan, Russia, Australia's first-ever medal in men's basketball at the competition.
Australia went 4-1 in pool play to reach the medal round, including a win against the Unites States. It rallied in the semifinals to upend previously unbeaten Serbia before falling to Russia in the championship. Broekhoff averaged 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, the latter mark ranking second on the team.
PORTAGE HIRES COACHES: Portage has hired Scott Garrison as boys and girls tennis coach, and Gina Swenson as girls soccer coach.
In addition, Todd Strom has stepped down as assistant athletic director to return to teaching. His replacement will be officially hired next week.
EXTRA MILE OFFERS PANIC PREP: Extra Mile Fitness Company is offering a Popcorn Panic 5-Mile training program in preparation for the race.
The program begins at 7 a.m. Monday at Extra Mile, 1330 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.
Cost for the eight-week program is $50. The fee includes race registration and entry fee, an Extra Mile tech T-shirt, certified coaching, weekly workout emails, video gait analysis and two group runs each week.
The group runs will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7 a.m. on Sundays.
For details, visit www.extramileco.com or call the store at (219) 286-3606.
Around the horn
Purdue University Calumet team physician and sports medicine specialist Lorin Brown, M.D., discusses foot and ankle injuries on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... Alison Walshe shot a 6-under 65, her best score in her four years on the LPGA Tour, to take a one-stroke lead Thursday in the opening round of the tournament formerly known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. ... Brazil's government defended the country as host of the 2014 World Cup on Thursday, a day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter warned that recent protests meant it might have been the wrong choice. "The success of the Confederations Cup proves the correct choice of Brazil to host the World Cup," the sports ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press.