Falcons Rams Football

Rams kicker Sam Ficken, a Valparaiso High School grad, kicks a field goal against the Falcons during the second half of an NFL football wild-card playoff game Jan. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles.

Pro football

Packers claim Valparaiso grad Ficken off waivers: The Green Bay Packers have claimed kicker Sam Ficken, a Valparaiso High School graduate, off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, bringing in potential competition for 13-year veteran Mason Crosby.

Ficken was added to the roster Monday, three days after he was dropped by the Seahawks. The Penn State product has also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams. He appeared in two games for the Rams in each of the last two seasons, filling in for the injured Greg Zuerlein while going 3 for 6 on field goals and 14 for 15 on extra points.

Ficken became expendable by the Seahawks after they signed Jason Myers in free agency.

Crosby ranked 24th in the NFL in field-goal percentage (81.1) among kickers with a qualifying amount of attempts.

Women's college golf

VU in 10th after two rounds: Crown Point graduate Tiffany Curtis led the Valparaiso University women's golf team on Day 1 of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, carding squad bests in both rounds Monday in Chesterton.

She finished with a 78 in Round 1 and a 77 in Round 2 at Sand Creek Country Club. She enters Tuesday's final round tied for 25th out of 50 players.

Valparaiso is 10th out of 10 teams after 36 holes. The Crusaders posted a 643 and trail first-place Drake by 45 strokes.

This is first MVC Championship hosted by Valparaiso in any sport.

College football

Notre Dame to use metal detectors at Notre Dame Stadium: Metal detectors will be used at all Notre Dame Stadium gates, starting with the 2019 football season.

The new policy begins Sept. 14 at the Irish's first home game.

The South Bend Tribune reports that university officials say the change is part of their commitment to safety and security.

Officials say walk-through metal detectors will be used at football games. The policy will also stretch to basketball games in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center and hockey games at Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame might use metal detectors at other campus events.

Metal detectors were used at Notre Dame Stadium on Jan. 1 for the NHL winter classic hockey game. They've also been used for some graduation ceremonies.

College basketball

Former Notre Dame coach MacLeod dies at 81: John MacLeod, the longtime NBA coach who led the Phoenix Suns to the 1976 NBA Finals, has died. He was 81.

MacLeod's son, Matt, confirmed his father's death Sunday to The Associated Press. The elder MacLeod fought Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade.

MacLeod is the winningest coach in Suns history, going 579-543 in the regular season from 1973-87. He also coached the Dallas Mavericks from 1987-89 and the New York Knicks in 1990-91, finishing his 18-year head coaching career with a 707-657 mark.

MacLeod had his most success in Phoenix, capped by the 1975-76 "Sundarella Suns" run to the NBA Finals. The Suns lost to Boston in six games in the finals, with the Celtics' triple-overtime victory in Game 5 at Boston Garden regarded as one of the greatest games ever.

"His passion for the game was matched only by his endearing personality, humility and class, a man who was loved by everyone that had the pleasure of interacting with him," the Suns said in a statement. "Coach MacLeod was a winner in every sense and will be dearly missed by our entire Phoenix Suns family."

His Phoenix teams made nine playoff appearances, also reaching the Western Conference finals in 1979 and 1984. He had a franchise-record 37 playoff victories, and was placed in the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor in 2012.

MacLeod also worked as an assistant with Phoenix, Denver and Golden State, ending his coaching career with the Warriors in 2006. He was a college head coach at Oklahoma from 1967-73 and Notre Dame from 1991-99, with son Matt a member of the Fighting Irish squad in his father's last two seasons. MacLeod starred at Providence High School in Clarksville, Indiana, and in college at Bellarmine.

MacLeod also is survived by wife Carol and daughter Kathleen.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer coach charged with sexual abuse of girls: A former coach with the Chicago Fire junior soccer team has been arrested on charges that he tried to trick young female players into having sex with him and inappropriately touched a player.

The Chicago Tribune reports that prosecutors allege 49-year-old Fernando Calderon suggested to players that having sex with him would make them more flexible for soccer and rubbed a girl's chest under the guise of measuring it.

Calderon remained in Cook County Jail on Monday. He's scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a minor.

Officials with the youth club of the professional adult Chicago Fire soccer club notified parents that Calderon has been dismissed as a coach. It wasn't immediately known if Caldron has an attorney.

Youth wrestling

All-stars wrestling coach accused of ignoring hazing: A youth wrestling coach in Ohio has been charged after investigators say he knew about hazing among teammates and didn't stop it.

Police in Franklin, Ohio, said Monday that the hazing involved members of the Ohio All-Stars Wrestling Team. The team includes wrestlers from Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania who are in fifth grade through high school.

Authorities say the hazing took place last summer during a practice before the team left for a West Coast trip.

Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman says a 14-year-old boy was assaulted during the hazing.

Police say the team's coach, 58-year-old Bart Freidenberg of Pickerington, has been charged with child endangering and hazing.

Freidenberg declined to comment and referred questions to his attorney who also declined to comment.


University of Toledo biologists search rivers for grass carp: University biologists in Ohio are scouring streams following tests that confirmed larvae from the invasive Asian grass carp were found for the first time in the Great Lakes watershed.

A crew from the University of Toledo working with the U.S. Geological Survey found the larvae during sampling last June in the Maumee River, a Lake Erie tributary.

Grass carp, which have been found on the Maumee and Sandusky rivers, destructively feed on aquatic plants.

Nicole King is a University of Toledo research associate. She says the hunt for signs of spawning in other Lake Erie tributaries means more work and expense.

The Blade reports King says the fish would be easier to control if they were in just one river.