RAIDERS SIGN FORMER COLLEGE HOOPSTER AS TE: ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have signed former Cal State Fullerton basketball player Andre Hardy to a free-agent contract.
The Raiders announced the deal Thursday to bring Hardy in as a tight end. The 25-year-old Hardy hasn't played football since high school.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Hardy averaged 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds the past two seasons for the Titans. He previously played two seasons of basketball for Oral Roberts.
Hardy's father, Andre, played parts of three seasons in the NFL as a running back with Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco.
SAINTS NAME VITT INTERIM COACH FOR 2012 SEASON: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Sean Payton handed over control of his team to Joe Vitt once before and the Saints have decided to do it again.
The Saints Thursday named Payton's trusted second-in-command their interim coach, despite the fact that Vitt will miss a third of the season for his role in New Orleans' bounty system.
For his part, Payton received a season-long suspension — which begins Monday; Vitt, who takes over Monday, was handed a six-game suspension.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in his announcement that the team will address at a later time how to divvy up Vitt's responsibilities during his six-week absence.
RUSSELL TOPS FISH IN US MEN'S CLAY COURT: HOUSTON (AP) — Qualifier Michael Russell took advantage of the ailing Mardy Fish for a 6-3, 6-1 victory Thursday in the second round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
Fish, the top seed in the tournament and ranked ninth in the world, was playing for the first time since pulling out of Davis Cup competition against France for what he called a health issue.
GOERGES, CIBULKOVA REACH BARCELONA QUARTERFINALS: BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Second-seeded Julia Goerges and third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova ground out three-set victories to advance to the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday.
Goerges beat Garbine Muguruza Blanco 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 as the Spaniard's erratic serve let her down with 14 double faults in the 2½-hour match.
Cibulkova rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Klara Zakopalova in another long match that featured a combined 17 break points. But the Slovak bounced back from a first-set deficit to beat her Czech opponent on the outdoor clay.
CYCLIST MARTIN BREAKS CHEEKBONE, JAW IN TRAINING: BRUSSELS (AP) — Time trial world champion and Olympic medal favorite Tony Martin broke his cheekbone and jaw after colliding with a car during a training ride near his Swiss home.
Martin was in stable condition Thursday in a hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. He may need surgery.
"The left side of my face is totally smashed," Martin said on his website. "My left eye is bloodshot and completely swollen shut."
The German rider said the accident happened Wednesday when a car suddenly crossed the road in front of him. He was cycling about 22 mph and near the end of his training ride, about 2 miles from home.
"The lights went out," said Martin, adding he was unconscious for about 15 minutes and cannot remember the accident.
The 26-year-old Martin is one of the top riders on the tour and earned 12 victories last year, including Paris-Nice and the Tour of Beijing. It was unclear how long he would be out of competition.
NHL FINES WEBER FOR BLOW TO ZETTERBERG'S HEAD: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The NHL has fined Nashville defenseman Shea Weber $2,500 for slamming Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg's head against the glass at the end of Game 1 and warned the captain to be careful the rest of the playoffs.
Weber was assessed a minor penalty for roughing, and the NHL announced the fine Thursday while the Predators were practicing. The league noted the fine was the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"This was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into the glass," said Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's chief disciplinarian. "As is customary whenever Supplemental Discipline is being considered, we contacted Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2."