News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Notre Dame

BOSTON — A jury found against Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis on Tuesday in his malpractice lawsuit against two doctors he claimed botched his care after he had gastric bypass surgery five years ago.

The jury deliberated for less than half a day before finding Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin were not negligent.

Weis, 51, who won three Super Bowls as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, accused the surgeons of negligence, saying they allowed him to bleed internally for 30 hours before performing a second surgery to correct the complication.

Weis nearly died after the 2002 surgery. He testified that he still has numbness and pain in his feet and sometimes has to use a motorized cart.

Weis was stoic as the verdict was read and left the courtroom without comment. His lawyer, Michael Mone, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


BIRMINGHAM — Alabama A&M and Arkansas-Pine Bluff were picked to win their divisions in the Southwestern Athletic Conference by league coaches on Tuesday.

Pine Bluff quarterback Chris Wallace and Southern defensive back Jarmaul George were the preseason picks for offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively, by league coaches, sports information officials and sports writer.

Wallace was the SWAC offensive player of the year last season passing for 2,023 yards and 20 touchdowns.

George had 51 total tackles and five interceptions, also finishing with 10 passes defended and a fumble recovery.

Defending champion Alabama A&M edged out Jackson State in the Eastern Division balloting.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff was picked to finish above Grambling State and Southern in the Western Division.

Conference USA

JACKSON, Miss. — Conference USA coaches donít expect much to change in the league this season, picking Southern Miss and Houston to play for the championship.

The coaches, who gather in New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday to meet with media, also believe reigning C-USA defensive player of the year Albert McClellan of Marshall will repeat this season.

The Golden Eagles, 9-5 last year, were picked to win the conferenceís East Division crown, earning 69 of 72 possible points.

Houston received 63 points, one more than Tulsa.

The Cougars, 10-4 last season, won the Conference USA championship game 34-20 last December in Houston and earned a trip to the Liberty Bowl.

Coaches also picked wide receiver Jarett Dillard of Rice as the preseason offensive player of the year.

Dillard set a conference mark with 21 touchdowns last year and enters the season with a streak of 15 straight games with a touchdown, three shy of the record.

McClellan led the league in sacks (11) and tackles for losses (19) last season.

- The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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