Sports in Brief | Soccer players' status reviewed in fatal blaze

Posted: August 15, 2007

Bradley University said yesterday in a statement that it was reviewing the status of three soccer players charged with arson in Sunday's death of Sheridan "Danny" Dahlquist. Authorities said the fire was caused by a botched fireworks prank.

Prosecutors said Dahlquist, a 19-year-old sophomore soccer player, died in a fire that started when four friends set off roman candles under his bedroom door as a prank after a night of drinking. Dahlquist was asleep when the fire broke out but was found near a window, indicating he awoke and tried to escape, prosecutors said.

The four students were charged Monday with aggravated arson and possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

Nicholas Mentgen, 21, Ryan Johnson, 22, and David Crady, 19, were released from jail after posting $500,000 bond, authorities said.

The three, who lived with Dahlquist in an off-campus house in West Peoria, Ill., did not immediately return calls for comment left at their parents' Peoria-area homes.

Daniel Cox, 20, who attends Illinois Central College in nearby East Peoria, remained in Peoria County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, jail officials said.

Florida A&M University fired basketball coach Mike Gillespie less than three months after he was charged with misdemeanor stalking.

Elsewhere: Jill Breslin, a former No. 1 player at Alabama, was named head women's tennis coach at Temple. . . . Jenn Cook, a former all-American at North Carolina, was named an assistant lacrosse coach at Drexel. . . . The University of Arkansas appeared before the NCAA infractions committee Saturday to answer allegations levied against its track and field program after former assistant coach Lance Brauman was convicted of embezzlement last year.

Hockey

Veteran NHL forward Mike Ricci - traded by the Flyers in the deal that brought Eric Lindros to Philadelphia - announced his retirement.

The 35-year-old Ricci, a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, said he had not come around from neck surgery he underwent about a year ago.

Elsewhere: Defenseman Joe DiPenta signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

Soccer

David Beckham said he would play for the Los Angeles Galaxy tonight against D.C. United in the SuperLiga tournament semifinals. The English superstar has been nursing a sprained left ankle.

Elsewhere: Former U.S. national goalkeeper Tony Meola agreed to a contract with the expansion New Jersey Ironmen of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Tennis

Lleyton Hewitt needed 2 hours, 58 minutes to beat Stanislas Wawrinka, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5), in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Mason, Ohio.

Stephanie Dubois of Canada upset Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5, in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Pro basketball

The 76ers will open their exhibition season against the New Jersey Nets on Oct. 12 at the Wachovia Center. The 76ers will play the Nets at the Meadowlands on Oct. 25.

Elsewhere: The Los Angeles Clippers signed former North Carolina State forward Josh Powell.

Auto racing

Kyle Busch signed a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, ending a busy 10-week negotiating period that began when Hendrick Motorsports released him to make room for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Busch will replace J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 car next season. He will be teamed with Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Busch has had run-ins with Stewart in the past, but team president J.D. Gibbs said Stewart and Hamlin fully supported signing Busch, who received a three-year contract. Financial terms were not released.

Noteworthy

Defending champion Davis Love III withdrew from the Wyndham Golf Championship in Greensboro, N.C., because he is suffering from kidney stones.

David Lopez Garcia of Spain won the toughest climb in the Tour of Germany, and Jens Voigt took a major step toward winning his home race for the second straight year by finishing second in the stage into Soelden, Austria.

Former world pole vault champion Giuseppe Gibilisco of Italy failed to get his two-year doping ban lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Trainer Steve Asmussen announced that Preakness winner Curlin would not run in the Travers Stakes on Aug. 25.

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