Sports in Brief: Plot thickens in Ark. crash

Posted: April 07, 2012

Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino was placed on paid administrative leave after he apologized for what he called a "previous inappropriate relationship" with a 25-year-old female university employee.

On Friday, the Arkansas State Police were taking a closer look at Petrino's Sunday night motorcycle accident. Reportedly, Petrino, 51, and Jessica Dorrell, a former Razorbacks volleyball player and current fund-raiser at the school, told a passerby not to call 911, then got a ride back to Fayetteville, Ark., where the married coach was met by a state police captain who provides his personal security during the season. There, Dorrell left in her own car while Petrino was taken to a hospital. Petrino originally said he was alone on the motorcycle.

Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas was fired from his job as basketball coach at Florida International after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons.

TENNIS: Reigning U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur put the latest matchup in the Williams sisters' sibling rivalry on hold by rallying past Venus Williams at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. The second-seeded Stosur won five of the last six games of the match for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory in the quarterfinals at the season's first clay-court event. Stosur now has a chance at knocking out both Williams sisters on consecutive days when she meets Serena in Saturday's semifinals.

John Isner defeated Gilles Simon, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, pulling the U.S. team even with France after opening singles in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Roquebrune, France. The Americans needed a strong performance from Isner after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat 19-year-old Ryan Harrison to give France the lead.

WRESTLING:Joe Scarpa, 83, a Philadelphia native who became one of the best-known professional wrestlers of the 1970s and '80s after he took on the persona of Chief Jay Strongbow, an American Indian whose war dance foretold the downfall of many opponents, died on Tuesday. He had reportedly suffered a fall at his home in Griffin, Ga., last year and never fully recovered.

Mr. Scarpa began his career in 1947 as Joltin' Joe Scarpa. He put on his feathered headdress in 1970 and began performing as Chief Jay Strongbow, one of many wrestlers who fought as ethnic caricatures in the 1970s and '80s; the Iron Sheik and Mr. Fuji were among the others.

Mr. Scarpa, an Italian American, bought into the role. In addition to his sleeper hold - a choke hold that appeared to render an opponent unconscious - he used signature moves such as the tomahawk chop and Indian death lock.

Mr. Scarpa won the world tag team championship four times. He was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1994.

- Staff and wire reports

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