Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2003

Devils sign 42-year-old Larionov

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The oldest player in the NHL will play one final season: Igor Larionov signed with the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

Larionov, who turns 43 in December, signed a one-year contract, filling the Stanley Cup champion's hole at center. Joe Nieuwendyk left the Devils to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent Tuesday.

Larionov is entering his 14th season. The Russian won Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Larionov said he would have retired after last season but changed his mind after the Red Wings were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Leading rebounder kicked off Bulldogs' team

ATLANTA Leading rebounder Steve Thomas was kicked off Georgia's basketball team by new coach Dennis Felton on Wednesday.

''Steve has been unable to operate at the standards which we've set for Georgia basketball,'' Felton said. ''I'm disappointed because I know what great benefit our program can be for a young man like Steve. But we wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward.''

The school did not say exactly why Thomas was taken off the team. Thomas could not be reached for comment.

The 6-foot-8 center was Georgia's top inside player last season as a junior, ranking third on the team with 10.2 points per game and first with 7.3 rebounds.

Thomas was one of three Georgia players charged in a sexual assault case on campus last year. Charges were dropped against Thomas and fellow player Tony Cole; football player Brandon Williams was acquitted.

Thomas served a three-game suspension but was allowed to return to the team. Cole was not allowed to return, and then leveled charges of academic and financial rules violations, triggering the investigation that led to coach Jim Harrick's resignation.

Felton was hired in April 10.

With the dismissal of Thomas, Georgia's only returning players will be four seniors: forwards Chris Daniels and Jonas Hayes and guards Damien Wilkins and Rashad Wright.



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