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Published: Friday, 7/18/2008

7-foot UAB center transfers to Ohio State

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS - Seven-foot center Zisis Sarikopoulos has transferred from Alabama-Birmingham to Ohio State, Buckeyes coach Thad Matta announced yesterday.

Sarikopoulos, a native of Greece, must sit out the 2008-09 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Sarikopoulos played in 20 games last season, averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds.

The Buckeyes lost freshman center Kosta Koufos to the NBA draft. The 7-foot Koufos, who was born in the U.S. but played for the Greek national 18-and-under team last summer, averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Buckeyes.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Steve Spurrier laughed off questions about speculation that he's grown frustrated with trying to build South Carolina into a championship contender and could walk away from the Gamecocks before his contract runs out.

Spurrier will remain the chief play-caller for South Carolina and he plans to spend more time working with the quarterbacks than he has in his first three years with the program.

•BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana State offensive lineman Jarvis Jones was kicked off the squad for an unspecified violation of team rules, Tigers coach Les Miles announced.

The 6-7 Jones played in seven games last year as a freshman for the Tigers.

•ORLANDO, Fla. - A Central Florida football player who died after spring drills had a pre-existing medical condition worsened by physical stress, autopsy results showed.

The medical examiner's office said Ereck Plancher, 19, had a sickle cell trait that caused problems with his red blood cells during physical exertion. The examination showed Plancher's heart began beating abnormally, and blood flow to the wide receiver's muscles and organs slowed or stopped.

SAN ANTONIO - Welterweight contender Oscar Diaz had surgery for bleeding on the brain and was in a coma after collapsing between rounds of a nationally televised bout in his hometown.

The 25-year-old fighter was taking a beating from Delvin

Rodriguez when he collapsed on his stool before the 11th round.

Ron Katz, a matchmaker for Star Boxing, which promoted the fight, said that Diaz was in a coma and not breathing on his own after the surgery.

"My understanding is they had to remove on the left side a part of his cranium to get the swelling down," said Katz, citing information he said came from promoter Donna Brooks.

Katz said Diaz's vital signs, including blood pressure and temperature, were good.

"It's touch-and-go, very critical," Katz said.

"But the doctor, from what I've gathered from Donna, was optimistic."

Katz said injuries like Diaz's are usually career-ending. He came into the fight for the USBA welterweight championship with a 26-2 record and 12 knockouts.

"What one hopes for is that he pulls through," Katz said, calling Diaz a "strong kid."

Katz, who was at the fight, said Diaz had been taking heavy blows before he collapsed, but that "he was in there pitching."



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