Latest North Carolina, South Carolina sports

May 20, 2017 - 3:30 am


City's rent-free stadium deal with Panthers largely unused

(Information in the following story is from: The Charlotte Observer,

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three years into a deal with the Carolina Panthers that allows the city of Charlotte select rent-free usage of the Bank of America stadium, most of the allotted days have gone unused.

The Charlotte Observer reports the NFL team is required to provide the city five rent-free days a year during the offseason, in exchange for using taxpayer money for stadium renovations. The city has used up seven days since the deal's initiation and is on track to only use two this year. The unused dates — currently tallied at eight — expire in 2023.

Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Tom Murray says that stadiums are difficult to fill and expensive to operate, even without the cost of rent. City officials are looking for events, but are hindered by construction.


Wake Forest hires Jamill Jones to Danny Manning's staff

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest has hired Jamill Jones as an assistant basketball coach.

The school announced Jones' addition to Danny Manning's staff Friday.

He has been an assistant at Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth and Florida Gulf Coast during the past four seasons. Last year, he was on Johnny Dawkins' staff at UCF and helped develop Tacko Fall into the American Athletic Conference's defensive player of the year.

Manning says Jones "brings new blood to our staff and some new perspectives."


Appalachian State gives Satterfield new 5-year contract

BOONE, N.C. (AP) — Appalachian State has given football coach Scott Satterfield a new five-year contract through 2021.

School officials announced the deal Friday, a day after it was approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Terms were not disclosed. The school's board of trustees approved the contract in March.

Satterfield's previous deal, which was awarded in 2015, lasted through the 2020 season.

Satterfield has led the Mountaineers to two straight wins in the Camellia Bowl and has won at least 10 games in each of the past two seasons. Appalachian State won the Sun Belt title in 2016.

Athletic director Doug Gillin says Satterfield "continues to take App State football to new heights."


ECU adds 3 grad transfers, including Duke QB Thomas Sirk

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — East Carolina has added three graduate transfers from Power Five schools — including coach Scottie Montgomery's old quarterback at Duke.

Montgomery on Friday announced the signings of quarterback Thomas Sirk, running back Tyshon Dye of Clemson and defensive lineman Gaelin Elmore of Minnesota. All can play immediately and have one year of eligibility remaining.

Sirk was Montgomery's quarterback when Montgomery was the Blue Devils' offensive coordinator in 2015. Sirk missed last season after injuring his Achilles tendon twice in seven months, but he threw for 2,693 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 16 TDs in 24 career games at Duke.

Dye was a backup for the Tigers' national championship team last season. Elmore started six games last season for the Golden Gophers.


Kyle Busch wins Truck race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch raced to his second straight NASCAR Truck Series victory Friday night, leading 90 of 134 laps in a dominating run at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch has 48 career Truck Series victories and 173 wins overall in NASCAR's top three series, also winning 38 Cup races and 86 Xfinity events.

Busch led all three stages en route to his seventh Truck Series win at Charlotte.

Points leader Johnny Sauter was second. Christopher Bell, Busch's teammate who started on the pole, battled back from a lap down to finish third. Ryan Truex was fourth, followed by Timothy Peters and Matt Crafton.

Austin Cindric, who graduated from high school earlier in the day, spun out on lap 32, but rallied to finish 13th.


Kyle Larson takes poles for NASCAR All-Star race

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Larson too the pole for the NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Kurt Busch was assessed a penalty.

Larson had an average speed of 144.839 miles per hour over three laps that also included a mandatory four-tire pit stop Friday night. Kyle Busch will start alongside Larson on the front row Saturday night.

Kurt Busch appeared to have locked up the pole after finishing a second faster than Larson, but officials assessed a 10-second penalty after it was determined he had two loose lug nuts.

It was Larson's first pole in his first attempt at All-Star qualifying. He ran in the NASCAR All-Star race last year, but the qualifying was rained out.

"It's pretty cool," Larson said. "Everybody but us made mistakes that last round of qualifying."


Fox Sports will use active drivers to call Xfinity race

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Fox Sports will use an on-air team comprised entirely of active NASCAR drivers to call the June 10th Xfinity Series race at Pocono.

Fox Sports believes it will be the first time a nationally televised live sporting event will feature an complete on-air team of athletes actively competing in that sport.

Kevin Harvick will be the play-by-play announcer, alongside analysts Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer. Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Junior will cover pit road. Danica Patrick and Denny Hamlin will host coverage from the "Hollywood Hotel" mobile studio.

Harvick, Bowyer, Hamlin, Logano and Patrick have been guest analysts for Xfinity Series races since the network began rotating prominent Cup drivers in the booth in 2015. Blaney and Stenhouse have contributed as driver analysts on Fox Sports One's daily news program.

Jones will be making his debut as part of a national race broadcast.


NASCAR's Aric Almirola out 8-12 weeks with broken back

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Aric Almirola has been advised he could miss up to three months of the NASCAR season with a fractured vertebra.

Almirola says he'll heed his doctor warnings and not rush his way back to a race car, which could take eight to 12 weeks. He also says doctors warned him that further injury could lead to paralysis.

Almirola suffered a compression fracture of his T5 vertebra after he crashed Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.

Regan Smith is substituting for Almirola in the No. 43 Ford at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the qualifying event for the All-Star race.

Denny Hamlin missed four races — and started but didn't complete a fifth — after suffering a compression fracture of the L1 vertebra in a 2013.

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