AP NEWS

France Taking a Break Following DWI, Oxy Arrest

August 7, 2018

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following his arrest in the Hamptons on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone.

France was seen blowing through a stop sign in Sag Harbor, N.Y., on Sunday and later had a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit for driving, smelled of booze and slurred his words, police said.

He said in a statement on Monday that effective immediately he would be taking a leave of absence from his position “to focus on my personal affairs.”

“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” he said.

France has been NASCAR’s chairman and CEO since 2003. His uncle Jim France, a vice chairman and executive vice president, will take over those roles on an interim basis.

PRO FOOTBALL

Ansah off PUP list

Ziggy Ansah is back from the PUP list.

The Lions removed the defensive end from the active/physically unable to perform list. Detroit ended up bringing him back this season on the franchise tag. The Lions have not said what injury caused Ansah to go on the PUP list. He hasn’t played a full 16 games since the 2015 season.

Tom Heckert, a former personnel executive for the Denver Broncos who also served stints as general manager for the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles, has died following a long illness, the Broncos said. He was 51.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

13 UNC players suspended

Less than a year after emerging from a long run of NCAA issues, North Carolina is dealing with rule violations again -- this time for football players selling team-issued shoes.

The school announced that 13 players will miss games serving suspensions for the secondary NCAA violations, which will leave the Tar Heels shorthanded during much of the season’s opening month. In all, nine players will miss four games, two will sit two games and two others will miss one contest.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Shaq’s son headed to UCLA

UCLA has landed forward Shareef O’Neal.

The son of retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal signed a grant-in-aid to attend UCLA this fall. He will enroll in summer school this month.

The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder from Los Angeles played the last two seasons at Crossroads High in nearby Santa Monica. As a senior last season, O’Neal helped the school win the CIF Division II state title for the first time since 1997. O’Neal averaged 27 points as a senior while Crossroads finished with a 25-9 record.

BASEBALL

Fiers dealt to the A’s

The Oakland Athletics acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers from the Detroit Tigers on Monday for two players to be named or cash.

The 33-year-old Fiers is 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA this season. Fiers was with the World Series champion Astros last year, but he was not included on any of Houston’s postseason rosters.

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