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Latest Gulf Coast sports


Road-rage confrontation: Killer of ex-Saint faces sentencing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The man who killed former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith in an argument following a traffic crash avoided a mandatory life sentence last year when a jury convicted him of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder.

But 29-year-old Cardell Hayes may still be locked away for a very long time if prosecutors get their way at Wednesday's sentencing hearing.

New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has said he believes Hayes deserves a 60-year sentence: the maximum of 40 years for Smith's death, followed by another 20 years for wounding Smith's wife, Racquel.

The hearing in state District Judge Camille Buras' courtroom in New Orleans is likely to echo the drama of Hayes's December trial. That trial was attended by Saints stars past and present.


3 ejections, you're out: Texas St. baseball coach suspended

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - Three ejections and you're out for a game.

The Sun Belt Conference on Tuesday suspended Texas State baseball coach Ty Harrington one game after his third ejection this season. He missed Tuesday's game against Texas, his alma mater.

Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said in a statement that the conference is committed to sportsmanship and that there are consequences when unsportsmanlike behavior is exhibited.

Harrington's third ejection came after arguing a called strike during the second inning of Saturday's series finale against Louisiana-Monroe. Umpires also threw Harrington out of games April 4 against Prairie View and Feb. 18 in the season-opening series against Purdue.


Zach Veach to make IndyCar debut in Alabama this weekend

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Zach Veach will make his IndyCar debut this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

Ed Carpenter Racing announced Tuesday that Veach will fill in for JR Hildebrand, who broke his left hand on the last lap April 9 at Long Beach. Hildebrand had surgery two days later.

The 22-year-old Veach was set to make his debut at the Indianapolis 500 next month with A.J. Foyt Racing.

He has six wins and six poles in three Indy Lights seasons. Veach will drive Hildebrand's No. 21 Chevrolet in Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Veach says he's grateful for the opportunity but "this isn't how any driver wants to get his first race."


Alabama House votes to allow fantasy sports betting

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The state House of Representatives has voted to allow fantasy sports betting in Alabama.

The bill passed 43-38 Tuesday after hours of debate about whether the wagering falls under the state's anti-gambling laws.

Proponents said the fantasy contests were based on skill and knowledge of sports players. Critics argued the practice was no different than playing cards in a casino.

The measure would regulate fantasy sports contests and tax a portion of the operator's profits for the state.

Much of the disagreement about the legislation revolved around a 2016 ruling from the Alabama attorney general that said online sports betting websites were illegal.

The bill now moves to the Senate for more debate.


Bid to ban dodgeball shot down by Louisiana school board

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A plan to ban dodgeball and other "target games" from public schools has been scrapped by Louisiana's top school board.

The prohibition was included in a new set of physical education benchmarks drawn up by nearly two dozen teachers and others on a standards committee.

But The Advocate reports ( ) that members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education rejected the proposed ban Tuesday.

Holly Boffy, board vice president, said education leaders should be careful they don't create regulations that discourage students from enjoying physical education.

A board committee voted for the physical education benchmarks to be revised to get rid of the dodgeball prohibition.

Kathy Hill, a member of the standards committee, said the ban on human targeting games was an attempt to be sensitive about bullying.

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