Thursday’s Houston Sports Notebook

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: January 21, 2009

Sports HOUSTON — A brief look at some of the most recent news and notes involving area and national sports figures.

— The Nimitz Lady Cougars are still ranked as the No. 1 team in Girls Class 5A Area polls with a 25-1 record. College Park (24-2), Dulles (25-2), Cy Fair (20-2), and North Shore (17-4) round out the top five teams. However, it is Westbury Christian with senior Waltia Rolle who boast the areas top record with a 31-1 record.

— NCAA president Myles Brand, 66 , who has led the NCAA governing body of college sports since 2003, announced that he has pancreatic cancer with a long-term prognosis that is not good. The announcement came at the NCAA’s recent convention.

— The University of Texas has suspended baseball coach Augie Garrido indefinitely after his arrest early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Garrido, the winningest coach in Division I baseball, was stopped for driving with no headlights shortly before 1 a.m. near downtown Austin.

— Oklahoma Sooners sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford announced that he will return to Oklahoma next season. The current Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t ready to give up the life of a college quarterback — not without a national title.

— Record-setting Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy is passing up his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. McCoy broke several of Tony Dorsett’s school records while leading the Panthers to a 9-4 record and into the Sun Bowl.

— Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline is skipping his final year of eligibility and joining teammate Chris “Beanie” Wells in declaring for the NFL draft.

— Atascocita High School won the Touchdown Club of Houston’s High School Sportsmanship Award at a ceremony held recently at the J.W. Marriott Hotel. The Eagles beat out 13 other finalists for the award including: Bush, Cy Fair, Dulles, Elsik, Humble, Katy Taylor, Lamar, Madison, Memorial, Northbrook, Pearland, Sam Rayburn, and Waltrip.

— Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat is contemplating his return to the NBA, even though his recovery from devasting knee and leg injuries he suffered 13 months ago during a Heat game is going far better than any doctor could originally imagine. A decision is expected to be made in the next few weeks. Mourning is 39 years old.

— Houston Astros slugger Lance Berkman was presented with the Astros Most Valuable Player Award for 2008, at the 24th Annual Houston Baseball Awards Dinner. The award was voted on by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

— Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney, a product of Elkins High School, was on hand to accept the Houston-area Major League Player of the Year Award.

— BCS National Championship wide receiver Percy Harvin from Florida will leave school early to enter the NFL Draft. However, quarterback Tim Tebow and linebacker Brandon Spikes will return next season.

— LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell has decided to skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. The product from Lamar High School is not hiring an agent, meaning that he could return to LSU.