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Associated Press

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

SEAHAWKS-SMITH

Smith stepping into important role for Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Linebacker Malcolm Smith has played for Pete Carroll long enough, first at USC and then with the Seattle Seahawks, that he knows nearly all the intricacies of their defensive system.

It's a good thing he has that background. It's one of the biggest reasons that despite being a seventh-round pick he's been able to find a spot on the Seahawks roster.

Smith's versatility is being put to test again. For the second time this season, Smith is being called upon to fill in for an absent starter. Earlier, he was Seattle's starter at strongside linebacker when Bruce Irvin was serving a four-game suspension. Now he's being asked to start at weakside linebacker with K.J. Wright out at least a month with a fracture in his right foot.

SEAHAWKS MOVES

Seattle puts Johnson on IR, re-signs Cox

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks placed backup strong safety Jeron Johnson on injured reserve and re-signed cornerback Perrish Cox on Wednesday.

Johnson sustained a significant hamstring injury Sunday in Seattle's loss at San Francisco. In order to have enough depth in the secondary, Johnson was placed on injured reserve and Cox was re-signed.

Cox was signed by Seattle on Nov. 26 but was released a day later. Cox said being released after a day was due to the Seahawks uncertainty about the status of cornerback Brandon Browner.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the plan in the secondary is to have DeShawn Shead work exclusively at safety and have Cox play cornerback. Shead had been working at both positions as a backup.

MARINERS-HART

Seattle agrees to 1-year deal with Corey Hart

SEATTLE (AP) — Corey Hart and the Seattle Mariners have reached agreement on a one-year contract, putting another slugger in a lineup that's already added Robinson Cano this offseason.

The outfielder-first baseman confirmed he had agreed to the deal in a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The deal is still pending a physical. CBSSports.com first reported Hart's agreement.

Hart did not play in 2013 because of a right knee injury. His last season in 2012 was one of the best in his career. Hart hit .270 with 30 homers and 81 RBIs with Milwaukee. Hart also had 35 doubles in 2012 and posted an on-base plus slugging percentage of above .800 in each season between 2010-12.

Hart has spent his entire career with the Brewers.

MLS-SOUNDERS FC-CHIVAS USA TRADE

Seattle sends Rosales to Chivas for Bowen

TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Sounders have traded midfielder Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA for forward Tristan Bowen.

Seattle also acquired Chivas' No. 2 allocation ranking when the deal was finalized Wednesday. Chivas will receive Seattle's No. 13 allocation ranking.

Rosales was a designated player for Seattle the past two seasons and was the MLS newcomer of the year in 2011. The playmaking midfielder had 13 assists each in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but fell out of the Sounders' regular starting lineup during the 2013 season. He also struggled with nagging injuries during his Seattle career.

Rosales started 26 of 33 MLS games in 2013 and had four goals and eight assists.

Bowen appeared in 22 games last season for Chivas and scored two goals.

FBC-NEW-MEXICO-BOWL

New Mexico Bowl to feature teams in transformation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two teams with long college football bowl game appearance droughts will face off in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 21.

The matchup between Colorado State (7-6) and Washington State (6-6) in Albuquerque will mark the first meeting between the teams and comes as both are turning around their long-struggling programs.

Second-year Colorado State Rams coach Jim McElwain told reporters Wednesday he is happy to get his team back in a bowl game after a five-year post-season absence. He says his upperclassmen have never had the experience and the game will help with recruiting.

Mike Leach, Washington State's second-year coach, says the Cougars are largely made up of freshmen and sophomores. But he says his seniors have been through "dry times" and are excited to play in at least one bowl game.

NCAA-CHAMPIONSHIP SITES

NCAA picks MSG for 2016 wrestling championships

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Madison Square Garden will host the 2016 NCAA Division I wrestling national championships — the iconic arena's first NCAA title event since the 1950 Final Four.

The announcement came Wednesday when NCAA officials announced 523 host sites for 82 championships. Sites for the Division I men's basketball tournament, Division I baseball and softball tourneys, Division I football playoffs and women's Final Fours had already been chosen.

Chicago's United Center gets the 2017 men's Frozen Four, a first for the Blackhawks' home arena. The University of Oregon will host Division I outdoor track and field championships from 2015-2021, and all three NCAA divisions will compete for field hockey titles at Louisville in 2017.

The Division III football championship game will stay four more years in Salem, Va.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS-OREGON

NCAA track championships in Oregon through 2021

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has announced that Hayward Field will host the NCAA outdoor track and field championships through 2021.

The agreement with the NCAA announced Wednesday runs from 2015 to 2021. Oregon was already set to host the event next year.

Hayward Field has hosted the NCAA outdoor championships 11 times, including the 2013 event in June.

The facility has also hosted the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012 and will be the site for the 2016 trials in advance of the Rio Games. The 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships will be held in Eugene next summer.

MALZAHN AWARD

Auburn's Malzahn wins Home Depot Coach of the Year

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Auburn's Gus Malzahn has been named Home Depot Coach of the Year, and Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins was selected the John Mackey Award winner for the nation's outstanding tight end.

The announcements were made Wednesday. Both awards will be presented Thursday as part of the College Football Awards Show at Disney's Boardwalk.

In his first season as Auburn coach, Malzahn led the Tigers to a 12-1 record and berth in the BCS national championship game against Florida State on Jan. 6. A win in the title game would make Auburn's improvement from 3-9 in 2012 the best in FBS history.

Malzahn is only the second first-year coach to lead his team to the national championship game.

Seferian-Jenkins becomes the first Mackey Award winner from Washington and third from the Pac-12.

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