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Around & About / News and notes

Death penalty on the table

NCAA President Mark Emmert says he's willing to back up his tough talk on punishing rule-breakers -- even using the "death penalty" as a deterrent.

With salacious allegations swirling around Miami's football program, and one week after Emmert joined with university presidents to discuss toughening sanctions against cheating schools, the NCAA's leader said he believed the infractions committee should make the harshest penalty an option.

"If, and I say if, we have very unique circumstances where TV bans and death penalties are warranted, then I don't think they are off the table and I would be OK with putting those in place," Emmert told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday.

Emmert later said the "death penalty," which prohibits a school from competing in a sport, should only be used in rare cases. He was quick to distance his comments from the Miami case.

Convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro has said he provided improper benefits to 72 Hurricanes football and basketball players from 2002 to '10 and that a handful of coaches in both programs were aware of the infractions.

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Close shave for Little Leaguer

Pitcher Braydon Salzman missed getting hit in the head by a comebacker at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., by the thin brim of his yellow cap.

But the hard shot didn't keep the 13-year-old right-hander down on the mound long. He dusted himself off to finish the third inning with a strikeout and scored three runs, too, for Huntington Beach, Calif., in an 11-0 victory over Cumberland, R.I., on Friday.

Also Friday, Colby Ring scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Langley, British Columbia, a 6-5 victory Friday over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; and Maracay, Venezuela, defeated Rotterdam, Netherlands, 6-1.

Kentucky starter Griffin McLarty silenced Pennsylvania's hitters, as he struck out 12 and hit a homer in a 1-0 win Friday night over the hometown favorites from nearby Clinton County, Pa.

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Basketball teams make up

The Chinese team that got into a nasty brawl with Georgetown University players in an exhibition game went to the Beijing airport Friday to reconcile with them.

A brief statement from Georgetown said coach John Thompson III and two of the team's players met with representatives of China's Bayi Rockets following "heated exchanges" in Thursday exhibition game.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Bayi members went to Beijing airport to see off the Georgetown team and the sides exchanged souvenirs.

"My understanding is that it's all cleared up," Cui told reporters at a briefing on Vice President Joe Biden's ongoing visit to China. "We're pleased about this outcome."

The two teams had been scheduled to play each other again Sunday in Shanghai, but the school will be playing the Liaoning Dinosaurs instead.

From News Staff and wire service reports