Sports Briefly: Former Hawkeyes coordinator Parker dies

  • Updated: January 13, 2014 - 11:54 PM

Former longtime Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker has died. He was 72.

Parker, who also coached at the University of Minnesota from 1972-76, died early Monday at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A cause of death was not released.

“Norm played a major and key role in any on the field success we experienced during his 13 years as our defensive coordinator,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “More important and valuable, is the strong and positive impact that he had on our players, staff, support staff and fans — everyone he interfaced with during his 15 years in Iowa. Norm was an excellent football coach. Beyond that, he was a tremendous spouse, father and cherished friend to many.”

Parker began his college coaching career in 1968. He made stops at Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois, East Carolina, Michigan State and Vanderbilt. He spent his last 13 seasons at Iowa, where he developed a reputation as one of the country’s top coordinators.

... Arizona All-America running back Ka’Deem Carey, LSU rushing leader Jeremy Hill, LSU guard Trai Turner, Stanford All-America left guard David Yankey are forgoing their remaining college eligibility and entering the NFL draft. ... Jackson State hired former Tigers player and NFL standout Harold Jackson as its coach.

Baseball

A-Rod sues MLB and his union

Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players’ union Monday, seeking to overturn a season-long suspension imposed by an arbitrator who ruled there was “clear and convincing evidence” he used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport’s drug investigation.

As part of the lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, the New York Yankees third baseman made public Saturday’s 33-page decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who shortened a penalty originally set at 211 games last August by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract.

Horowitz, who technically chaired a three-man panel that included a representative of MLB and the union, trimmed the penalty to 162 games, plus all postseason games in 2014.

“While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed,” Horowitz wrote.

Rodriguez in his suit claimed the Major League Baseball Players Association “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights” and “this inaction by MLBPA created a climate in which MLB felt free to trample” on Rodriguez’s confidentiality rights.

Rodriguez asked for the court to find MLB violated its agreements with the union, that the union breached its duty to represent him and to throw out Horowitz’s decision.

In determining the length of the penalty, Horowitz cited a 2008 decision in a grievance involving Neifi Perez in which arbitrator Shyam Das ruled “separate uses are subject to separate disciplines.” He said under the discipline system for positive tests, Rodriguez would be subject to at least 150 games for three violations of 50 games. But Horowitz thought Selig’s initial penalty was too severe.

... Infielder Ronny Cedeno agreed to a minor league contract with the Phillies. Cedeno is joining his seventh team in 10 years He is a .246 hitter with 40 homers and 239 RBI in 868 games.

AROUND THE HORN

Japanese baseball: Wladimir Balentien, a former major league baseball player who broke Japan’s single-season home run record last year, was been arrested in Florida on domestic violence charges. Balentien is an outfielder with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and hit 60 homers last year, breaking Sadaharu Oh’s record of 55.

• Soccer: Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2013, ending Lionel Messi’s four-year run as the world’s best player. ... Toronto FC unveiled Michael Bradley as its newest designated player, signing the American midfielder from Italian club AS Roma.

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