Heat to host Soccer Divas in WPISL contest

The New Orleans Heat will take on the Mississippi Soccer Divas at 7 p.m. Saturday in a Women’s Professional Indoor Soccer League contest at Playmakers North in Madisonville.

UNC’s Williams denies academic allegations

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams is denying allegations of academic wrongdoing by former player Rashad McCants connected to the school’s long-running academic scandal.

In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” McCants — the second-leading scorer on Williams’ first NCAA championship team in 2005 — said tutors wrote papers for him and that Williams knew about no-show classes popular with athletes. McCants also said Williams told him he could swap a failing grade from one class with a passing one from another to stay eligible that season, according to the report.

In a statement Friday, Williams said he did not “know about or do anything close to what” McCants alleges, and that former players would agree with him.

McCants entered the NBA draft as a junior after the title run.

Kentucky gives Calipari 7-year, $52.5M deal

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky gave men’s basketball coach John Calipari a new seven-year, $52.5 million contract that will pay a base package of $6.5 million next season and $8 million over each of the final three seasons.

Already one of college basketball’s highest-paid coaches, Calipari led the Wildcats to the 2012 NCAA championship and is coming off his third Final Four appearance in five years with Kentucky, a 60-54 title-game loss to Connecticut in April. He has often been rumored as a potential candidate for NBA coaching openings.

Calipari reiterated his happiness with Kentucky, later using social media to state his commitment after Los Angeles fired coach Mike D’Antoni.

France star Ribery ruled out for World Cup

PARIS — France’s World Cup ambitions were dealt a significant blow when winger Franck Ribery failed to overcome a back injury and was ruled off of the squad Friday.

Coach Didier Deschamps hoped Ribery would play a part against Jamaica on Sunday, but the Bayern Munich winger was replaced by Montpellier winger Remy Cabella.

Nevada adds A&M in 2015, drops UCLA

RENO, Nev. — Nevada added Texas A&M to its 2015 football schedule and dropped a game scheduled against UCLA.

It will be the first time the Wolf Pack have played a Southeastern Conference team.

Nevada Athletic Director Doug Knuth announced the new game at the Aggies when he disclosed Nevada and UCLA have mutually agreed to drop games against each other in 2015-16.

United States to play Nigeria in Cup primer

The U.S. men’s national team has generated some momentum with back-to-back victories during its Send-Off Series preceding the World Cup. The USA looks to cap things off with one more victory when it hosts Nigeria at 5 p.m. Saturday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

Most recently in the Send-Off Series, the U.S. defeated Turkey for a 2-1 win and a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan 2-0 on May 27.

Former champ Hewitt charged with rape

JOHANNESBURG — The lawyer representing Bob Hewitt said the former Grand Slam doubles champion and one-time tennis hall of famer has been charged with rape and sexual assault of minors and will go to trial in February.

Attorney Alwyn Griebenow told The Associated Press that Hewitt denies two charges of rape and one of sexual assault of girls he coached in South Africa decades ago.

Griebenow said Hewitt attended Boksburg Magistrate’s Court near Johannesburg on Friday and told the court he understood the charges. He was not asked to enter a plea, but Griebenow said he would plead not guilty to all three charges at his trial.

Hewitt, now 74, won nine grand slam doubles and six mixed doubles titles in the 1960s and ’70s.

Crane shoots 65, takes early lead at St. Jude

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ben Crane shot a 5-under 65 Friday grabbing a six-stroke lead during the rain-delayed second round of the St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind.

Crane birdied his final hole Thursday night for a 63 and rolled in a 44-footer for birdie to start Friday morning en route to a round with six birdies and one bogey. That gave him a 128 total through 36 holes and a 12 under that matches the winning score here a year ago.

Ricard, Lewis tied for lead at LGA State Am

B roussard Eric Ricard of Shreveport and Myles Lewis of New Orleans fired 4-under 68s in the second round of the Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship on Friday at Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club to share the lead at 136.

Lewis has yet to make a bogey through 36 holes. One shot back at 7-under 137 is former LSU golfer, Brandon Aydlett of Metairie.

John Sams of Coushatta was the first-round leader, but he shot a 1-over 73 on Friday. Grady Brame Jr. of Hammond and Sams are both at 4-under.

Compiled from news releases and The Associated Press.