FLORIDA STATE-WINSTON INVESTIGATION
No. 1 Florida State moves past Winston accusation
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A prosecutor's decision to not bring charges against quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis Winston has removed a cloud from over the program. Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher says the team is focused and prepared to face Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
The 19-year-old Winston is ACC player of the year and the leader in the Heisman race. Many voters were waiting to see whether he would be charged before casting their ballot.
State Attorney Willie Meggs told a news conference Thursday there wasn't enough evidence to win a conviction against Winston, mostly because there were too many gaps in his accuser's story.
The team flew to Charlotte on Thursday evening. A win in Saturday's game would put the Seminoles in the BCS championship game.
James to co-star in movie
CHICAGO (AP) - LeBron James is taking his game to the silver screen.
The Miami Heat superstar confirmed reports before Thursday's game against the Chicago Bulls that he will co-star with Kevin Hart in the comedy "Ballers." Hart plays the brother of an NBA star who gets a chance to prove himself at a fantasy basketball camp in Miami.
James says the opportunity to work with Hart was a product of their "friendship" and "mutual respect." He says the role is "something I could relate to, as far as fantasy basketball and guys wanting to be basketball players" who "never had really had the great opportunity to be a professional athlete."
Boozer leads Bulls to 107-87 win over Heat
CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87 on Thursday night.
Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble knocking off the defending champions.
Chicago took control early on and hung on down the stretch after watching a 25-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to 12 late in the game.
It was an impressive showing by a team that had dropped six of seven and is once again trying to get by without the injured Derrick Rose.
The Bulls shot 50 percent and were 10 for 19 on 3-pointers. They also outrebounded Miami 49-27.
James scored 21 points for Miami, but the Heat shot a season low for the second straight game, converting 41.6 percent from the field.
Jaguars hand Texans 11th straight loss, 27-20
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes, Jordan Todman scored on some trickery and the Jacksonville Jaguars held on to beat the Houston Texans 27-20 on Thursday night.
The Jaguars (4-9) won their third straight - their fourth victory in five games since a bye - and continued to show signs of progress under first-year coach Gus Bradley.
They also won at home for the first time since Nov. 25, 2012, against Tennessee.
Houston (2-11) extended its franchise-record losing streak to 11 games, a stunning stretch of futility that could lead the franchise to fire coach Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak and the Texans looked as if they would end the streak after a quarterback change, but Geno Hayes intercepted Matt Schuab's pass with 2:08 remaining to seal Jacksonville's first series sweep since 2009.
Oviedo gets $1.5 million, 1-year deal from Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to a $1.5 million, one-year contract.
The deal, which could be worth up to $2.9 million if he reaches performance bonuses, was announced Thursday.
The 31-year-old Oviedo signed with Tampa Bay before the 2013 season, but did not pitch while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Oviedo had 92 saves for the Miami Marlins from 2009-11, when he was known as Leo Nunez.
In addition to his base salary, Oviedo could earn $50,000 for appearing in 30 games, $150,000 each for 35 and 40 games, $200,000 each for 45 for 50 games and $350,000 for 55 games.
The deal also calls for Oviedo to receive $50,000 for 35 games finished and $100,000 for 40 games finished.
Jones-Drew getting MRI on strained hamstring
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is getting tests on his strained right hamstring.
Coach Gus Bradley says Jones-Drew will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
Bradley says, "We'll know more about it once we get the results back."
Jones-Drew strained his hamstring late in Thursday night's 27-20 victory against Houston. He ran 14 times for a season-high 103 yards, including a 48-yarder in the third quarter that set up the winning touchdown. He also had 20 yards receiving.
Jones-Drew, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, has 719 yards rushing this season - 264 yards in the last three games, all wins.
Jones-Drew insisted after Thursday night's win that he would be fine.
Rutgers needs win vs. South Florida for bowl bid
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers' once promising season has come down to this: win against South Florida or stay home and skip the bowl circuit.
A month ago, becoming bowl eligible seemed like a formality for the Scarlet Knights (5-6, 2-5 American Athletic Conference).
Consecutive losses to Cincinnati, No. 15 Central Florida and Connecticut, however, have put Rutgers into a must-win scenario against South Florida (2-9, 2-5) heading into Saturday night's game.
For South Florida, the game is a chance to play the spoiler and end coach Willie Taggart's first season on a good note.
Rutgers is the one under pressure. After starting the season with a 4-1 record, it has lost five of six to put an eighth bowl bid in nine years in jeopardy.
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