Sports Briefs: Williams signs CFL contract

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Ricky Williams has a new home in the CFL.

Suspended for the 2006 season by the NFL after a fourth positive drug test, Williams signed a $240,000, one-year contract yesterday with the Toronto Argonauts -- a deal making him the highest-paid running back in the Canadian Football League.

Williams, who's still under contract with the Miami Dolphins, is expected to begin practicing with his new team today; the Argonauts open preseason play this weekend and start their regular season at home against Hamilton June 17. The 18-game regular season runs through late October.

Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner, missed Miami's first four games last year following his third positive test, and lost an appeal over the fourth -- which carries a mandatory one-year ban. But the desire to continue playing and earning led him to Toronto, adding another chapter to the enigmatic player's resume.

Before the signing was formally announced, Dolphins coach Nick Saban issued a statement saying the team left the decision about playing in the CFL up to Williams.

More football

Matt D'Orazio threw four touchdown passes and DeJuan Alfonzo and Denni Robinson scored defensive touchdowns to lead the host Chicago Rush to a 63-46 victory against the Colorado Crush in the Arena Football League divisional playoffs. Chicago will play in San Jose Saturday in the American Conference final. It's the third consecutive conference final trip for Chicago and fourth in five years.

Wild Things

The Washington Wild Things shut out the Traverse City Beach Bums, 6-0, behind the pitching of Patrick Stanley and solid defense. The Wild Things (2-3) turned four double plays while Stanley pitched seven strong shutout innings. All nine Washington starters recorded at least one hit on their way to a 14-hit performance. Second baseman Jason Bucholtz went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, while leadoff hitter Chris Sidick added three hits and a run scored.

Track and field

Marion Jones easily won the 100 meters at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, finishing in 11.16 seconds. Jones started slow, but hit her stride in the middle of the race and pulled away from the rest of the field. Emma Ania of Britain was second in 11.59, followed by Angela Williams of the United States in 11.60.

Justin Gatlin overcame chilly, damp conditions to win his 100-meter race in 9.88 seconds, tying the meet and Hayward Field record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. Jamaican Asafa Powell, who shares the world record of 9.77 with Gatlin, won a separate 100 race in a wind-aided 9.93. Gatlin tied the field and meet record set by Shawn Crawford in 2004.

Penn State's Matt Lincoln finished third in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Region II meet in Greensboro, N.C., to secure his spot in the national championships. Lincoln ran a 3:52.78 in the finals.

Baseball

Eric Rose had three singles and drove in three runs to help Michigan claim the Big Ten tournament title in Ann Arbor, Mich., and qualify for NCAA play with a 9-4 win against Minnesota.

Lacrosse

Northwestern trailed late in the first half of the NCAA women's lacrosse championship in Boston, then took another hit when leading scorer Kristen Kjellman left the game with a sprained right ankle. To compensate for Kjellman's absence, Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller shuffled her lineup and switched Sarah Albrecht from midfield to attack. Albrecht scored two second-half goals and added an assist to lead Northwestern to its second consecutive NCAA title with a 7-4 win against Dartmouth.

Soccer

Brian McBride scored in the 43rd minute, and the United States completed a grueling series of three World Cup warmup games in six days by beating Latvia, 1-0, in East Hartford, Conn. McBride scored from 6 yards off a cross from Steve Cherundolo, sending the ball off the fingertips of leaping goalkeeper Aleksandrs Kolinko and into the net at the far post.



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