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Wednesday's Sports In Brief

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) A year ago at this time, Maria Sharapova was sitting out the U.S. Open, getting checked by doctors and having tests on the surgically repaired right shoulder that has troubled her off and on.

Sharapova found herself down by a set and facing a break point early in the second at Flushing Meadows, bothered by the whipping wind, her own off-target strokes and an opponent who wasn't backing down. She came through the way she so often does, beating 95th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. She will face 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki next.

No. 2 Simona Halep and No. 19 Venus Williams, the 2000-01 champion in New York, were among the seeded players who advanced, while No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 21 Sloane Stephens lost.

In the men's draw, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka beat 91st-ranked Thomaz Belluci of Brazil 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1) to advance to the third round.

Otherwise, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 14 Marin Cilic won first-round matches.

NFL

CLEVELAND (AP) - Josh Gordon's wait is over, and so is his 2014 season. Now the star wide receiver's career is in peril.

The Browns learned Gordon's indefinite suspension by the NFL has been upheld and he will miss at least 16 games for another violation of the league's substance abuse policy. A repeat drug offender, Gordon had appealed the penalty, hoping it would be reduced so he could play this season.

The NFL, though, came down hard on Gordon, who must now pay the price for stepping out of bounds.

The league announced that arbitrator Harold Henderson supported Gordon's yearlong suspension for marijuana use. The Pro Bowler, who was subject to more frequent testing, will begin serving his suspension immediately and the league said in its statement that his ''eligibility for reinstatement will be determined following the 2014 season.''

In the meantime, Gordon is not allowed to practice with the team, attend meetings or other club functions.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw confessed that he lied to school officials about how he sprained his ankles last weekend, retracting his story about jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew.

The school swiftly suspended him from all team activities and acknowledged his heroic tale was ''a complete fabrication.''

The tale began to unravel soon after the team captain was lauded for his heroics in a story on the team's website Monday. In the account, Shaw described how he instinctively jumped from a balcony, with no one around, to rescue his 7-year-old nephew in a pool in his hometown of Palmdale, California. The school said a day later callers questioned the story, and began vetting it.

But the biggest question remains unanswered: What was he doing, and how did he injure his ankles?

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina coach Larry Fedora announced the team has suspended four players for this weekend's season opener, a day after a report of an alleged hazing altercation that left a redshirt freshman walk-on receiver with a possible concussion.

Fedora said the four players were suspended for a ''violation of team policy,'' but offered no other details about what rules were broken. The players suspended were sophomores Des Lawrence and Brian Walker, redshirt freshman Donnie Miles and true freshman M.J. Stewart.

North Carolina has said it is conducting an investigation of what it described as an incident involving members of the team.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Doc Rivers is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers for another five years.

In Steve Ballmer's first big move since taking over as the new owner, he gave Rivers a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.

Ballmer said it was one of his top priorities to ensure that Rivers remains as the long-term leader of the team. Rivers was a stabilizing force for the franchise during the upheaval created by former owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks that led to his ouster after 33 years of ownership.

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL insists expansion is not imminent.

''Nothing has happened to change the status quo,'' NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ''There continues to be interest from some markets, and we continue to be interested in discussing the possibilities, but there is no plan moving forward in terms of expansion.''

The NHL has not expanded since the 2000-01 season when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets became the 29th and 30th franchises in the league. After last year's realignment, the Eastern Conference has 16 teams and there are 14 in the Western Conference.

Seattle, Toronto, Quebec City, Las Vegas and Kansas City have been mentioned as markets that might land a new team in the league.

LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

CHICAGO (AP) - The beloved Jackie Robinson West All Stars, Chicago's first all-black team to claim the U.S. championship at the Little League World Series, autographed T-shirts and posters at their home ballpark before boarding trolley buses for a parade in their honor. They're only beginning to realize the impact they've had on the city.

And before thousands at Millennium Park downtown, Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams urged kids to ''pick up a ball or a glove or a book, a paint stick, a science project (and) put down the guns.''

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old star female pitcher, and her Taney Dragons teammates who thrilled Philadelphians - and many others - at the Little League World Series got to meet their favorite major league team.

The Philadelphia Phillies hosted a pre-game tribute to the team at Citizens Bank Park before their game against the Washington Nationals. The Dragons walked through a procession onto the field and were greeted by the Phillies, including the Phillie Phanatic. All 12 members of the Dragons threw out first pitches simultaneously to Phillies players.

Earlier in the day, the Dragons received champion's treatment with a downtown parade.

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