Raiders cut loose McClain after tough three years

Published: Saturday, Apr. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7C

The Raiders waived linebacker Rolando McClain on Friday, less than three years after drafting him eighth overall to be the centerpiece of their defense.

McClain was mostly a disappointment in Oakland. He struggled during his first two years and then clashed with coach Dennis Allen and his staff last season. McClain was suspended for two games for conduct detrimental to the team and did not play the final five games.

"I'd like to thank the Raiders for giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL," McClain said in a statement. "I'm disappointed that it hasn't worked out better, but I'm very excited and thankful for the Raiders allowing me to get a fresh start."

McClain still had two years left on his $40 million, five-year rookie contract.

• Detroit signed former 49ers kicker David Akers, one day after Jason Hanson retired, ending his 21-year career with the Lions. The 49ers released Akers, 38, a month ago after he slumped during the 2012 season.

Williams sisters to duel

Top-ranked Serena Williams and her sister Venus both won twice to reach the Family Circle Cup semifinals in Charleston, S.C., and set up their first showdown since 2009. Serena won her 13th straight match by defeating sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 6-1. Earlier, she topped two-time NCAA doubles champ Mallory Burdette in a third-round match moved because of Thursday's 71/2-hour rain delay. Venus rallied past Varvara Lepchenko in three sets before ousting 18-year-old Madison Keys.

• World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat American John Isner 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-5 to give Serbia a 1-0 lead in a Davis Cup quarterfinal in Boise, Idaho. Sam Querrey later defeated Viktor Troicki 7-6 (1), 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to tie Serbia 1-1.

Rutgers AD resigns

Rutgers' coaching scandal spiraled deeper after athletic director Tim Pernetti, an alumnus who played tight end for the Scarlet Knights football team, resigned over his failure to immediately fire men's basketball coach Mike Rice, who was caught on video hitting, kicking and taunting players with anti-gay slurs at practice.

The video was shown Tuesday on ESPN, prompting outrage nationwide. Rice was fired Wednesday by Pernetti, but the athletic director immediately came under criticism for only suspending and fining the coach after the video was brought to his attention four months ago.

Pernetti said Friday he wanted to fire Rice on the spot but did not because the consensus among school officials at the time was that it didn't warrant dismissal.

• UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero received a six-year contract extension through 2019, retroactive to Monday.

Johnson sets track record

Jimmie Johnson – a seven-time winner at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, NASCAR's shortest, trickiest track – broke Tony Stewart's record speed of 98.083 mph at the half-mile oval with a speed of 98.400 mph. It is Johnson's 30th career pole, and third in 23 starts at Martinsville.

Santa Clara wins CBI

Kevin Foster had 24 points, Marc Trasolini had 20 points and Evan Roquemore added 19 as Santa Clara (26-12) defeated George Mason (22-16) 80-77 to win the College Basketball Invitational Finals in Fairfax, Va., in three games.

Sharks win 7th straight

Joe Pavelski scored on a rebound with 2:06 remaining to lead the Sharks to their seventh straight victory, 2-1 over the Calgary Flames, in San Jose.

The Sharks matched their season-opening, seven-game winning streak, moving from ninth place to fourth in the Western Conference in that time.

– Associated Press

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