University of Maine senior offensive lineman Bruce Johnson was named to the Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision All-America second team.

Johnson started all 11 games at center, helping the Black Bears allow just 18 sacks.

LAWSUIT: A federal appeals court decided not to reconsider its ruling striking down a plan to pay college football and basketball players.

The payment plan emerged from a lawsuit filed against the NCAA by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it had voted 2-1 not to have a larger panel of judges rehear the case.

The panel in a September ruling struck down a plan to allow schools to pay football and basketball players up to $5,000 per year. The money would have been put in a trust fund and given to them when they left school.

SOCCER

U.S. WOMEN’S TEAM: Abby Wambach threatened to score several times in the final game of her career, but China shut out the World Cup champion United States 1-0 at New Orleans to hand the Americans their first loss on home soil in more than a decade.

Wambach played 72 minutes, managing two threatening headers and a shot from inside the penalty area before subbing out of a match for the final time.

The career leader in international play – for men and women – with 184 goals kicked off her cleats and hugged each teammate on the field before walking to the bench to embrace her coaches and remaining teammates as the crowd chanted her name.

FIFA INVESTIGATION: Michel Platini’s lawyers said he won’t attend his FIFA ethics committee hearing Friday in protest as he believes his case has been pre-judged.

The lawyers said in a statement that the verdict “has already been announced last weekend in the press.”

Though FIFA investigators have asked for a life ban to be imposed, Platini could reportedly escape with a ban of several years that would still effectively exile him and end his FIFA presidential ambitions.

Earlier in the day, FIFA ethics judges promised a fair trial even if Platini does not attend.

SKIING

WORLD CUP: American Lindsey Vonn was third-quickest in a downhill training run in France at Val d’Isere, one of her favorite resorts.

Larisa Yurkiw of Canada was quickest in 1 minute, 47.79 seconds, with Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria .10 behind and Vonn trailing by .21.

TENNIS

AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Andy Murray told the Daily Mail newspaper he is prepared to leave the late January tournament early if his wife goes into labor prematurely. Kim Sears isn’t expecting until mid-February.

BASKETBALL

WNBA: The league and angry players fired back at former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas, who suggested they play in undergarments to improve the popularity of the league.

Spokesman Mike Bass responded to the comments in a statement on behalf of the NBA and the WNBA, saying, “Gilbert Arenas’ comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong. WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals, who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world.

“They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”

– From staff and news services