UMaine picked ninth in CAA football poll

The University of Maine football team was predicted to finish ninth of 12 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll, announced Tuesday during the conference’s annual media day in Baltimore.

James Madison, the defending FCS national champion, was picked to finish first. The Dukes received 21 first-place votes from the league’s head coaches and media relations directors. Richmond received the other three first-place votes and was picked to finish second. Villanova, New Hampshire and Delaware rounded out the top five.

Maine had four players selected to the CAA preseason All-Conference team: senior offensive lineman Jamil Demby, senior cornerback Najee Goode, junior linebacker Sterling Sheffield and junior receiver Micah Wright.

The Black Bears, who finished 6-5 last season, return 15 starters – eight on offense. They begin preseason practice next week and open the season Aug. 31 at New Hampshire.

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina is scheduled to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel next month in its multiyear and oft-delayed academic case.

Responding to public records requests, UNC released a June 9 letter from the NCAA setting Aug. 16-17 for the hearing in Nashville, Tennessee.

UNC faces five top-level charges in a case tied to irregular courses.


EASTERN LEAGUE: Richard Urena broke a 9-9 tie with a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (41-60) held on for an 11-10 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs (46-53) in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Harold Ramirez led New Hampshire with three RBI and two runs scored. Michael Chavis and Jeremy Barfield homered for Portland.


NHL: The New York Rangers signed center Mika Zibanejad to a $26.75 million, five-year deal.

Zibanejad, 24, had 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 56 games last season, his first with New York.

The Buffalo Sabres re-signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a $4 million, one-year contract.

DOPING: Danis Zaripov, who played for Russia at the 2010 Olympics, is among three Kontinental Hockey League players banned for doping.

The league says Zaripov tested positive during the 2016-17 season for unnamed substances including a stimulant and a banned diuretic, or masking agent.

The KHL says Zaripov has been banned by the International Ice Hockey Federation until May 2019.

The KHL added that the IIHF had banned Canadian defenseman Derek Smith until September 2018 for a failed test, and Russian defenseman Andrei Konev until September.


NBA: A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Orlando Magic agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran guard Arron Afflalo.

Afflalo averaged 8.4 points and shot 41 percent on 3-pointers last season for Sacramento.

The Atlanta Hawks re-signed power forward Mike Muscala to a two-year, $10 million deal.

 Stephen Curry finalized his new contract, signing his $201 million, five-year deal after he reached agreement when the free agency period began July 1.

– From staff and news reports

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