Sports shorts: Backlash forces ASU to scrap new Sparky

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z 2013-03-20T00:12:01Z Sports shorts: Backlash forces ASU to scrap new SparkyStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

TEMPE - After weeks of backlash from students and alumni who dislike the new design of the school's costumed mascot, Arizona State University officials are going back to the drawing board .

ASU officials said Tuesday that students, alumni, fans, faculty and staff will be allowed to vote online from April 22 to May 5 to pick the features of Sparky's head and face.

The updated version of Sparky was unveiled March 1 and featured a more smiling face with much larger eyes and less sinister-looking eyebrows. But some claimed the new mascot looked creepy. ASU said the new Sparky will be unveiled during the Sept. 5 home football opener.

Pima College

Aztecs salvage softball split with Yavapai

The Pima College softball team split a doubleheader at Yavapai on Tuesday, losing 3-2 and winning the second game 14-3 behind homers from Noelle Medina (San Manuel), Cynthia Pelayo (Vision) and Alejandra Ortiz (Tucson). Stephanie Vejar (Tucson) won her 10th game for the Aztecs (20-14, 14-10), who host Colorado's Lamar College in a doubleheader Thursday, starting at 1 p.m.

• In baseball, Pima lost a doubleheader to GateWay in Phoenix, 2-1 and 7-3. The Aztecs (15-14-1, 6-8) will host Vancouver Island at 3 p.m. Thursday.

• In tennis, the No. 7 Pima women's team (10-3, 3-1) beat Paradise Valley 9-0 in Phoenix, led by an 8-0 win by the No. 1 doubles team of Helen Altieri and Kari Emery (Flowing Wells). Pima hosts No. 6 Eastern Arizona at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Tucson Racquet Club. The Pima men's team (2-4, 1-3) fell to Paradise Valley 5-4.

MISCELLANEOUS

Goalie helps Kings down Coyotes 3-2

LOS ANGELES - Jonathan Bernier made a career-high 40 saves, defenseman Drew Doughty ended a 32-game regular-season goal drought, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Tuesday night. Shane Doan scored twice in the third period for the Coyotes, who were shut out in their three previous games.

• Concerned with how it will be officiated, NFL owners in Phoenix delayed voting Tuesday on a rule change that would ban offensive players from using the crown of their helmets against defenders in the open field. Owners approved two rule changes, outlawing peel-back blocks anywhere on the field, and banning an overloaded formation while trying to block a field goal or extra point.

• Baseball is looking into a solution to a scheduling issue that may prevent the Super Bowl champion Ravens from opening next season in Baltimore. The Orioles are set to play the White Sox on Sept. 5 at Camden Yards, which uses the same parking lots as the Ravens' stadium.

• The San Francisco 49ers signed Browns veteran free agent kicker Phil Dawson to a one-year contract.

• Free-agent cornerback Brice McCain said he's agreed to a three-year deal to return to the Texans.

• A federal magistrate found Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt not guilty of driving under the influence for trying to pass through a security gate at Fort Campbell Army post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.

• Owners approved a $200 million loan to the Vikings for a $975 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

• Matt Hasselbeck signed with Indianapolis to be the Colts' backup quarterback. Terms were not released.

• The U.S. Open tennis tournament will increase its annual prize money to $50 million by 2017 and switch back to a Sunday men's final in 2015.

Includes material from news releases

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