Sports briefs

Published: Thursday, Dec. 16 2010 11:41 p.m. MST

Snow football players earn national honor

EPHRAIM — Four Snow College players were named as National Junior College Athletic Association All Americans Thursday.

Defensive lineman and North Carolina State commit McKay Frandsen and kicker Alex Sweat, who led that nation in scoring, were both named to the first team.

Tight end Drew Robinson, who is committed to Arizona, and center Mark Pratt, who is committed to Youngstown State University, are both second-team honorees.

Vikings, Bears to play in winter elements

MINNEAPOLIS — The prospect of winter football's return to Minnesota — the mountains of snow, the vapor of exhaled breath, the courageous fans braving the elements — sounds great to the NFL.

But the fabled frozen tundra of the pre-Metrodome days doesn't sound nearly as good to the Vikings and Bears, who say the league may be downplaying the injury risk of a rock-hard field at TCF Bank Stadium for Monday night's game even as labor negotiations include a proposal for a longer season.

"The whole season has been talked about — player safety, player safety, player safety," Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said Thursday. "We're talking about going to 18 games. And then they're going to say, 'Hey, go play on some concrete and enjoy yourselves.' "

Hours earlier, the NFL said the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium remained its preferred venue for a game displaced by the Metrodome's snow-damaged roof. Heating coils under a tarpaulin will be used in a bid to thaw the artificial grass field at TCF Bank Stadium at least a bit for a night game expected to be played in single-digit temperatures.

Tebow might make his first pro start

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The debate over whether Tim Tebow is ready for this might just be moot.

Tebow is getting more snaps at practice with starter Kyle Orton nursing bruised ribs and the rookie might even get his first extended action of the season — if not his first start — when the Denver Broncos visit Oakland this weekend.

Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said he thought Orton would be ready by Sunday, but some of his teammates weren't so sure.

New Mexico transfer to debut on Sunday

ALBUQUERQUE — Forward Drew Gordon, a transfer from UCLA, will make his debut for New Mexico on Sunday against The Citadel.

New Mexico had submitted a waiver to NCAA officials, seeking to have Gordon declared eligible in time for Friday's game against Longwood. The NCAA requires any transfer athlete to sit out a calendar year.

Correction

About 30,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's New Mexico Bowl, according to the bowl's media relations director RaeAnn McKernan. University Stadium's capacity is 39,244 seats.

The Deseret News reported Thursday that McKernan said there were about 30,000 tickets available, but McKernan was referring to the number of tickets sold.

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