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Sports briefs

Published: Thursday, Jan. 6 2011 11:35 p.m. MST

Stanford star decides he'll stay in school

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to stay in college to get his degree instead of immediately cashing in on the riches of being the likely No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

Luck announced his decision Thursday, more than a week before the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft. Luck, who sat out his first year as a redshirt, has two years of eligibility remaining but is on track to graduate next spring.

"I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012," Luck said in a statement issued through the school. Stanford said Luck was not available for further comment.

Luck's decision to stay at Stanford comes as coach Jim Harbaugh is being wooed by NFL teams for a possible job.

Ligety finishes sixth in World Cup slalom

ZAGREB, Croatia — Park City's Ted Ligety came from behind to notch his best FIS Alpine World Cup slalom finish in three years, finishing sixth in the Zagreb night slalom.

Fellow American David Chodounsky earned his first World Cup points and another World Cup slalom start for the U.S. in 20th. Sweden's Andre Myhrer won with Croatian hero Ivica Kostelic in second.

After finishing the first run in 16th, Ligety charged out of the gate posting the third-fastest second run.

"Second run the snow softened up a little bit, and I think that kind of helped me get comfortable enough to really push it," Ligety said. "I was pretty happy to come down in second place and lucky enough to hold on to it for awhile."

Taurasi's deal terminated after drug tests

HARTFORD, Conn. — The uncertainty caused by Diana Taurasi's two positive tests in Turkey for the banned stimulant modafinil resulted Thursday in the termination of her contract by her European team, Fenerbahce.

Team officials made the decision after the Turkish Basketball Federation announced the results of the second doping test on its website. Taurasi had been suspended by the federation once the first positive test was revealed.

To replace Taurasi, Fenerbahce signed Angel McCoughtry, the former Louisville All-American, who plays for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream.

Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan, the longtime WNBA coach who guided the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said Thursday she has been in touch with Taurasi.

"It's a difficult situation for Diana to have to rely on a foreign agency and a lab that has struggled with issues (of accuracy) to determine her guilt," Donovan said.

If found guilty of taking the medication, which is outlawed by the IOC, Taurasi, the former UConn star, could face a ban of up to two years, which would cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps some endorsements and keep her off the U.S. team, coached by Geno Auriemma of UConn, at the 2012 London Olympics.

Uggla finalizes new contract with Braves

ATLANTA — Second baseman Dan Uggla and the Atlanta Braves finalized a $62 million, five-year contract Thursday that avoided salary arbitration.

Uggla receives a $1 milllion signing bonus, $9 million this year and $13 million in each of the following four seasons.

The 30-year-old was acquired from Florida in November for infielder Omar Infante and left-hander Mike Dunn. The two-time All-Star turned down a $24 million, three-year offer from the Marlins last summer.

Uggla batted .287 with 33 homers and 105 RBIs last season, when he made $7.8 million. Without the new deal, he would have become a free agent after the 2011 World Series. He has averaged 31 homers, 100 runs scored and 93 RBIs over his five-year career.

—Deseret News staff and wire reports

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