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In Brief | Nation and World June 28

NFL advises teams on signing Hernandez

NEW YORK — The NFL told its teams Thursday that any player contract they enter into with Aaron Hernandez before charges against him are resolved won’t be approved without a hearing by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said the hearing would be to decide if the former New England Patriots tight end should be suspended or face other action before a resolution of the charges is reached. It said no player contract with Hernandez would take effect before a hearing.

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and weapons counts in the shooting death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was cut by the Patriots after the arrest and before his court appearance and is being held without bail.

Meanwhile, Puma announced Thursday that it has ended its relationship with Hernandez.

Ex-Browns player pleads not guilty in NJ beating

PATERSON, N.J. — A former rookie linebacker for the Cleveland Browns has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in New Jersey.

Ausar Walcott was arraigned Thursday in Paterson, N.J. He is accused of punching Derek Jones in the side of the head outside The Palace Gentlemen’s Club in Passaic early Sunday.

A prosecutor says Jones is in a medically induced coma at a New York hospital, where he’s listed in critical condition.

Walcott, who played for the University of Virginia, was signed by the Browns on May 13 following a tryout. The team released him Wednesday.

Donovan back with US but not Bocanegra

NEW YORK — Landon Donovan is returning to the U.S. national team after an absence of nearly 11 months, but Carlos Bocanegra was bypassed for the American roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Donovan and veteran defender Oguchi Onyewu were among 23 players picked Thursday for the regional championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Bocanegra, the U.S. captain at the 2010 World Cup, was among 12 players cut from the preliminary roster, which was announced May 31.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann bypassed most of his Europe-based regulars, who are on vacation before their 2013-14 club seasons.

Pete Hughes takes over Oklahoma baseball program

NORMAN, Okla. — Pete Hughes knew what everyone was thinking: If you can’t beat them, join them.

Hughes, who spent the past seven years as Virginia Tech’s coach, made the move to Oklahoma — just a few weeks after the Sooners won an NCAA regional hosted by Virginia Tech, beating Hughes’ Hokies along the way.

“I’m excited to be a part of one of the most successful athletic departments in the country,” Hughes said. “I’m privileged to be the head coach for one of the most storied traditions in college baseball. Specifically, this year’s team, I know what I’m inheriting. I saw it with my own eyes.

“I’m very appreciative of inheriting a super regional team. I realize you don’t walk into those situations very often.”

Hughes will replace Sunny Golloway, who left the Sooners earlier this month to take the head coaching job at Auburn. Golloway spent nine years as Oklahoma’s head coach and won 40 or more games each of the past five seasons. This year, Oklahoma went 43-21 and advanced to a super regional.

At Virginia Tech, Hughes took a program that hadn’t been to an NCAA tournament since 2000 and guided the Hokies to berths in 2010 and 2013. The Hokies won 30 or more games each of the past five years, going 40-22 and hosting an NCAA regional for the first time this year.

From wire sources