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Latest Arkansas sports

Mallett, Razorbacks start fall practice

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas Razorbacks took the field for their first practice of the fall Thursday.

Mallett has been recovering from a broken foot but didn't look like he had any real problems during his team's drills. Big things are expected from him after he threw for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns during the 2009 season.

Mallett said he felt good but was a little rusty. He was extremely limited during spring practice after injuring himself in February.

The team in general caught a break Thursday on a breezy afternoon and evening. The state has been hit with triple-digit temperatures recently.

Arkansas did announce one bit of bad news.

Defensive end Caleb Evans will miss the season because of a recurring back injury. He played in three games last season.

APR scores released for Pelphrey, other coaches

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas basketball team's academic progress rate of 933 in 2008-09 was among the highest scores of coach John Pelphrey's career.

The NCAA released APR marks for coaches Thursday, which mirror the scores for the programs they've run while they were in charge. Pelphrey fell below the NCAA's benchmark of 925 his last four seasons with South Alabama but surpassed that cutoff 2 of his first three seasons at Arkansas. He received two scores for 2006-07, when he left South Alabama for Arkansas in April.

Arkansas' 4-year rolling average is currently at 886, thanks to a 755 in 2007-08. Teams that fall below 925 can be subjected to immediate penalties, but the Razorbacks avoided a scholarship loss this year, and the school says it's encouraged by the improving score.

First Tee players joining LPGA pros for Ark event

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) - The LPGA pros will have some company when they tee off for the P&G NW Arkansas Championship next month.

The tournament announced a partnership Thursday with The First Tee that will allow players from the youth development organization to join the pros during the first two rounds Sept. 10-11. Tournament chairman Jay Allen said 12 golfers will be selected to participate in a best-ball competition. A First Tee player will play with two LPGA pros, with the trio's best score for each hole counting toward the First Tee participant's total.

Allen says the First Tee players will "have to be accomplished golfers" - and he expects the format to ensure a reasonable pace of play as the LPGA pros compete simultaneously in their own tournament.

Murphy, Hunter, Rangers blank Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) - David Murphy hit his second go-ahead home run in two nights, this one to break through against Felix Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter resumed his excellence as the Texas Rangers cruised to a 6-0 victory over the dreadful Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

Murphy drove in the game's first two runs with his seventh homer of the season in the sixth inning. And Hunter pitched 6 2-3 scoreless innings against the worst offensive team in the major leagues to up the Rangers' lead in the AL West to a season high-tying 8 1/2 games over the idle Athletics.

The Rangers begin a 3-game series at Oakland on Friday.

Texas Rangers get OK to exit bankruptcy protection

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Yer' out!

The Texas Rangers got approval Thursday to exit federal bankruptcy protection, little more than 12 hours after Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan's group bought the team at a marathon auction.

The Thursday afternoon ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan clears the way for Major League Baseball to formally approve Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg as the team's new owners next week.

The court-appointed restructuring officer and creditors had opposed the bankruptcy plan since it was filed in May to push through the sale to the Greenberg-Ryan group. But on Thursday, they said they supported it because the auction resulted in a higher price for the Rangers.

Rangers attorneys say disputes with lenders and others had been resolved.

Dramatic performance by Cowboys mocking Kitna

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The drama after nearly two weeks of training camp for the Dallas Cowboys is quite comedic.

During a play at the beginning of offensive drills Thursday, Tony Romo and several players suddenly grabbed their hands like they were in excruciating pain. Offensive lineman Marc Colombo screamed out in agony.

Then they all laughed.

They were mocking backup quarterback Jon Kitna, who a day earlier was writhing in pain after banging his non-throwing hand. He returned to practice with fingers taped together.

Coach Wade Phillips chuckled while saying the offensive guys thought Kitna "cried too much" the day before.

On the next snap Thursday, Kitna turned completely around and playfully threw the ball at Romo. Kitna grinned when asked about his teammates' performance.

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