Leading Off

Stanislaus trio is honored by CCAA

Cal State Stanislaus baseball player Marquis Fleming, softball player Meghan Franksen and discus thrower Jasimen Bailey were named California Collegiate Athletic Association athletes of the week. Fleming (7-3, 2.33 ERA), a senior, was honored for the third time this season after pitching a one-hitter and striking out nine in a 7-0 victory Saturday over UC San Diego. He retired 19 of the final 21 batters. Franksen, a shortstop from Ceres, helped the Warriors sweep Cal State Dominguez Hills and take over first place in the CCAA. She batted .571 (8 for 14) with seven RBIs, three doubles, a triple and home run and scored three runs. She's hitting .344 for the Warriors, who have won 18 of 22. Bailey, a sophomore, produced an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the discus by throwing 144 feet, 6 inches to win the Chabot Relays and Distance Festival. Her throw, a personal best, surpassed the NCAA "B" mark of 141-1.

Paper apologizes to head-butt victim

Italy defender Marco Materazzi (top) accepted an apology and undisclosed damages from a British newspaper Monday to settle a libel suit stemming from a head-butt from Zinedine Zidane (bottom) during the last World Cup final. The Daily Star tabloid said Materazzi goaded the France captain with racist abuse. Zidane was ejected after butting Materazzi, and Italy won the title on penalty kicks. Materazzi accepted a public apology from the newspaper during a court hearing Monday. His lawyer, Jane Phillips, said the newspaper acknowledged that the allegations of racist abuse were "wholly untrue." "The truth is now coming out -- finally," Materazzi said.

LSU football honored by President Bush

LSU's football team took a wild route to the national championship -- losing twice in triple overtime, taking lots of fourth-down risks, grabbing a spot in the title game only when other teams lost late in the year. It was a season in which no school was on top for long. Until the end. "LSU was number one on the day it counted," President Bush said Monday in a White House ceremony honoring the team. "That's why they're here." LSU clobbered Ohio State 38-24 to win it all in January. Bush lauded the team's success on a damp, misty afternoon on the South Lawn. LSU had last won the college football championship in 2003, a year in which the school divided the title with the University of Southern California. "This year, there is no split," Bush said, drawing applause from the LSU-friendly crowd.