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Originally published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 7:33 PM

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Ex-hockey coach Graham James gets 2-year prison sentence

Disgraced hockey coach Graham James was sentenced in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to two years in prison for sexually preying on two of his former players.

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Hockey

Former WHL coach James

is sentenced to 2 years in prison

Disgraced coach Graham James was sentenced Tuesday in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to two years in prison for sexually preying on two of his former Western Hockey League players.

The government requested a six-year sentence.

James' lawyer, Evan Roitenberg, wanted a conditional sentence of up to 18 months, with no jail time.

James, 59, pleaded guilty in December to repeatedly sexually abusing Theo Fleury and Fleury's cousin, Todd Holt, when they played for him on Canadian teams in the WHL in the 1980s and '90s. Fleury, 43, became an NHL All-Star.

Fleury and Holt, 39, estimate they were assaulted hundreds of times by James.

Holt called the sentence a "national travesty" and added, "Graham James is laughing all the way back to the life he has always led, knowing that justice for him is but a blip on the radar."

James wore a red ski mask that concealed the lower part of his face when he arrived at the courthouse. He avoided eye contact with one of his other victims, former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy.

Kennedy was among the original players to step forward with accusations to which James pleaded guilty in 1997. James served about 18 months of a 3 ½-year-sentence.

Crosby helps Penguins win

James Neal recorded his second NHL hat trick and captain Sidney Crosby had four assists in his first home game in more than three months as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 8-4.

Crosby has nine points in four games since his return from concussion-like symptoms.

College football

Sandusky lawyer will receive

accusers' contact information

Prosecutors were ordered to give Jerry Sandusky's lawyer the phone numbers and addresses of those who have accused the former Penn State assistant coach of child sex abuse.

It was a pretrial victory for the 68-year-old Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, who argued it would be difficult for defense investigators to locate and try to interview the accusers without getting contact information from prosecutors.

Woods' spring sessions are over

USC receiver Robert Woods will skip the rest of spring practice while recovering from offseason surgery on his right ankle.

Woods caught 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns last season as a sophomore.

Auto racing

Some penalties against Knaus

are overturned by NASCAR

NASCAR's chief appellate officer overturned the bulk of the penalties levied against Chad Knaus, a five-time Sprint Cup championship-winning crew chief who still must pay a $100,000 fine because driver Jimmie Johnson's car failed the opening-day inspection of the Daytona 500.

Chief appellate officer John Middlebrook overturned the six-race suspensions NASCAR gave Knaus and car chief Ron Malec, ruling both instead will be on probation through May 9.

Middlebrook also reinstated the 25 points Johnson had been docked, which moves the driver to 11th place in the Sprint Cup standings.

Soccer

Messi sets Barcelona record

Lionel Messi surpassed Cesar Rodriguez's 57-year-old Barcelona career scoring record, getting his eighth hat trick of the season in a 5-3 Spanish-league victory over Granada that increased his goals total to 234. Cesar scored the last of his 232 goals for Barcelona in 1955.

A three-time FIFA player of the year, Messi increased his season total to a career-best 54 goals.

Muamba recovery continues

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 23, showed encouraging signs in his recovery from a cardiac arrest, three days after collapsing on the field during an English Premier League match against Tottenham.

Muamba began breathing independently again and speaking Monday. He had a "comfortable night" in intensive care, doctors said Tuesday.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle talked to Muamba in a London hospital and said, "There is still a long way to go but there are encouraging signs ... and we pray he continues to improve."

Vancouver player burns himself

Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks, 21, burned his upper right arm and shoulder while making dinner Sunday and is being treated at a hospital.

Officials for the Major League Soccer team said they expect a "complete recovery in due time."

Elsewhere

• Laure Manaudou, a 2004 Olympic champion swimmer making a comeback at age 25, qualified for this year's London Games by winning the 100-meter backstroke in 1 minute, 0.16 seconds at the French championships.

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