Authorities in Chapel Hill, N.C., have charged two women and a man with a weekend attack on three North Carolina football players, which police said was motivated by robbery and included the sexual assault of at least two players.

Police said the players were attacked early Sunday at their off-campus apartment. All three were bound with tape, and the man threatened the players with a butcher knife, according to police. None of the players required medical attention.

Authorities charged

Monique Jenice Taylor,

28,

Tnika Monta Washington,

29, and

Michael Troy Lewis,

32, with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit a felony, and resisting arrest. All three were from the Durham-Greenville area.

Taylor and Washington also were charged with a first-degree sexual offense. Lewis also was charged with robbery, possession of stolen goods and assault on government officials.

New football coach

Rich Rodriguez

fired nine of Michigan's assistant coaches on his second day as an employee of the university.

Lloyd Carr

and his staff will coach the Wolverines against Florida in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, then Rodriguez will take over.

All of Carr's assistants signed two-year contracts in March that will pay them through Feb. 28, 2009.

Backup cornerback

Eugene Clifford

will not play for Ohio State in the BCS national championship game against LSU after he was suspended yesterday for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Columbus station WCMH-TV and the Columbus Dispatch had reported earlier that Clifford, a freshman, and starting cornerback

Donald Washington

had been suspended for the Jan. 7 game in New Orleans. The school released a statement later saying that only Clifford would be suspended. Ohio State athletic director

Gene Smith

did not immediately return a message.

Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator

Norm Chow

pulled his name from consideration for UCLA's head coaching job. He was interviewed last weekend.

Wisconsin's

Travis Beckum

, a third team all-American at tight end, plans to return for his senior season with the Badgers.

Golf

Michelle Wie

might start her 2008 season at LPGA Tour events in Hawaii, but not at the PGA's Sony Open. Wie, who has played the PGA Tour event every year since 2004, did not receive one of the four unrestricted sponsor's exemptions, tournament director Ray Stosik said.

Horse racing

The ownership of Breeders' Cup Classic winner

Curlin

has changed again:

Jess Jackson

bought out another partner and now has an 80 percent interest in the 3-year-old colt. Jackson bought out investment banker

George Bolton

in a private sale.

Noteworthy

ESPN anchor

Stuart Scott

will return to the microphone tonight after an emergency appendectomy last month revealed a malignant tumor.

Scott had to leave the

Monday Night Football

game between Miami and Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 to have his appendix removed. Doctors discovered the tumor during surgery; a second, precautionary surgery followed to eliminate surrounding tissue.

Ryan Gunderson

of the Trenton Devils has been named to the American Conference squad for the East Coach Hockey League All-Star Game Jan. 23 in Stockton, Calif. A Bensalem native, Gunderson is a graduate of Holy Ghost Prep.