The brother of figure skater

Nancy Kerrigan

was acquitted yesterday of manslaughter in the death of their 70-year-old father by a jury that apparently agreed with his defense that the elder man died of heart disease, not from a scuffle between the two.

Mark Kerrigan, 46, was convicted, though, of a misdemeanor assault and battery charge in a January 2010 altercation with Daniel Kerrigan at the family's home in Stoneham, just north of Boston.

Nancy Kerrigan and her mother, Brenda, embraced and cried after the verdict was read; the skater had supported her brother and attended every day of the 9-day trial in Woburn (Mass.) Superior Court.

"My family has never believed at all that my brother had anything to do with my father's death, and he would - my dad would - never have wanted any of this," Nancy Kerrigan said outside the courthouse after the verdict, standing with other family members.

Defense attorney Janice Bassil said mother and daughter plan to give victim impact statements when Mark Kerrigan is sentenced today. He faces a maximum 2 1/2 years in a county jail.

Prosecutors said Mark Kerrigan caused his father's death after he grabbed him around the neck with such force that he broke cartilage in his father's larynx and triggered heart failure. Kerrigan's defense lawyers, however, called medical experts who testified that Daniel Kerrigan had 85 percent to 100 percent blockage of three main coronary arteries and that the cardiac dysrhythmia that killed him likely began before he had any physical interaction with his son.

Colleges

* Villanova will play Missouri and Marquette will face Washington in the Jimmy V Classic Dec. 6 at Madison Square Garden.

* Penn State's homecoming game on Oct. 15 against Purdue will be a noon kickoff. The other announced starting time for a Nittany Lions game is 7 p.m., Oct. 22 at Northwestern.

* The NCAA has rejected Southern California's appeal to reduce the sanctions imposed last year on its football program, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

* Auburn basketball coach Tony Barbee said leading scorer and rebounder Earnest Ross is leaving the program by mutual agreement.

* North Carolina basketball player Jessica Breland won the Honda Inspiration Award after returning to the court following treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Breland was diagnosed with the disease in May 2009 and received chemotherapy. She sat out a year and returned to basketball this season. She averaged 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in the ACC Tournament.

Soccer

* Julio Grondona, the head of the Argentine Football Association, confirmed that doping controls were done away with during the World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia in 1993, a move he says was aimed at protecting Diego Maradona and other players. The acknowledgment of the lack of testing was Grondona's first statement following charges by Maradona in a television interview that the powerful FIFA vice president knew about the arrangement and allowed it to happen.

* A Finnish club said a former goalkeeper, Willis Ochieng, allegedly accepted bribes, the 12th player suspected of involvement in a widening match-fixing in the Nordic country's football league.