ALLEN JERKENS, the Hall of Fame trainer who pulled off some of horse racing's biggest upsets and was affectionately known as "The Chief," has died. He was 85.

Jerkens had been ill for several weeks, and had been admitted to a hospital in Aventura, Fla., earlier in the month. He died yesterday, according to his son, Jimmy Jerkens.

Horses from Allen Jerkens' barn twice pulled off memorable upsets of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, first with Onion in the '73 Whitney Handicap and then with Prove Out in the Woodward Stakes. In the 1960s, his Beau Purple upset five-time Horse of the Year Kelso three times, which led to Jerkens' other nickname, "The Giant Killer."

Among other horses he trained were 1994 champion older female Sky Beauty, Devil His Due, Missy's Mirage and Emma's Encore. He won more than 3,800 races who earned more than $100 million, and was still actively training before entering the hospital.

Colleges

* A co-head coach of the University of Maryland Baltimore County women's lacrosse team has been fired following a text message scandal that led to five players being suspended. The school's athletic department said in a statement that

Tony Giro

is no longer with the program and is "on leave from the university." Amy Slade is now head lacrosse coach. The five players were suspended indefinitely for writing text messages that threatened freshmen on the team.

* Police in Columbia, Mo., say they've closed their investigation of a former University of Missouri swimmer's claims she'd been raped by several football players, months before she ultimately committed suicide. Police said the probe launched in January of last year failed to identify a suspect in the case of Sasha Menu Courey.

Baseball

* Tampa Bay Rays pitcher

Alex Cobb

has tendinitis in his right forearm and will miss his planned Opening-Day start against Baltimore on April 6. The team hopes Cobb can return later in April.

* Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, a three-time All-Star, has elbow tendinitis following his return from Tommy John surgery and won't play until at least Sunday.

Sport Stops

* American tennis player

Wayne Odesnik

was banned for 15 years after a second doping violation, a sanction that essentially ends his career. The International Tennis Federation said the 29-year-old Odesnik tested positive for several banned substances, including steroids, during tests in December and January. The ban was back-dated to Jan. 30 and will run until Jan. 29, 2030.

Lance Armstrong talked last week with the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in hopes of potentially reducing his lifetime ban from the sport, according to media reports. Armstrong and Travis Tygart reportedly met for 6 hours. The two have publicly sparred since the agency's investigation into doping by Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service team led to Armstrong's ban and his being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

* Masters champion Bubba Watson withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., because a childhood friend died unexpectedly.

Abby Wambach is taking the season off from playing in the National Women's Soccer League to focus solely on representing the United States in the World Cup this summer.

Lindsey Vonn clinched the World Cup downhill title for the seventh time by winning the last race in the discipline at the season-ending finals in Meribel, France.