SEC golfers tee off;
Ole Miss' Lance leads
n The Southeastern Conference opened its golf championship play at two sites on Friday.
In the men's tournament at St. Simons Island, Ga., Mississippi State (293) is tied for fifth and Ole Miss (296) is seventh. Georgia (282) has an 8-shot lead over Arkansas.
Noah Goldman and Carlos Sainz lead MSU with 71s, tied for eighth individually.Will Roebuck shot a 70 for Ole Miss, and is fourth behind Kentucky's Jordan Blann (67).
In the women's tournament at Blythewood, S.C., Ole Miss (301) is tied for seventh and Mississippi State (318) is 12th. Auburn (289) leads Tennessee and Arkansas by six shots.
Ashley Lance is at 1-under 70 to lead Ole Miss, and shares the individual lead with two other golfers. Dori Carter shot a 73. Mississippi State's top golfers are Leigh Phillips (76) and Gina Sharp (77).
The second of three 18-hole rounds is today for both tournaments.
n Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State are at home this weekend for conference games. Ole Miss (18-24, 5-17) hosts No. 12 Tennessee (34-9-1, 10-6-1), with today's doubleheader staring at 1 p.m. Mississippi State (21-21, 3-14) hosts South Carolina (18-17, 4-14) at 11 a.m. for a doubleheader. Single games are scheduled for Sunday.
n Also on the Ole Miss campus, the women's tennis teams from Ole Miss (11-8, 4-6) and Mississippi State (10-8, 1-8) finish the regular season with a noon match. Ole Miss, ranked 25th this week, has won 19 straight matches over Mississippi State. More on the men's matchup in Starkville is on page 1B.
Indy driver Castroneves
acquitted in tax case
n MIAMI -- Helio Castroneves has kept his cool at speeds of more than 200 mph. There have been times he's collided with another race car and a wall -- and just walked away. He barely broke a sweat when he won the "Dancing with the Stars" TV contest in 2007.
But during his federal tax evasion trial, the handsome Castroneves was often emotional, openly sobbing in the courtroom and in front of the TV cameras outside.
On Friday, a federal jury acquitted the 33-year-old Castroneves on six counts of tax evasion but hung on one count of conspiracy, and Castroneves once again dissolved into tears -- of relief. He leaned against his attorneys for support and rubbed a rosary with hands that are more accustomed to gripping a steering wheel during times of stress.
The jury also acquitted his 35-year-old sister Katiucia Castroneves, who is also is business manager, on the tax evasion counts but also unable to reach a verdict on the conspiracy charge. Michigan motorsports attorney Alan Miller, 71, was acquitted on all three counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy.
state's deal with Saints
n BATON ROUGE, La. -- Two New Orleans lawmakers questioned a proposal for the state to lease office space from Saints owner Tom Benson as part of a deal to keep the NFL team in New Orleans.
Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Karen Carter Peterson say the state should be trying to find the fairest deal for replacing state office space in downtown New Orleans lost to Hurricane Katrina. And they say they aren't sure that's the priority in the Saints negotiations.
Those comments Friday came after a state senator said Benson intends to buy an office tower next to the Louisiana Superdome and the state will lease much of the building back from him.
The state and Saints are in negotiations aimed at extending the club's lease of the Superdome until 2025.
Daily Journal, wire reports