Ex-49er sentenced
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A former San Francisco 49er was sentenced to 12-months probation after pleading no contest to charges that he tried to obtain a controlled substance by forgery or alteration of a prescription.
Jeff McCurley, 23, of Smalls Ferry Road, Enon Valley, was also ordered to pay a $300 fine, court costs, and be assessed by the National Football League's program for substance abusers on Friday by Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Ralph J. Pratt.
McCurley had pleaded no contest to the charges on Jan. 6; he had been arrested in August.
An affidavit filed to support the charges says McCurley was being treated by an area doctor and was given a prescription for Flonase, Allegra and Celebrex on July 2, 2002. McCurley is accused of trying to get an altered prescription filled at the Village Pharmacy in North Beaver Township on July 22, court records said. The original prescription had been altered when the word Celebrex was erased and Vicodin was inserted, said Pennsylvania State Police.
McCurley, a former University of Pittsburgh football standout, was a center for the San Francisco 49ers. He is now expected to pay professional football for NFL Europe.
Browns sign Heidento two-year deal
CLEVELAND -- Free agent tight end Steve Heiden signed a two-year contract Monday with the Cleveland Browns.
Heiden played in all 16 regular-season games for the Browns last season, catching 17 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder was one of the club's top special teams players.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Browns also signed free agent quarterback Pat Barnes and defensive tackle Adriano Belli. Defensive end Michael Boireau agreed to terms on a deal with the Browns, who were awarded safety Jason Moore on waivers from San Francisco.
Steelers' tackle Jackson retires
PITTSBURGH -- Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman John Jackson retired Monday.
Jackson started 166 of 203 games during his 14-year career.
A 10th-round draft pick from Eastern Kentucky, Jackson played for the Steelers from 1988-97, then signed with San Diego as a free agent. He also spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Golf show
CLEVELAND -- The fourth IMG National Golf Expo will be held Feb. 21-23 at the I-X Center.
This year the show will feature LPGA Hall of Fame standout Nancy Lopez, who will be appearing Feb. 22. The show will open one hour early on that date for ladies only and those attending will be invited to a free continental breakfast and meet Lopez from 8:30 to 9 a.m.
Tickets for the show will be available at the door for $10 for adults and $9 for seniors. Children under 12 are admitted free.
Tressel to receiveaward from FCA
COLUMBUS -- The Central Ohio Fellowship of Christian Athletes announced the recipient of its annual "Ohio Sports Legend" award will be Jim Tressel, who will be honored at the organization's April 11 dinner and auction.
Former Ohio State and NFL linebacker Chris Spielman will be the evening's featured speaker.
Pace namedfranchise player
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams were unable to reach a long-term contract with Orlando Pace and placed the franchise player tag on the Pro Bowl offensive tackle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted Jay Zygmunt, president of football operations.
New Seattle chief
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Bob Ferguson was introduced as the Seattle Seahawks' new general manager, a job that means working with the man he replaces, coach Mike Holmgren.
Golf roundup
* MIAMI -- Fuzzy Zoeller, disqualified from a Champions Tour event for trying to conduct an instruction tip on the golf course Friday at the Royal Caribbean Classic, says commissioner Tim Finchem called to apologize.
* TRUMBULL, Conn. -- Annika Sorenstam could be offered an exemption to the Colonial in May in Fort Worth, Texas, and become the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour, Golf World reported.
* AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Martha Burk, the head of the National Council of Women's Organizations, made her first visit to Augusta on Saturday to scout possible protest sites near Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters.
Baseball roundup
* MONTREAL -- Orlando Hernandez and the Montreal Expos agreed to a one-year contract worth $4.1 million. The 37-year-old right-hander can make $200,000 extra in performance bonuses.
* SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman is unlikely to be healthy by opening day.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Hoffman, 35, could require a second operation on his pitching shoulder, a setback that probably would sideline him for more than two months.
Vindicator staff/wire reports

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