Howard soccer coach arrested in Internet sex sting

The head coach of Howard University men's soccer team was arrested after police said he used the Internet to solicit a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sexual purposes.

Joseph Okoh, 40, was arrested Friday and charged with one felony count of using a communications system to solicit a person under 15 years old with lascivious intent. He was being held without bond at the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange pending a bond hearing Friday.

The Louisa County (Va.) Sheriff's Office said Okoh traveled from his home in Arlington for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The person was actually an undercover deputy.

A spokeswoman said Okoh, in his first year as Howard's coach, was suspended from all university activities and duties pending completion of the investigation.

"Because this is a personnel matter, we are unable to provide any further information at this time," Jennifer James-Pryor said in a statement. "However, Howard University has zero tolerance for the violation of any University policy and our code of conduct."

In other college news:

* Illinois freshman linebacker Erique Robertson, 19, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of firing a gun at a Champaign bar early Sunday. No one was hurt. He was suspended from the team.

* Larry Smith, who led USC to Rose Bowl appearances in his first three seasons coaching the Trojans, has died in Tucson, Ariz., following a long illness. He was 68 and reportedly had leukemia.

Horse Racing

* Russell Baze rode two winners at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif., leaving him three victories from becoming the first thoroughbred jockey to win 10,000 races.

* Donato Hanover was named 2007 Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Steve Elliott was trainer of the year and Tim Tetrick, who set records with 1,188 wins and $18.3 million in earnings in 2007, was driver of the year.

Sport Stops

* Michelle Wie, trying to rebound from a 2007 season of injuries, missed cuts and withdrawals, will begin the season in Hawaii for the fifth straight year, this time against the women, as she accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in The Fields Open next month at Ko Olina.

* Teemu Selanne returned to the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks, signing a 1-year deal after missing the first half of the season while contemplating retirement.

* The Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K on April 5 in Richmond, Va., was designated as the men's U.S. championship race. *