BCS eases access for at-large teams
The Bowl Championship Series lowered the bar for at-large qualifiers. Instead of having to finish in the top 12 of the final BCS standings, teams finishing in the top 14 will now be eligible for one of the lucrative postseason berths. The change, announced after three days of meetings in Phoenix, reflects the addition of a fifth BCS bowl, which means there will be 10 BCS slots instead of eight next season.
Instant replay The NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended that a coach be allowed to interrupt play for a review and retain his right to challenge as long as he's correct. Conference commissioners are considering the proposal this week.
Southern California Redshirt freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez was arrested in Los Angeles after being accused of sexually assaulting a female student, police said. Sanchez, 19, is listed as the backup to John David Booty but has been expected to compete for the starting job this fall.
Baylor Daniel Sepulveda, a second-team All-America punter, is scheduled for surgery today in Dallas after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a pickup basketball game.
Moxley expected to leave for Charlotte
Maryland assistant Rob Moxley is expected to accept an associate head coaching position at Charlotte, but as of last night no contract had been signed, sources confirmed. Moxley, who recently finished his first season with the Terps, was hired last April from Charlotte, where he spent seven seasons and earned the reputation as a top recruiter. While he was there, the 49ers earned six trips to the postseason, including five berths in the NCAA tournament. At Charlotte, Moxley would likely be groomed as the successor to head coach Bobby Lutz. Since the Terps won the NCAA championship in 2002, Maryland has lost the following assistants to head coaching jobs: Jimmy Patsos, Dave Dickerson, Billy Hahn and Mike Lonergan. Mary land coach Gary Williams was not immediately available for comment last night.
West Virginia coach John Beilein and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin - both linked to the North Carolina State opening in recent days - each said he would remain in his current jobs and not replace Herb Sendek, who left the Wolfpack for Arizona State earlier this month. Beilein, who led the Mountaineers on NCAA tournament runs the past two seasons, said yesterday that speculation that he had accepted another job was "erroneous." Lavin, who was 145-78 with UCLA from 1996 to 2003, plans to continue as a television analyst after spending the past three seasons with ABC Sports and ESPN, according to a report on ESPN.com.
George Mason Jim Larranaga, who coached the Patriots to an improbable berth in the Final Four, was rewarded with a contract extension that will keep him at the university through 2011-12. George Mason had never won an NCAA tournament game until Larranaga, 56, led his at-large team to victories over Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut in March. The Patriots became the first true mid-major team since the 1970s to reach the Final Four, where they lost to eventual national champion Florida. He turned down a chance to interview for the vacancy at Seton Hall and instead concentrated on negotiating a contract extension with Mason.
Winfield joins another Hall
Dave Winfield is a Hall of Famer again, this time for his pitching and slugging back when he was the big man on campus. The for mer University of Minnesota star, enshrined in Cooperstown for his major league success, was among 10 former players and coaches elected yesterday as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame's inaugural class. Winfield was joined by fellow former big leaguers Will Clark, (Mississippi State), Bob Horner (Arizona State), Brooks Kieschnick (Texas) and Robin Ventura (Oklahoma State). Coaches elected to the new shrine in Lubbock, Texas, were Southern California's Rod Dedeaux, LSU's Skip Bertman, Miami's Ron Fraser, Texas' Cliff Gustafson and Arizona State's Bobby Winkles.
Horse racing Noble Stella held on in the stretch to win by a half-length in the $107,400, Grade III Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
Soccer Host FC Barcelona used a 0-0 tie with AC Milan to advance to the Champions League final against Arsenal on May 17 outside Paris. The Spanish team won the series 1-0 thanks to a victory at Milan in the first leg last week.