The Atlantic Coast Conference is pushing for legislation to sharply reduce the time given underclassmen to decide their NBA draft status, and league president John Swofford said the movement has support from the other five major conferences. According to current rules, underclassmen must declare for the draft in late April and have until mid-June to withdraw and return to school if they haven't hired an agent. Under the proposal, that period would be cut to seven to 10 days after the Final Four. ACC associate commissioner Karl Hicks said the matter could be considered next week by a committee of NCAA presidents. Hicks said if the presidents agree to put the legislation up for vote, the earliest it could take effect is September 2009 - too late to affect next year's recruiting class or NBA draft. Several coaches, including North Carolina's Roy Williams, said that period leaves them waiting to find out what kind of team they'll have for the following season. Those draft decisions come after their signing period for recruits ends on April 15.
More ACC: : North Carolina, coming off a 36-win season and a trip to the Final Four, has been selected as the early favorite to win the 12-team league for the second straight year and the Tar Heels' Tyler Hansbrough is the unanimous early choice for Player of the Year, as voted on by media attending the conference's preseason gathering. Maryland was chosen to finish seventh.
1st-time competitors win Marine Corps Marathon
First-time marathoners won the men's and women's divisions of the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. Andrew Dumm of Washington took the men's race, finishing the course among the monuments in the nation's capital in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 42 seconds, and Cate Fenster of Wooster, Ohio, led the women's field in 2:39:32. Fred Joslyn, 24, of Rochester, Mich., finished second in 2:23:52 and was followed by Corey Duquette, 26, of Pensacola, Fla., in 2:24:38. Lindsay Wilkins, 30, of Arlington, was second among the women in 2:49:04, and was followed by Melissa Tanner, 27, of Bethesda.
Beckman rallies to beat Sutherland in playoff
Cameron Beckman tapped in a par putt on the second playoff hole to beat Kevin Sutherland in the PGA Frys.com Open in Scottsdale, Ariz. Beckman, 447th in the world ranking, was four shots behind Sutherland at the turn, then made birdies on five of the next seven holes. Sutherland missed putts of 13 and 9 feet that would have won it at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole, also the 18th. It was the second playoff loss for Sutherland this year.
LPGA Grand China Air:: Helen Alfredsson shot a 7-under-par 65 to win in Haikou, beating LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng by three strokes for her second victory of the season. Alfredsson and Tseng (68) trailed second-round leader Karen Stupples by five strokes entering the final round of the first LPGA tournament in China. Alfredsson birdied six of the first 10 holes.
Champions AT&T; Championship:: John Cook won the event for the second year in a row, shooting a 6-under 65 to beat Keith Fergus by three strokes in San Antonio. Cook hadn't won since the AT&T; last year.
Federer earns Swiss title for third straight year
U.S. Open champion Roger Federer won his hometown tournament for the third straight year, beating second seed David Nalbandian of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel. It was Federer's fourth title of the season. Afterward, Federer's agent, Tony Godsick, told the Associated Press that Federer will cut exhibition matches from his 2009 schedule as he pursues Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.
Elsewhere:: Top seed Andy Murray won the ATP St. Petersburg (Russia) Open for the second straight year by beating qualifier Andrey Golubev, 6-1, 6-1. Murray, who also won at the Madrid Masters the previous week, became the first British player to win back-to-back tour-level titles since Mark Cox took events in London and Washington in March 1975. ... Olympic champion Elena Dementieva won her third title of the year, outlasting Caroline Wozniacki, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4), in the WTA Fortis Championships in Luxembourg. ... Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic routed No. 2-seeded Vera Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-1, in the final of the WTA Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria, to win her first title since the French Open.
Season-ending loss denies D.C. United a playoff spot
Brad Evans scored the only goal and the host Columbus Crew denied D.C. United a Major League Soccer playoff berth with a 1-0 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams. United (11-15-4) finished with 37 points, handing the New York Red Bulls the final wild-card spot with 39. Columbus (17-7-6) already had secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with the league's best record.
More soccer: : David Beckham initiated contact to arrange a loan deal to play for AC Milan, said club vice president Adriano Galliani, who added that "it's not assured that he'll come." Galliani announced last week that Milan was close to signing the former England captain on a loan deal from the MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy. Galliani estimated that Beckham would play for two to three months with AC Milan starting in January. Beckham, 33, is keen to play in Europe in the MLS offseason to keep fit and available for England's national team. ... Liverpool ended Chelsea's 86-match home winning streak with a 1-0 win in Premier League play in London.
College football:: David Johnson threw for 264 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as No. 19 Tulsa overpowered visiting Central Florida, 49-19, in the Golden Hurricane's first game in the Top 25 in 17 years. Damaris Johnson made up for a critical first-half fumble by returning the second-half kickoff 70 yards to set up a go-ahead touchdown. David Johnson zoomed in from 10 yards out to give Tulsa (8-0, 5-0 Conference USA) a 21-19 lead, and he kept the nation's top-ranked offense in gear from then on. The Knights fell to 2-5, 1-2. ... Wisconsin's Travis Beckum, one of the nation's top tight ends, is out for the season after breaking his left leg in Saturday's win over Illinois. Beckum had delayed declaring for the NFL draft to play his senior season. ... Pittsburgh quarterback Bill Stull was released from the hospital after he suffered a concussion and a sore neck Saturday against Rutgers. Stull's status for this week's game against Notre Dame is uncertain.
Pro basketball: : Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson said he's on the verge of agreeing to a two-year contract extension through 2010-11. Nelson said the deal is financially similar to his current contract, which ends this season. Such a deal would be worth about $12 million for Nelson, 68. He rejoined the Warriors in 2006 and immediately led the club to its first playoff appearance in 13 years. Golden State won 48 games last season.
Bowling: : Norm Duke became the first player in Professional Bowlers Association history to win three consecutive majors with a victory in the PBA World Championship in Wichita, Kan. Duke beat 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes in the final, 259-189, to win his second straight world title. Duke also had consecutive wins at two other majors: the 2007-08 Denny's World Championship and the U.S. Open.
Auto racing:: Ryan Briscoe took the lead when pole-sitter Will Power crashed into the wall on the 17th lap and went on to win the Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The result gave Team Penske its first victory Down Under since Emerson Fittipaldi won in 1992. It was also the first victory by a native driver in the Australian race. Briscoe finished 0.5019 of a second ahead of Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon on the 2.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit.
Swimming: : Robert Hurley of Australia broke the short-course world record in the 50-meter backstroke at a World Cup meet in Sydney, Australia. Hurley (23.24 seconds) took 0.03 of a second off the previous mark set by Germany's Thomas Rupprath.
Varsity: : The Baltimore County volleyball championships will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Towson.