Laurel Park resumes taking outside entries
Horses from outside Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center are being allowed to run at Laurel Park under certain conditions. The restrictions forbidding off-site horses to run at the racetrack are being eased after test results for neurologic equine herpesvirus for more than 50 horses came back negative the past several days. Restrictions have been in place at Laurel since Friday after a 2-year-old filly became ill and tested positive for the condition. The filly was euthanized Saturday, but no other horses have shown symptoms of the disease and tests results on all other horses have been negative. Since Friday, only horses stabled at Laurel or at the Bowie Training Center have been allowed to race at the track. Now, off-site runners will be allowed to race, but horses who enter the track will have to be stabled at Laurel until the Maryland Department of Agriculture lifts a hold on the barn where the affected filly was stabled. That hold, which limits movement of the approximately two dozen horses in the barn, could be in place until Dec. 6, which is 21 days after the last clinical evidence of virus in the barn (the day the filly was euthanized). The Agriculture Department said "an aggressive testing protocol along with no positive tests or signs of disease may allow the hold order to be released" earlier than Dec. 6.
Bowl Championship Series games are moving to ESPN, becoming the latest high-profile sporting event to migrate from over-the-air television to cable. BCS coordinator John Swofford, the Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner, said he is confident that fewer and fewer viewers make a distinction between the traditional broadcast networks, such as Fox, the current home of the BCS, and cable channels, such as ESPN, which will start airing the games in January 2011. Playoff games in the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball are already broadcast on cable, as is Monday Night Football. ESPN announced last week that the British Open will be televised live exclusively on cable beginning in 2010. This marks the first time, though, that the decisive game in a major U.S. pro sports league or NCAA college football or men's basketball will air on cable. The BCS and ESPN announced a new four-year contract. ESPN outbid Fox, which is paying $80 million annually to broadcast the games from 2007 to 2010. ESPN's offer was for $125 million a year, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Texas: : Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has been designated as the head-coach-in-waiting by the university and is expected to take over the Longhorns when Mack Brown retires. Texas will more than double Muschamp's salary from $425,000 to $900,000 in January.
Navy: : President George W. Bush plans to take in the annual Army-Navy game next month. The 109th meeting between the teams takes place Dec. 6 in Philadelphia. Navy leads the series 52-49-7. Bush attended the game in 2001 and 2004.
Notre Dame:: Coach Charlie Weis will again call the offensive plays when the team plays Saturday against Syracuse. Weis called the plays for the Irish in their 27-21 win over Navy on Saturday at M&T; Bank Stadium. He said offensive coordinator Mike Haywood would miss one or two practices this week for "personal reasons."
Armstrong concerned about safety at Tour
Lance Armstrong fears he could be attacked by spectators if he returns to the Tour de France next year. The seven-time Tour champion, who is making a comeback after three years in retirement, said in an interview in The Guardian that he is worried about his safety. "I don't want to enter an unsafe situation, but you see this stuff coming out of France," said the American rider, who has many critics in France. "There are some aggressive, angry emotions." It's unclear why Armstrong is worried about his safety now, given that attacks on riders are extremely rare. Armstrong, 37, plans to meet with Tour officials before deciding whether to compete in the 2009 Tour.
Basketball:: USA Basketball is moving its headquarters from Colorado Springs, Colo., to the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, adding to the city's growing roster of sports facilities. The complex will be adjacent to the Phoenix Coyotes' Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium, which is home to the Arizona Cardinals and the Fiesta Bowl.
College basketball:: The NCAA will announce the host cities today for the men's basketball Final Fours from 2012 through 2016. They will be selected from the 10 bids submitted in June: Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix, San Antonio and St. Louis. The 2009 Final Four will be at Ford Field in Detroit, followed by Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in 2010 and Reliant Stadium in Houston in 2011.
More college basketball:: Mississippi junior forward Eniel Polynice had knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Polynice averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 34 games last season.
NHL:: Sergei Samsonov and Ray Whitney scored 3 1/2 minutes apart in the third period to help the host Hurricanes rally past the Canadiens, 2-1. ... Marek Zidlicky scored the only goal in a shootout and the visiting Wild won, 2-1, ending the Penguins' six-game winning streak. ... Shawn Horcoff had a goal and two assists, and the Oilers beat the host Blue Jackets, 7-2. .... Bryan McCabe scored twice in regulation and Nathan Horton had the lone goal in a shootout as the Panthers beat the host Lightning, 4-3. ... Nikolai Khabibulin made 36 saves through overtime, then stopped two shots in a shootout as the visiting Blackhawks edged the Coyotes, 3-2.
NASCAR:: Hall of Fame Racing, the team owned by Arizona Diamondbacks executives, will cut its staff even if it secures sponsorship to run a full 2009 season. Other teams aren't waiting. Petty Enterprises, The Wood Brothers, Bill Davis Racing and Ernie Elliott's engine shop all reduced their staffs since Sunday's season finale.
Golf:: Seve Ballesteros, 51, was released from intensive care in Madrid, Spain, after brain surgery on a malignant tumor. The Spaniard will remain in the hospital to continue rehabilitation after three operations in 18 days.
Tennis:: Roger Federer overcame an ailing back to beat James Blake, 7-6 (10-7), in a one-set exhibition match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The victory came days after a sore back contributed his struggles at the Masters Cup.