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Digest (March 27): American Athletic Conference, ESPN agree to 12-year contract

Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said the media rights deal that was announced on Wednesday "totally justifies" the Naval Academy's decision to join the American Athletic Conference . ESPN and the American Athletic Conference announced a 12-year contract that will begin during the 2020-2021 academic year. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Sports Business Journal reported the deal is worth $1 billion. If that figure is accurate, the annual payout for all the full-fledged member schools would be approximately $7 million. That would result in a $5 million per year increase per school as compared to the previous contract. "This is an historic day for the conference. We could not be happier to be extending our partnership with ESPN, a great media partner whose platforms over the past six years provided us with the ability to build a nationally-respected brand," AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said. "This agreement positions us well in the changing media landscape and moves us closer to our Power Six goal. Although we do not release financial information, this agreement provides financial security and additional resources for our member schools who have competed incredibly effectively even with limited resources." Navy is a football-only member of the American Athletic Conference so it is unclear what its cut of the media rights contract will be. Gladchuk knew enough about the numbers to project a dramatic increase in annual revenue. "It will be significantly more than we realize today and will greatly enhance our ability to meet a wide array of needs on a lot of different fronts at the Naval Academy," Gladchuk said.

— Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun Media Group

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Soccer

Spirit announce rosterfor NWSL training camp

The Washington Spirit has announced its 26-player roster during Week 4 of National Women's Soccer League preseason training camp. Included on the 26-player roster are six non-roster invitees. Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh and Andi Sullivan have joined the club after the conclusion of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup. Cheyna Matthews has joined the camp after she represented Jamaica in a pair of friendlies against Chile. Washington's next 2019 preseason game is Saturday at Evergreen SportsPlex in Leesburg, Va., against the University of North Carolina .

Spirit preseason roster

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Bledsoe, Shae Yanez, Kelsey Wys

Defenders: Megan Crosson, Mallory Eubanks, Amy Harrison, Tegan McGrady, Sam Staab, Paige Nielsen, Dorian Bailey, Mackenzie Berryhill, Carlin Hudson

Midfielders: Meggie Dougherty Howard, Rose Lavelle, Joanna Lohman, Andi Sullivan, Chloe Logarzo, Tori Huster, Jordan DiBiasi

Forwards: Cali Farquharson, Ashley Hatch, Arielle Ship, Mallory Pugh, Cheyna Matthews, Bayley Feist , Tiffany McCarty

Colleges

Salisbury unanimous pickas top D-III lacrosse team

Salisbury remained atop the Inside Lacrosse Division III men's poll as it was voted the unanimous top team in the nation. The Sea Gulls turned in a 1-0 week defeating SUNY Geneseo, 18-3, on Saturday. The Sea Gulls collected all 13 first-place votes. Amherst retained the No. 2 spot in the poll while Tufts (237) and Rochester Institute of Technology held on to the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively. Capital Athletic Conference rival York rounds out the top five. The Sea Gulls improved to 10-0 on Wednesday with a 13-5 victory over No. 6 Cabrini. ... Stevenson outscored previously unbeaten Hood 13-1 in the second half en route to a 21-5 MAC Commonwealth victory.

Women's lacrosse: Dana Stevens (River Hill) scored seven goals to lead Stevenson to a 21-7 non-conference victory over Elizabethtown. ... Alison Pantazes had three goals and an assist to lead Washington College to a 10-9 victory over No. 25 St. Mary's. ... Fourth-ranked Salisbury defeated sixth-ranked Franklin & Marshall, 9-5, behind a strong defensive performance and four goals from Gabby Mongno.

Men's volleyball: Kyle Bosko had 10 kills as Stevenson won its 13th straight match with a sweep of Messiah.

Football: Dan Wodicka, a 2014 Johns Hopkins graduate and a former member of the Blue Jay coaching staff, will return to Homewood as Johns Hopkins' special teams coordinator and defensive line coach.

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From Sun staff and news services

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