Sports briefs: April 24

April 24, 2013 

College football

What was the runner-up? BCS anoints College Football Playoff

The Bowl Championship Series will be replaced by the College Football Playoff. The BCS conference commissioners — during the first of three days of meetings at a resort hotel in Pasadena, Calif., the backyard of the Rose Bowl — announced the name of the new post-season system that starts in 2014 on Tuesday. They also will choose this week the remaining three sites for the six-bowl semifinal rotation in the new system and the site of the first title game to be held Jan. 12, 2015. The website www.collegefootballplayoff.com is already up and running and allowing fans to vote on a new logo.

"It's really simple. It gets right to the point," said BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who will hold the same position in the playoff system. "Nothing cute. Nothing fancy. We decided it would be best to call it what it is."

A committee of commissioners handled the naming of the new system. Hancock said they ran through "in the neighborhood of three dozen" names.

Before the news was reported, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said he'd be happy with whatever was selected.

"I'm am not good with names — obviously," Delany said with a smile, referring to the Big Ten's division names, Legends and Leaders, that produced so much negative feedback the conference has already decided to change them.


UK Sports Rossi rises to No. 5 in tennis singles

Kentucky senior Anthony Rossi (22-5 on the season) ascended to a career-high ranking as he climbed to No. 5 in singles, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced. Rossi picked up two more victories at the Southeastern Conference Tournament, over the 12th- and sixth-ranked players nationally.

After playing 11 of its last 15 games on the road, Kentucky's No. 19 softball team hosts No. 8 Louisville on Wednesday to begin a four-game homestand. The Wildcats (34-14, 10-8 SEC) are coming off a 3-2 week on the road. Louisville (42-6, 15-1 Big East) enters the game having won 15 straight.

Kentucky led the league with 49 student-athletes on the SEC Winter Sports Academic Honor Roll announced Tuesday. UK's honorees included five players from men's basketball, three from women's basketball, eight gymnasts, eight from the rifle team and 25 from men's and six women's swimmers. The honor roll is based on grades from 2012. A student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average, be at least a sophomore academically and meet other qualifications.

Kentucky sophomore center fielder Austin Cousino was named to USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team for the second year in a row. Cousino led the USA squad in hitting last summer.


College basketball

Tide star Lacey is transferring

Alabama guard Trevor Lacey, who led the team in assists and three-pointers, is transferring before his junior season.

Crimson Tide Coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday that he has granted the two-year starter a release from his scholarship.

"It was a family decision to pursue other opportunities," Lacey said in a release. "This definitely was not an easy decision to make."

He didn't say where he planned to finish his career.

Lacey was the only Tide player to start all 36 games last season. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He also made a team-high 62 three-pointers.

Morehead State is adding LSU transfer Jalen Courtney, a 6-foot-8, 228-pound forward. Courtney averaged 2.1 points and as many rebounds off the bench for the Tigers last season.

Marshall guard DeAndre Kane won't return for his senior season. Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said Tuesday he met with Kane and decided it was in the player's "best interest that he seek opportunities elsewhere." Herrion didn't elaborate.

Kane was second in team scoring at 15.1 points per game last season. He also was second in assists and fourth in rebounds.

Duke says Marshall Plumlee will be out 12-16 weeks after having left foot surgery on Tuesday. The 6-foot-11 Blue Devil injured his foot late in the pre-season, missed the first nine games and dealt with the injury all year while averaging 0.1 points and 0.6 rebounds..


Cycling USADA plays old iffin' game on Lance

If Lance Armstrong had cooperated with the investigation conducted by the U.S. Anti Doping Agency last summer, he would've been allowed to keep five of his seven Tour de France titles.

Bill Bock, who is general counsel for USADA, made that announcement Monday night during a symposium sponsored by the Texas Program in Sports and Media at the University of Texas. Armstrong declined the chance, so USADA banned him for life and stripped him of all his results dating to 1998. "One of our ideas was to give amnesty for riders," Bock said, "to give them incentive to get the full picture so they don't have all those skeletons in the closet."

Eleven riders provided information to USADA. The ones who were still competing received only six-month suspensions.

The Justice Department laid out its case in a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong on Tuesday, saying the cyclist violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service and was "unjustly enriched" while cheating to win the Tour de France. The filing says the USPS paid Armstrong $17 million form 1998-2004.


Baseball

Legends waste rally in Asheville

Francisco Sosa's two-out, two-run triple in the seventh gave host Asheville the lead, and the Tourists held on to beat the Lexington Legends 4-3 in the opener of a three-game series Tuesday night.

Bubba Starling had two hits and two RBI for the Legends, who overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Raul Mondesi had two hits and an RBI for the Legends. Mondesi has driven in 14 runs in his last 12 games.


Etc. Bayern humbles Barcelona in semifinal

Bayern Munich made a brutally efficient case that it is the team to beat in the Champions League this season, humbling visiting Barcelona, 4-0, on Tuesday in the first leg of their semifinal in Munich. Thomas Müller scored two goals and set up two others, "They gave us a thrashing," Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué said. It was Barcelona's biggest loss in the Champions League since 1997.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he has reached agreement with the NFL to better protect gay players from harassment and discrimination. Schneiderman announced Tuesday that the NFL will promote what the Democrat calls a "culture of inclusion" for gay players. The deal includes hanging posters in the locker room that underscore the NFL's anti-discrimination policies.

Just because the home of the Masters has female members, the Royal & Ancient has no plans to pressure the all-male clubs in the British Open rotation to follow suit. The British Open is being played this summer at Muirfield, which has an all-male membership. Royal Troon and St. Andrews also have no female members.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said Tuesday he would not "bully" those clubs into changing their membership as long as they follow the equality laws of the United Kingdom.


The last word

Are expectations weighing on the Washington Nationals, who lost Tuesday for the eighth time in their past 11 games?

"Maybe from everybody picking us as a candidate to win our division," said Manager Davey Johnson, who himself came up with the phrase "World Series or bust" to describe what the Nationals have said will be his final season as their manager.

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