NKU president expects move to Division I by next year
Northern Kentucky University is expected to be playing Division I sports by next fall, and an invitation from a Division I conference should come by the end of this year, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. "We've had multiple conferences approach us but we're only talking with one," President Jim Votruba told the Enquirer on Wednesday.
NKU's expected destination is the Ohio Valley Conference, which includes Eastern Kentucky, Murray State and Morehead State. NKU would not be eligible for postseason play but it could play a Division I schedule and could host tournaments on its campus.
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The upgrade is one of NKU's main strategies to increase visibility and enrollment, which leaders hope will attract more private donations and improve academic programs.
NKU is currently a member of the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference. Votruba said it belongs in Division I because of its 15,000 students and $220 million annual budget.
Miami player under investigation
Miami Hurricanes basketball player DeQuan Jones will sit out the season while the NCAA investigates allegations he was recruited with the help of $10,000 cash from a booster. The school issued a two-sentence release Thursday saying the 6-foot-7 senior won't play this season and will continue to "cooperate fully" with the NCAA. The Hurricanes and new coach Jim Larranaga play their opener Friday at home against Tennessee Tech.
Daly hits 7 balls into water, exits event
John Daly hit seven balls into the water on the 11th hole and stormed off the golf course at the Australian Open on Thursday. Daly was banned from playing in the Australian PGA in two weeks, and he might not be welcome back. "It's very disappointing for the tournament ... that he has treated the championship this way," Trevor Herden, Golf Australia's director of tournaments, said Thursday. Daly was 7 over after 10 holes in the first round after becoming upset on the 10th hole when he hit a practice ball out of a bunker, believing it was his tee shot. The two-shot penalty and a three-putt that followed gave him a triple bogey. On the 11th, he hit ball after ball into the water, some landing in the center of the pond, before a tour official joined him. Moments later, Daly shook hands with playing partners Craig Parry of Australia and American Hunter Mahan and walked off the course. He would have been hitting his 16th shot if he had more golf balls.
Daly said on Twitter, "when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player's partners hands & signed my card w/rules official." In a text message to The Associated Press, Daly said he hasn't had confidence in his game since he was injured five years ago, and that he never thought he would run out of balls during a round.
Tiger Woods shot a 4-under 68 Thursday, leaving him three shots behind first-round leader Jarrod Lyle. Lyle moved atop the leader board Friday with a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead among the early starters in the second round.
■ Edoardo Molinari and James Morrison both shot 9-under 62 Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Singapore Open.
Mickelson voted to Hall of Fame
Four-time major champion Phil Mickelson was elected Thursday to the World Golf Hall of Fame, saying his enshrinement won't slow down his quest to reach 50 career victories. Mickelson, who became eligible for the honor after turning 40 last year, received 72 percent of votes cast, the Hall of Fame said. "Being called a hall of fame golfer, it does make me sound a little bit old," Mickelson said in Singapore, where he is competing in the Singapore Open. "But I don't feel old. I feel like I've got a lot of great golf ahead of me." Mickelson has won 39 tournaments since turning professional in 1992, including three Masters titles and a PGA Championship.
Kyle Busch to race without main sponsor
Kyle Busch will be allowed to race in the final two Sprint Cup Series events but without main sponsor M&M's. Busch will drive Sunday at Phoenix and in next weekend's season finale at Homestead with Interstate Batteries as his sponsor instead. Although M&M's is Busch's primary sponsor, Interstate Batteries is heavily involved with the team. In a statement released Thursday night, sponsor Mars said the car will not run with the M&M's paint scheme until 2012, "at which time Kyle Busch will be the driver with the expectation that no future incident take place." The deal ends a week of wrangling over Busch's future with his race team — all fallout from a road rage incident at Texas. Busch wrecked Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution early in the Trucks Series race. Busch has admitted he lost control of his temper and has since apologized.
Venezuelans hunt for kidnapped Ramos
The Venezuelan government sent top investigators Thursday to hunt for Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, whose abduction has shaken Venezuela's elite athletes and focused attention on the nation's sharp rise in kidnappings for ransom. The 24-year-old player, who had returned to Venezuela after his rookie season, was just outside the front door at his home in the town of Santa Ines on Wednesday night when an SUV approached, armed men got out "and they took him away," said Ramos' agent, Gustavo Marcano. It was the first known kidnapping of a Major League Baseball player in Venezuela, though the relatives of some ballplayers have previously been held captive for ransom. Major League Baseball and the Nationals said the leagues' Department of Investigations was working with authorities.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Walker gets new date in gambling case
Former Kentucky and NBA star Antoine Walker has a new sentencing date after pleading guilty in Nevada to failing to repay some $750,000 in gambling debts to three Las Vegas casinos. A judge waived an appearance by the 35-year-old Walker on Thursday while his lawyer and a prosecutor worked out a Dec. 6 date. Walker faces probation and repayment of debts incurred in 2008 and 2009 at the Planet Hollywood, Red Rock Casino Resort and Caesars Palace casinos. Walker hasn't played in the NBA since 2008 and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in 2010. He's now signed with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.
Landis convicted over lab hacking
Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis was convicted by a French court Thursday for his role in hacking into the computers of the anti-doping lab that caught him cheating at the 2006 Tour de France. The court in Nanterre, west of Paris, handed Landis and former coach Arnie Baker 12-month suspended sentences for benefiting from information culled from computers at the Chatenay-Malabry lab. The case centered on alleged use of a Trojan horse spy program in late 2006 to poke into the lab's computers to extract information about Landis' file — months after he tested positive — to use in his defense.
The last word
Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy installed the read-option for quarterback Tim Tebow last week in a victory over the Oakland Raiders. McCoy said he ran the option once while he was a quarterback at the University of Utah in the 1990s, but to different results:
"Yeah, I called it once up in Wyoming and I broke my collarbone and my first rib. I actually took the snap and got killed, so it wasn't a good deal."