BCS commissioners agree on four-team playoff
The BCS commissioners reached a consensus Wednesday on a model for a four-team, seeded playoff that will be presented to the university presidents next week for approval. All that's left is for the presidents to sign off and major college football's champion will be decided by playoff come the 2014 season.
The commissioners have been working on reshaping college football's postseason since January. All 11 commissioners stood shoulder-to-shoulder Wednesday behind Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who pinch-hit for under-the-weather BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock and read the BCS statement from a podium set up in a hotel conference room in Chicago.
"We are excited to be on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football that builds on the great popularity of our sport," Swarbrick read.
Though they were stingy about providing specifics of that plan.
They said they were reluctant to share too many details before they had a chance to discuss them with their bosses, the university presidents. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott did say the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls and the site of the national championship game will be bid out similarly to the Super Bowl.
The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee meets Tuesday in Washington, and the commissioners and Swarbrick all stressed that ultimately the decision lies with their bosses. And that the presidents will have more than just one model to talk about.
"I am delighted," said Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive, who has supported a four-team playoff for years. "I am pleased with the progress we have made. There are some differences, but we will work them out. We're trying to do what is in the best interest of the game."
UK athlete third in wakeboard nationals
Cameron Steiner, representing the University of Kentucky, captured third place at the Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships in Guthrie, Okla., earlier this month. Fourteen collegiate teams and numerous individuals took part in four divisions of the men's and women's competitions. The event combines elements of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing into a series of high-flying tricks. Steiner finished first in his qualifying heat to advance to the final four in the top men's division. He wound up third behind Wisconsin's John Zdeblick and Central Washington's Thomas Olson. Chico State won the overall team competition. Those wishing to see Steiner in action will be able to watch a taped broadcast of the Collegiate Wakeboard Championships on July 11 on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 9 p.m. Highlights can also be seen on July 15 at 2 p.m.
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Kincheloe new Lexington Catholic coach
Jonathan Kincheloe is the new boys' soccer coach at Lexington Catholic, but he's not new to the program. A 2001 Lexington Catholic graduate, Kincheloe was a four-year starter for the Knights and played college soccer at Transylvania where he was an All-American. He has been an assistant to Lexington Catholic girls' coach Terry Quigley the last four years.
Source: Vikings' Harvin seeks trade
Percy Harvin made it known that he wants out of Minnesota. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said there's no way he's going to let that happen. Unhappy with several issues with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2009, Harvin requested to be traded, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Spielman, however, said, "We have no interest at all in trading Percy Harvin. He's a key part of our football team. Any issues that are out there, or reported, we always handle those internally, and we'll continue to handle those internally."
Saints coach challenges bounty evidence
Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt said a piece of evidence made public in the NFL's bounty investigation this week falsely portrays him pledging money to an incentive pool. Vitt says he has never pledged money for any type of performance incentives, let alone the bounty program that the NFL says the Saints ran from 2009 to 2011 under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Vitt says he spoke Wednesday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who confirmed to him that "there is no such allegation or suspicion" that he pledged money for bounties.
■ Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud is retiring after a decade in the NFL. Stroud is planning to sign a one-day contract with the Jaguars on Wednesday before calling it quits.
Auriemma: Lawsuit won't be distraction
U.S. women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma says the employment discrimination lawsuit filed by a security official claiming she spurned his advances should not become a distraction for the U.S. Olympic team. Auriemma made his first public appearance since the lawsuit was filed earlier this month, playing in the celebrity pro-am event Wednesday at the PGA's Travelers Championship.Auriemma says if he was scared about the claims in the lawsuit, he would not have shown up to golf. He also joked that pro wrestler Booker T, a playing partner Wednesday, might be a good person to take "on road trips where I need some kind of protection." NBA security official Kelly Hardwick alleges Auriemma tried to kiss her on a trip to Russia in 2009.
Nadal to carry Spain's flag at Olympics
Rafael Nadal will carry the flag for the Spanish Olympic team at the London Games. The 11-time Grand Slam champion was chosen Wednesday by the Spanish Olympic Committee to lead the team at the opening ceremony July 27. "For me the chance to carry the flag representing all the Spanish athletes in London is a true honor," Nadal said in a statement. "I think carrying the flag will be one of the most moving moments of my entire career. I can only say thanks and wish my fellow athletes the best of luck." Nadal will defend his gold medal in singles from the 2008 Beijing Games and participate in doubles with Marcel Granollers. These will be his third Olympics.
Venus, Clijsters unseeded at Wimbledon
Five-time champion Venus Williams and four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters are unseeded at Wimbledon for the first time in more than a decade. The seedings were announced Wednesday for the Grand Slam tournament that starts Monday, with top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic heading the men's list and Maria Sharapova leading the women's — both for the first time. Williams, who played in eight Wimbledon finals from 2000-09, is unseeded for the first time since her debut at the All England Club in 1997. She has dropped to 55th in the rankings while dealing with Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain. Clijsters, ranked 53rd, is unseeded for the first time since 2000. The Belgian has never reached the finals at Wimbledon. Djokovic is followed in the men's seedings by two-time winner Rafael Nadal, six-time winner Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
The last word
Golf Channel analyst David Feherty, describing an errant tee shot:
"That ball is so far left, Lassie couldn't find it if it was wrapped in bacon."