Other Sports

Sports briefs, Oct. 24

NCAA FOOTBALL

Andrews on pace to lead in all-purpose yardage

Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews is on track to lead the NCAA in all-purpose yards. He has 1,610 yards entering Saturday's game against Troy.

Andrews also has a chance to top last year's 13-game total of 3,161 that fell 88 shy of Barry Sanders' record set during his 1988 Heisman Trophy season. With 1,036 yards rushing, he's on pace to surpass last year's career-high 1,728. He has rushed for 10 touchdowns.

The Fort Campbell native also has 207 receiving yards and 367 returning punts and kicks to average 230 yards per game, nearly 24 more than LSU junior wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Four women to make officiating history

Four female officials will be working a game between Division II Miles and Lane, in what appears to be a first for a college football game.

Yvonda Lewis will be the head linesman and work with line judge Tangela Mitchell, field judge Sabrina Brunson and back judge Krystle Apellaniz. All four, who will work with former NFL player umpire Terry Killens, have risen through the NFL Officiating Development Program.

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, an Atlanta-based league comprised of historically black schools, said Thursday night's game at Miles will mark the first time a mostly female officiating crew has worked any NCAA football game. The league said the NFL's director of football officials David Coleman and director of recruiting Ron Baynes will attend the game to evaluate the officials' performance.

"This is a special opportunity for not only the group of ladies selected to officiate the game, but all officials in the SIAC," said Harold Mitchell, supervisor of officials for the SIAC and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. "Playing on a Thursday night is also a great opportunity for our (SIAC) officials to partner with officials from an FCS conference.

"To that point, it's also very important for everyone to understand that the selected crew are all outstanding officials, and not just females."

NBA

Owners vote for change in Finals format

The NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to change the format of the NBA Finals. Beginning with the 2014 NBA Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.

In the previous format, referred to as the 2-3-2 scenario, the higher seed opened with two home games, then played three straight on the road before closing with two more home games. It was conducive to travel, especially when teams had to span several time zones, and was a favorite of outgoing commissioner David Stern.

In the new format, the higher seed will host the first two games before hitting the road for two games. At that point — Game 5 — the teams will alternate home games, ending with a potential Game 7 on the higher-seeded team's floor. This format, used in the other playoff rounds, is known as the 2-2-1-1-1.

The vote came during Stern's final preseason meeting with his board of governors. Owners also voted to add an extra day between Games 6 and 7.

■ The Wizards outscored the Cavaliers 60-29 in the second half to win going away, 101-82. Bradley Beal scored 21 points to lead Washington in the exhibition contest played at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. Former UK star John Wall was just 1-for-7 from the field for three points. The former No. 1 overall pick had as many assists as turnovers — four.

■ A 31-13 fourth-quarter advantage helped Miami defeat New Orleans in the penultimate pre-season game for both teams. LeBron James led all scorers with 27 points and four steals in 29 minutes. Ex-Cat Anthony Davis had 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for the Pelicans, who lost their first pre-season game.

etc.

ENMU offers up victories for violations

Eastern New Mexico University said Wednesday it is offering to erase several seasons' worth of victories by nearly all of its sports programs because of violations involving athletes.

Athletics director Jeff Geiser said that most of the violations are minor and stemmed from misinformed advising.

The violations, which date back to the summer of 2012, include athletes failing to declare their amateur status. Another infraction the school identified was that numerous students had failed to fulfill the NCAA's 75/25 rule, Geiser said. They were not earning the required hours for their degree plan.

According to the Clovis News Journal, the Division II school said it's volunteering to have eight teams' wins vacated over four seasons as well as all wins by four of those teams in a fifth season. The men's cross-country team could also possibly lose championships earned in the last two years.

The Lone Star Conference school says it's hoping to avoid even more severe punishment from the NCAA for more than 100 self-reported violations. Initial reports estimate there were about 113 violations among 386 students.

The last word

Known as much for his outrageous costumes and comments as his intriguing skating, Johnny Weir is leaving the ice for the broadcast booth. The three-time U.S. figure skating champion retired from competition Wednesday — he still plans to skate in shows — and will join NBC for its coverage of the Sochi Games. Weir, who finished fifth at the 2006 Games and sixth in 2010, commented on his transition to broadcasting:

"I am outlandish and flamboyant and all those things. There was a focus on all that in my career, which I am fine with, but there also was a little attention paid to how hard I actually worked and how much went into it and how I came back so many times. Sweating every day for that one moment, and I wish people focused on that as much as my characters and my costumes. ... Hopefully, I can use my words properly and talk intelligently. I'm excited for the journey."

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