DePaul fires Wainwright as Big East skid grows

Jerry Wainwright was fired Monday as the men’s basketball coach at DePaul, which has lost 22 straight regular-season games in the Big East Conference. He was replaced on an interim basis by assistant Tracy Webster.

The Blue Demons are 7-8 overall and 0-3 in the Big East this season, Wainwright’s fifth at DePaul. He has two years left on his contract after this season.

DePaul hasn’t won a regular-season conference game since March 2008, and last season was an embarrassing one for a program that was once a national power. The Blue Demons upset Cincinnati in the first round of the conference tournament but finished 9-24 overall and 0-18 in the Big East.

Also: Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer broke his left wrist in Saturday’s win against Purdue and is out indefinitely.

It’s a major blow for a team coming off its biggest victory of the season, a 73-66 win over the then-No. 4 Boilermakers.

The school said Leuer would have surgery today. Leuer, a junior, started all 16 games for No. 13 Wisconsin and was the Badgers’ second-leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points along with a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.

Michigan coach John Beilein agreed to a contract extension to lead the Wolverines through the 2015-16 season. Beilein’s total compensation under the new contract will be $1.7 million in 2010-11. It rises to $1.8 million in 2012-13 and $1.9 million by the 2013-14 season.

Beilein is in his third season with the Wolverines. He has a 39-43 overall mark with Michigan, including an 8-7 record this season. Michigan made the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 1998.

After six weeks ranked No. 2, Texas (15-0) is now where it has never been before: No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll.

Kansas comfortably held the top spot in the preseason poll and for the first eight weeks of the season until Monday, a day after the Jayhawks lost at Tennessee.

Kentucky (16-0) was No. 2, followed by Kansas (14-1).

Point guard Jio Fontan enrolled at Southern California after transferring from Fordham, where he was the Atlantic 10’s rookie of the year last season.

Fontan will be eligible to play for the Trojans after the first semester of next season.


Woods, wife victims of bogus child-abuse claim

A Florida lawmaker has called for an investigation into who phoned a hot line with a bogus claim that Tiger Woods’ children were being abused.

The anonymous accusation last month quickly was rejected by Florida officials. But Republican state Sen. Ronda Storms wants officials, if possible, to prosecute the person.

A Department of Children and Families spokesman said a false report is difficult to prove unless the person confesses, but it could result in civil or criminal penalties.

“False reporting is a very serious offense and takes precious time away from vulnerable citizens who truly need protection,” spokesman Joe Follick said. “It is a crime and a frustration to the investigator and healthy families.”

Also: Top-ranked Serena Williams advanced to the Sydney International quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in Sydney, Australia, in the American’s first match of the season. Williams is tuning up to defend her title in the Australian Open, which begins Monday.

Jamie Langenbrunner of the New Jersey Devils will be the captain of the U.S. hockey team at next month’s Olympics.

Langenbrunner, the Devils’ captain, is one of three U.S. players with Olympic experience. Detroit’s Brian Rafalski is a three-time Olympian, as is New York Rangers captain Chris Drury.

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