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Reports: Weis to return as Notre Dame coach

Charlie Weis will return for a fifth season at Notre Dame despite another disappointing year, several media outlets reported Tuesday.

WNDU-TV in South Bend, Ind., The South Bend Tribune and other outlets, citing anonymous sources, reported Weis will be back.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick did not respond to repeated phone messages and e-mails from The Associated Press. University spokesman John Heisler declined to address the reports.

The Irish finished 6-6 this season and 3-9 in 2007. Weis, who has seven years left on a 10-year contract, is 28-21 at the school.

Also: New Mexico State fired coach Hal Mumme and named Charley Johnson, a former quarterback at the school, acting coach. The Aggies finished the season 3-9, and Mumme was 11-38 in four years.

Offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will become Oregon’s head coach whenever Mike Bellotti quits. Bellotti, who will become the school’s athletic director when he steps down, said he didn’t know when he would quit as coach but that it probably won’t be after this season.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno has returned to work, one week after undergoing hip-replacement surgery. Paterno, 81, had a squad meeting Sunday after players returned from Thanksgiving break and began preparations for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and four Big 12 Conference players are finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s player of the year award. Three quarterbacks — Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell — and Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree are the other finalists.

Kentucky freshman quarterback Randall Cobb is doubtful for the Wildcats’ bowl game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Cobb, injured Saturday in a loss to Tennessee, has started the last four games.

Connecticut tailback Andre Dixon was arrested early Tuesday on a drunken-driving charge and suspended indefinitely from the team. He has played sparingly this year.

No. 2 Florida will be without defensive linemen Brandon Antwine (knee) and Matt Patchan (knee) when it plays top-ranked Alabama on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference title game.


Braves to get Vazquez in deal with White Sox

Right-handed starting pitcher Javier Vazquez appears headed from the Chicago White Sox to the Atlanta Braves in a multiplayer trade.

Atlanta also will get left-handed reliever Boone Logan. The White Sox are expected to receive four minor league prospects — catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore and left-hander Santos Rodriguez. The trade could be announced today, when Vazquez is expected to take a physical.

Vazquez, 32, was 12-16 with a 4.67 ERA in 33 starts last season and surpassed 200 innings for the eighth time in nine years.

Also: Citi Field will remain the name of the New York Mets’ new ballpark following a government bailout the team believes will help the struggling bank survive its economic crisis.

Citigroup agreed in 2006 to pay the Mets $400 million over 20 years for naming rights to the stadium, scheduled to open next year. Two New York City councilmen said last week that the $800 million ballpark’s name should be changed to Citi/Taxpayer Field.

After Citigroup’s shares lost 60 percent of their value within a week and dropped as low as $3.05, the government agreed last month to give the company a $20 billion cash injection — following an earlier $25 billion infusion.

A full World Series share was worth $351,504 for the Philadelphia Phillies, below the record $362,173 set by the St. Louis Cardinals two years ago.

Major League Baseball said the players’ pool for the postseason was $51.16 million, down from $52.46 million last year and a record $55.60 million in 2006.


Stars’ Avery suspended after off-color remark

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suspended Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery indefinitely for using a crude term about his former girlfriends now dating other hockey players.

Avery’s inflammatory line came after a Tuesday morning skate in Calgary, Alberta. Reporters were waiting to speak with Avery about disparaging remarks he had made last month about Flames star Jarome Iginla when Avery walked over to the group and asked if there was a camera present. When told there was, he said, “I’m just going to say one thing.”

“I’m really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada,” he said. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my (former girlfriends). I don’t know what that’s about, but enjoy the game tonight.” He then walked out of the locker room.

Avery’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, is dating Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf and had been romantically linked to Mike Komisarek of the Montreal Canadiens. Avery also dated model and actress Rachel Hunter, now the girlfriend of Los Angeles Kings center Jarrett Stoll.

Also: The Augusta (Ga.) Lynx minor league hockey team has suspended operations and relinquished its membership in the ECHL. The league said Augusta players will become unrestricted free agents, and that it would revise its playing schedule to account for the loss of the team, one of six in the ECHL’s American Conference Southern Division.

Michael Phelps has been named the 2008 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, becoming the first Olympian to claim the honor since speedskaters Bonnie Blair (United States) and Johann Olav Koss (Norway) shared it in 1994.

Phelps, the first swimmer to claim the honor, broke Mark Spitz’s record by winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

Shamela Hampton had her fifth double-double of the season, but the UNLV women’s basketball team lost to Texas Tech 75-63 at Lubbock, Texas. Hampton scored 14 points, all of them in the second half, and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Lady Rebels (4-2).

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