Alabama’s Saban nets coach of year honor

Alabama’s Nick Saban was named The Associated Press college football coach of the year Tuesday.

This is the second time Saban has won the award. He also was coach of the year with Louisiana State in 2003.

Saban got 32 votes to easily outdistance Texas Tech’s Mike Leach, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson in balloting by an AP media panel that votes in the weekly poll.

Saban led Alabama to a 12-1 season, with the only loss coming to Florida in the Southeastern Conference title game.

Also: Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood was hired as the coach at Miami of Ohio, which went 2-10 this season.

He replaces Shane Montgomery, who resigned last month. The RedHawks went 17-31 during his four seasons.

Haywood becomes the sixth black coach among the 119 Bowl Subdivision schools.

Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Shipley missed the 2004 and 2005 seasons because of knee and hamstring injuries. He is the top receiver for the No. 3 Longhorns, with 79 catches for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns.


Parker named AP’s top female athlete

Candace Parker capped a banner year by winning the female athlete of the year award from the AP.

She led the Tennessee women’s basketball team to a second straight national championship, was the first pick in the WNBA Draft and won the league’s Most Valuable Player and rookie of the year honors. She also helped the U.S. win a fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Parker received 36 votes from AP members, edging golfer Lorena Ochoa, who had won the award the previous two years. Rounding out the top five were gymnast Nastia Liukin, swimmer Dara Torres and gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Also: North Carolina State guard Trevor Ferguson will miss at least three weeks after breaking a finger on his left (non-shooting) hand.

Ferguson made four straight starts at shooting guard after coming off the bench during the opening five games.


PGA Tour releases slimmer fall schedule

The PGA Tour has lost at least one tournament from its Fall Series because of the economy, and the final part of its 2009 schedule had another tournament still up in the air.

The tour announced five tournaments — down from seven this year — that will be played after the FedEx Cup ends and give players a chance to finish in the top 125 on the money list to retain their cards.

Gone from the Fall Series schedule is the Ginn sur Mer Classic, which was not expected to return because of the real estate crisis. Also missing from the fall is the Valero Texas Open, which moved to the spring to replace the defunct Atlanta tournament.

Las Vegas will be the second stop of the fall series, with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open set for Oct. 15 to 18.

Also: Spain would prefer to launch a joint-bid with Portugal for the 2018 World Cup, according to the head of the country’s soccer federation.

President Angel Maria Villar has said that Spain would bid for the event, but Tuesday’s edition of Marca sports daily reported that he favored a joint bid with the bordering country.

Daisuke Naito of Japan defeated compatriot Shingo Yamaguchi on a technical knockout in the 11th round to retain his WBC flyweight title in Tokyo. Naito improved to 34-3-2 with 21 KOs, and Yamaguchi dropped to 23-2-6.

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