Colts: Manning likely to receive
record deal before next season
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Thursday he expects quarterback Peyton Manning to sign a record-setting deal before next season. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has the NFL’s highest annual average salary after agreeing to a four-year contract worth $18 million a year in September.
“Six years is certainly a possibility, five or six years,” Irsay said of the contract’s length. “There’s not a definitive number that I’m stuck on. You don’t know how much longer he can play. Until you get longer down the road, it’s really uncertain.”
Irsay’s comments came two days after the Colts used the exclusive franchise tag to keep the only four-time Most Valuable Player in league history off the free-agent market. Manning, who turns 35 next month, will not be allowed to negotiate with other teams. If he plays under the tag next season, he would make about $23 million.
Also: Texas Christian and Brigham Young will meet next season, even though they will no longer be Mountain West Conference rivals. The two will play Oct. 28 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in an ESPN2-televised game.
Next season will be TCU’s last in the MWC before it moves to the Big East in 2012. BYU has left the conference and will play as an independent.
Boise State football coach Chris Petersen has received a $50,000 bonus and $35,000 bump in annual salary. The raise will increase his total compensation to $1.52 million in 2011 and escalate to $1.87 million in 2015.
Spurs veteran Duncan to start
at center in NBA All-Star Game
Veteran center Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs will start for the Western Conference in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, replacing injured Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets.
West coach Gregg Popovich of the Spurs chose Duncan over Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Griffin and Love have better numbers than Duncan, who is averaging a career-low 13.4 points and 9.2 rebounds, but San Antonio has the league’s best record.
Also: Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans will miss the Rookie Challenge at All-Star weekend because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He will be replaced by Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden on the sophomore team.
Las Vegas resident Dahlberg
wins three AP writing awards
Tim Dahlberg, an Associated Press sports columnist who lives in Las Vegas, won three writing awards in the annual contest for AP staffers judged by the Associated Press Sports Editors at their winter meeting in Indianapolis.
Dahlberg won the Grimsley Award for outstanding body of work, as well as deadline writing and best feature. His compelling tale of the “Fight of the Century” between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries — a moment so big it still intrigues historians — explored what that 1910 event meant to America and its effect on race relations.
Also: The California Horse Racing Board voted 6-0 to transfer the fall racing dates — from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6 — back to Santa Anita in Arcadia instead of returning to Hollywood Park in Inglewood.
The dates had been run under the operation of the Oak Tree Racing Association since 1969 until last fall. Oak Tree had worked out a one-year lease agreement for the 2010 meet at Santa Anita but was forced to move to Hollywood Park when horsemen objected to the condition of Santa Anita’s synthetic track. Santa Anita has since installed a new dirt track.
Las Vegas native Chris Francis was assigned to the Wranglers by Springfield of the American Hockey League. Las Vegas also acquired goaltender Billy Sauer from Gwinnett of the ECHL for future considerations.
Francis, a 21-year-old rookie, had a goal and an assist in four games with Springfield after compiling 17 points in 32 games for Fort Wayne of the Central Hockey League. Sauer, 23, who played two games for the Wranglers last season, was 6-8-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average in 18 games for Gwinnett.
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville remained hospitalized because of gastrointestinal bleeding that was caused by a small ulcer. He is expected to make a full recovery and be released in the next few days, but the team did not say when he will coach again.
Top-seeded Andy Roddick and defending champion Sam Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Tenn. Roddick defeated Janko Tipsarevic 6-1, 7-6 (8), and Querrey beat Brian Dabul, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
The UNLV softball team lost to UNR 9-6 in the Desert Classic at Eller Media Stadium. Ashli Holland went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs for the Rebels (2-3), who fell behind 9-1 after 2½ innings.