in brief


Auburn’s offensive coordinator
gets raise, contract extension

Auburn coach offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, the Frank Broyles Award winner as the nation’s top assistant coach, has received a raise and contract extension. The announcement by Tigers head coach Gene Chizik came amid reports that Malzahn had been offered the Vanderbilt head coaching job.

Chizik did not confirm that the coach had been offered — and turned down — the Vanderbilt position. He also did not release details of Malzahn’s deal.

A person familiar with the situation said Auburn will “more than double” Malzahn’s $500,000 salary. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the deal were not publicly announced.

Also: Connecticut coach Randy Edsall said he is not looking for any other job. Edsall, who has led Connecticut to an 8-4 record and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, has been mentioned as a candidate for numerous other major coaching positions, including recent vacancies at Minnesota, Florida and Miami.

Northern Illinois hired Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren as its new coach. Doeren succeeds Jerry Kill, who was hired as Minnesota’s coach eight days ago.

Iowa running back Adam Robinson won’t play against Missouri in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28 as a punishment for failing to comply with team policies. Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz also announced that oft-injured back Jewel Hampton will transfer.

The Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco has reached an agreement with Brigham Young to play in the game in 2013. The soon-to-be independent Cougars will take the place of the Western Athletic Conference, which was supposed to provide the opponent for a Pac-12 team.


PGA Tour peers vote Appleby
as comeback player of year

Stuart Appleby has been voted the PGA Tour comeback player of the year after going from his worst season to a magical win.

Appleby won The Greenbrier Classic by closing with a 59, making him one of only two players to hit golf’s magic number in the last round. His historic win followed a year in which he finished outside the top 125 on the money list for the first time since his rookie season.

The Australian used a one-time exemption for career money to keep his card. His win helped him to finish 38th on the money list, and he topped off his year by winning the Australian Masters.

Also: Connecticut remained the unanimous choice at No. 1 in the weekly Associated Press women’s college basketball poll.

The Huskies, who have won an NCAA women’s basketball-record 87 straight games, received all 40 first-place votes. It is the 49th straight week they topped the poll and 150th time in school history that UConn has been the No. 1 team.

UConn will play Ohio State at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, trying to match the 88 straight wins set by the UCLA men’s basketball team in the early 1970s.

Baylor, Stanford, Duke, and Xavier followed UConn to round out the first five.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter insisted that the votes to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar were based on developing soccer and had nothing to do with money.

He also noted that the world’s biggest soccer tournament will have to adjust to more than just the sweltering desert heat when it takes its partylike atmosphere to the Middle East in 2022.

Blatter said that homosexual fans “should refrain from any sexual activities” that are illegal in Qatar.

Drinking alcohol also is restricted in the country.

The U.S. national team will play an exhibition soccer match against 10th-ranked Egypt in Cairo on Feb. 9.

Former Formula One driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will drive in NASCAR’S trucks series for Kevin Harvick Inc. next season.

The Brazilian drove five races this last season for two different Trucks Series teams. His best finish was sixth at Daytona.

Piquet drove for Renault in Formula 1 in 2008 and part of 2009, and later admitted he crashed on team orders in a 2008 race at Singapore to help his teammate win.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said they’re confident after meeting with regional business leaders that they can keep the Hornets in New Orleans.

The governor is calling on residents and businesses to buy more tickets so that attendance will be high enough to void an early exit clause in the Hornets’ arena lease, which runs through 2014.

The NBA announced last week it is buying the Hornets from majority owner George Shinn with the hope of selling to new owners who’d keep the team in New Orleans.

New Jersey Nets rookie forward Damion James is expected to be sidelined up to two months after having surgery to repair a broken right foot.

The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams ended their three-day UNLV Winter Invitational by finishing atop their respective team standings as the last day of competition ended on Monday night at Buchanan Natatorium.

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