in brief

college football

Four California schools split as
new Pac-12 approves divisions

The new Pac-12 Conference approved football divisions that will split the California schools and adopted an equal revenue-sharing plan Thursday as league presidents and chancellors hashed out the important issues that arose because of expansion.

Colorado and Utah recently accepted invitations to join the Pac-10 in the conference’s first expansion since 1978, necessitating many changes for when the league becomes a 12-team conference July 1.

The most anticipated decision was the division alignment. The league decided to split the California schools, with Stanford and Cal playing in the North Division with Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. UCLA and Southern California will be in the South with Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado.

The conference voted to keep the historic California rivalries. The Bay Area schools have played the Los Angeles schools every year since 1946 in rivalries that started long before that. Cal and Stanford will each play UCLA and USC every year in football.

The more important decision came in regards to revenue sharing. The conference will switch from an appearance-based model from which the Los Angeles schools traditionally made more money to an equal sharing of football TV revenues when a new TV deal begins in September 2012.

The conference also formally approved a football championship game with the start of division play. The game will be played at the campus site of the division champion with the best conference record.

There will be no divisions in other sports.


NBA wants player salary costs
sliced by at least $750 million

NBA commissioner David Stern said there was no quantifiable progress in collective bargaining talks over the summer, and the league revealed it is seeking a reduction in player salary costs by about one-third.

Stern said the league wants player costs to drop $750 million to $800 million. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA spends about $2.1 billion annually in player salaries and benefits.

“We would like to get profitable, have a return on investment,” Stern said. “There’s a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of $750 (million) to $800 million that we would like to change. That’s our story, and we’re sticking with it.”

Stern and Silver spoke after completing two days of meetings with league owners, who are seeking major changes to the current CBA that expires June 30. Silver said the league has told the union that owners are in a “diseconomic situation,” with projected league-wide losses of about $340 million to $350 million this season.

Also: A freak injury to Miami Heat guard Mike Miller’s right thumb is expected to keep one of the NBA’s top 3-point shooters sidelined for several weeks. Miller was injured when the thumb on his shooting hand got tangled in a teammate’s jersey in practice Wednesday. The Heat have not revealed a formal diagnosis or possible recovery time.

Miller, who signed a $25 million, five-year contract this summer, was the NBA’s second-best shooter from 3-point range last season at 48 percent.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic said he’s engaged to Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. Vujacic said he proposed on the one-year anniversary of their first meeting at a friend’s barbecue.

Top-seeded Mehdi Bouras was among three UNLV players to advance in the USTA/ITA Mountain Region Championships at the Darling Tennis Center.

Bouras advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over New Mexico’s Joe Wood. The Rebels’ Kyle Lynch defeated Utah State’s Jacob Asplund 6-4, 6-3, and UNLV’s Johannes Markel beat Montana State’s Pawel Turzanski, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

The UNLV women’s soccer team gained a 1-1 tie against 14th-ranked Brigham Young in a Mountain West Conference match at Provo, Utah. Macy Jo Harrison scored for the Rebels (10-5-1, 2-2-1 MWC).

Colin Montgomerie sustained bruises to his left side in a four-vehicle crash in Glasgow, Scotland, saying he was lucky to escape with minor injuries. The Ryder Cup captain was driving from his home in Dunning to see his father in Glasgow when the accident occurred that involved two cars, a van and a truck. No one was hospitalized.

Paul Lawrie of Scotland and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina shot 7-under-par 64s to tie for the first-round lead in the European Tour’s Castello Masters at Castellon, Spain. Each had seven birdies in bogey-free rounds.

Olympic gymnastics champion China won the men’s team title at the world championships, as the United States struggled on pommel horse and never recovered while finishing fourth in Rotterdam, Netherlands. China finished with 274.997 points, beating Japan by 1.228 points.

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