NCAA selects format for 68-team tournament

The NCAA has settled on the format for the new 68-team men’s basketball tournament, though the announcement isn’t scheduled until next week.

The Division I men’s basketball committee reached its decision Friday after studying a number of options and discussing feedback during meetings in Chicago, said David Worlock, associate director of the tournament. Details were not disclosed.

The NCAA announced in April that it would add three teams to the field, the first expansion for the tournament since it went from 64 to 65 in 2001 after going from 48 to 64 in 1985. The new format is scheduled to take effect in March.

NCAA officials recommended the 68-team field after the public loudly complained that going to 80 or 96 teams would water down the NCAA’s marquee event, and network executives insisted they did not need more tournament games to make a profit on the next TV contract — a 14-year, $10.8 billion package with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

Also: The NBA players’ union has sent a proposal for a new labor agreement to the league, an official with knowledge of the bargaining process said. No details were provided.

The NBA has been awaiting a counterproposal from the players since All-Star weekend. That’s when the league’s initial proposal was taken off the table after what union executive director Billy Hunter called a "contentious" 90-minute bargaining session.

The union said the league’s proposal called for reductions in the length and amount of contracts, which would become only partially guaranteed. It also sought to greatly reduce the players’ share of basketball-related income from the 57 percent they currently receive.

The current deal expires June 30, 2011.


Georgia AD tried to avoid arrest before DUI charge

University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans repeatedly referred to his position at the school before his arrest on a drunken-driving charge and asked the patrol officer if there was "anything you can do without arresting me," according to a police report.

Evans told the Georgia State Patrol officer several times he was the school’s athletic director before he was arrested late Wednesday and charged with DUI and failure to maintain a lane, according to the report.

The officer also said that Evans asked to be taken to a motel instead of jail or to be let off with a warning.

Also: Cleveland Browns defensive end Robaire Smith was charged Thursday with carrying a gun in his luggage at Bishop Airport in Flint, Mich. The misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.

Former Pro Bowl cornerback Dre’ Bly signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions. Bly spent four seasons in Detroit after signing as an unrestricted free agent in 2003, and last year he played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress has applied for work release for the second time during his two-year prison sentence on gun charges.

Burress originally applied for work release in November, but it was denied by the New York Department of Correctional Services because of the nature of his crime.

New Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville has been publicly reprimanded by the Big 12 after an interview in which he questioned the future of the conference.

In an interview this week on Rivals Radio, Tuberville said there is "too much disparity between all the teams" in the Big 12 in how money is distributed. Tuberville said he’s not sure how long a 10-team league will last.

The United States beat Japan 7-0 to win its seventh consecutive world softball championship in Caracas, Venezuela.

Andrea Duran had a two-run homer and Lauren Lappin a two-run triple for the U.S., which went undefeated in the tournament.

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