Wichita Thunder

Colleges

Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little urged her Nebraska counterpart Monday to remain in the Big 12 and help avoid a potential calamity for the Jayhawks. Gray-Little said she got no indication of what Harvey Perlman might recommend when he meets with Nebraska regents on Friday. She said she also planned to call Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton with the same message.

Nebraska and Missouri have both said they are interested in moving to the Big Ten. If they leave, that might prompt six other Big 12 members, including Texas and Oklahoma, to consider a possible linkup with the Pac-10. The death of the Big 12 could put Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State in danger of being left out of any major conference.

* The presidents of the Mountain West Conference decided Monday not to expand the nine-team league at this time. Commissioner Craig Thompson said the decision to hold off on expansion is tied to the shake-ups and shifting landscape in some of the nation's bigger conferences.

Hockey

Wichita Thunder assistant coach Jason Duda, who recently retired as the franchise leader in games and points, has received the Rick Kozuback Award from the Central Hockey League. The award is given to someone in the league who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination and commitment to the game, sport and business of hockey." The Thunder organization also finished second to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for game operations franchise of the year.

* The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch is reporting Manitoba coach Scott Arniel has been hired for the same job with the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets scheduled a press conference for today to announce their new coach, but declined comment when asked by The Associated Press about the hiring on Monday night.

Tennis

Wichita State sophomore Lutfiana Budiharto finishes the season ranked No. 54 in the women's Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings. Budiharto, 14-4, is No. 2 in the Central Region. The doubles team of senior Stephanie Dalmacio and sophomore Delia Damaschin are ranked No. 55 nationally and No. 4 in the region. Dalmacio is No. 12 regionally in singles. WSU, which went 15-11 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, is No. 8 in the Central Region.

Basketball

Tom Izzo has another suitor.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told The Associated Press on Monday the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in replacing fired coach Mike Brown with Izzo

"There is not a contract offer on the table," Hollis said in a telephone interview. "Last week, there was talk that Chicago and New Jersey were interested. If I was anywhere but at Michigan State, I would be interested in Tom, too, because he's the best coach in college basketball."

* New Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle has brought Rodney Billups on board as director of basketball operations. Billups is the younger brother of Denver Nuggets All-Star guard Chauncey Billups, who was a standout with the Buffaloes from 1995-97.

* Standout junior-college recruit Carrick Felix has signed a letter of intent at Arizona State after being released from his Duke scholarship at his request. The 6-foot-6 Felix, from College of Southern Idaho, had been the first junior-college recruit to sign with Duke in Mike Krzyzewski's tenure as coach of the Blue Devils.

Boxing

Former junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman will need surgery on his right knee after tearing his meniscus and stretching ligaments Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

Foreman was hurt in the seventh round of his fight against Miguel Cotto, which he eventually lost when referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waved it off early in the ninth round.

Baseball

The anticipation is nearly over. The 21-year-old with the fastball that approaches 100 mph and the curve that freezes batters is about to take the mound in the nation's capita l.

Stephen Strasburg is set to make his Washington Nationals debut to night.

Standing room only tickets went on sale Monday, all part of a rare Nationals Park sellout. The Internet is humming with offers for good seats. More than 200 requests for media credentials have been submitted, forcing officials to turn a dining area into a work space to accommodate all those reporters with laptops.

* The Hall of Fame has bagged the key evidence from Armando Galarraga's stolen perfect game. The Detroit Tigers have told the Hall they will donate the first-base bag, Galarraga's spikes and a ball from last week's near-miss at Comerica Park.

Football

The San Diego Chargers say wide receiver Malcom Floyd has signed his one-year contract tender as a restricted free agent worth $3,168,000. The Chargers have three unsigned restricted free agents: wide receiver Vincent Jackson, left tackle Marcus McNeill and outside linebacker Shawne Merriman.

  Comments