Armstrong-Oprah interview 'emotional'
AUSTIN, Texas -- A person familiar with the situation says Lance Armstrong has completed his interview with Oprah Winfrey and that it was "emotional at times."
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity and would neither confirm nor deny that the disgraced cyclist confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during the taping, scheduled to be broadcast Thursday night.
A group of about 10 close friends and advisers to Armstrong left a downtown Austin hotel about three hours after they arrived Monday afternoon.
Earlier Monday, Armstrong stopped at his Livestrong Foundation and delivered a heartfelt apology to staff members, some of whom broke down in tears. A person with knowledge of that meeting says Armstrong said he was sorry for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to the group about using banned drugs.
Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour de France titles last year for running what officials described as a sophisticated doping operation.
Notre Dame RB Wood leaving for NFL Draft
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood won't be back for his final year of eligibility with the Fighting Irish.
The 6-0, 215-pound senior from Oxnard, Calif., announced Monday he will enter the NFL Draft, calling it a family decision. Wood was second on the team in 2012 in rushing with 742 yards on 114 carries, including rushing for 2 yards on four carries in a 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS title game.
He rushed for 2,447 yards on 450 carries in three seasons with the Irish, finishing seventh on Notre Dame's all-time list.
The announcement came two days after Brian Kelly said he would return as coach after talking with the Philadelphia Eagles about coaching the NFL team.
Illinois tabs Western Michigan's Bill Cubit as new offensive coord.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois has hired former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit as its new offensive coordinator.
Illini coach Tim Beckman said Monday that Cubit been hired and praised him for having an "outstanding football mind."
Cubit takes over for Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales, who shared the offensive coordinator duties last fall. Beatty was fired earlier this month after the 2-10 Illini finished last in the Big Ten in points and yards per game.
Beckman said Gonzales will stay on as wide receivers coach.
Cubit was fired after the 2012 season at Western Michigan after going 4-8. The 59-year-old Cubit was 51-47 in eight seasons at Western Michigan. He previously worked as offensive coordinator at Stanford, Rutgers and Missouri.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin gets extension
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bob Melvin is staying put in his native Bay Area, right where he has said he wants to be well into the future.
The Athletics manager received a two-year contract extension Monday that takes him through the 2016 season after he led Oakland to a surprising AL West title last year.
Oakland became the first team in major league history to win a division or pennant after trailing by five games with less than 10 to play, sweeping three games against Texas to win the division over the Rangers.
Oakland lost to Detroit in the deciding game of its best-of-five AL division series. The A's ended a five-year stretch without a winning record or playoff berth, finishing 94-68 with a majors-best 14 walkoff wins by a young team and rotation of rookies.
The A's did it with a payroll of $59.5 million -- lowest in the majors -- and 12 rookies. Melvin was voted AL Manager of the Year.
The 51-year-old took over from the fired Bob Geren in June 2011. Melvin led the Diamondbacks to the NL West title in 2007 and also won 93 games in his rookie season with Seattle in 2003.
He received a three-year contract from Oakland late in the 2011 season.
Arizona signs reliever J.J. Putz through 2014
PHOENIX -- Reliever J.J. Putz has agreed to a $13.5 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a deal that adds a $7 million salary for 2014.
Arizona exercised Putz's $6.5 million option on Oct. 20 and he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
The 35-year-old right-hander had 32 saves in 37 chances and a 2.82 ERA last year, converting 19 straight save chances from late May through August. He had a 0.84 ERA from June 23 through the end of the season.
Putz has a 33-31 record with 183 saves in 514 big league games for Seattle (2003-08), the New York Mets (2009), the Chicago White Sox (2010) and Arizona (2011-12).
Interpreters could make mound trips
NEW YORK -- Interpreters may be able to make mound trips with managers and pitching coaches this year.
Baseball owners approved the rules change when they met last week in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The change, which would be used to assist pitchers not fluent in English, now goes to the players' association, which also must approve it for the change to start this year.
The owners' vote was first reported by ESPN.com.
Tommy Hunter agrees to deal with Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Pitcher Tommy Hunter and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $1.82 million, one-year contract, more than tripling his salary of $493,500 last year.
The 26-year-old right-hander was 7-8 with a 5.45 ERA in 20 starts and 13 relief appearances last year and was a big part of the Orioles' stretch push that earned the team's first playoff appearance since 1997. He was 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA in his last 10 games.
Seven Orioles remain eligible to file for arbitration Tuesday: catcher Matt Wieters; right-handers Tommy Hunter, Jason Hammel, Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day; left-handers Brian Matusz and Troy Patton; and infielder Chris Davis.
Hunter's agreement was announced Monday.
Southern Cal fires coach Kevin O'Neill
LOS ANGELES -- Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says Trojans men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill has been relieved of his duties.
The school says assistant coach Bob Cantu will serve as interim head coach while USC searches for a successor.
Haden says in a news release that it became evident to him this season that the program needed new leadership and that it was best to make the change now to "re-energize" the team.
O'Neill, who was in his fourth year, had a 48-65 overall record, including a 6-26 record last season. The Trojans are 7-10 this season.
Stars send Fistric to Oilers for draft pick
DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars have traded defenseman Mark Fistric to the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick in this year's draft.
Fistric spent five seasons with the Stars, scoring 23 points and accumulating 220 penalty minutes in 257 games. He led Dallas defensemen with 235 hits last season.
The 26-year-old Fistric, a native of Edmonton, was a first-round pick by the Stars in 2004.
Charge dropped against Iowa St.'s Palo
AMES, Iowa -- Prosecutors have dismissed a sexual abuse charge against Iowa State basketball player Bubu Palo.
Palo was suspended from the team in September after being charged with sexually abusing a woman he was driving home in May.
The Story County Attorney's Office announced Monday that new forensic evidence on a blouse belonging to the clashed with her sworn testimony as well as sworn testimony from her mother.
Palo's attorney Matthew Boles says his client is expected to be reinstated to the team. Iowa State athletic department spokesman Mike Green says the school has no comment on Palo's status at this time.
Another man, Spencer Cruise, of Ames, who was charged with second-degree sexual abuse, was also cleared.