Around the Nation (March 20): Butler, Creighton, Xavier join new Big East

Associated Press Published:

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLLEGE

Butler, Creighton, Xavier join new Big East

NEW YORK -- Butler, Creighton and Xavier are moving to the new Big East.

They will join the so-called Catholic 7 basketball schools who left to start a new conference and are keeping the Big East name. The league also announced Wednesday its completed broadcasting deal with Fox.

Butler and Xavier are leaving the Atlantic 10. Creighton departs the Missouri Valley Conference.

They join Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall and DePaul.

NCAA to take second look at recruiting rules

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA's board of directors will reconsider its plan to deregulate recruiting.

On Wednesday, the governing body announced that at least 75 schools had signed a petition to suspend new rules approved in January that were intended to eliminate the prohibitions on how coaches could contact recruits and how often they could do so outside the no-contact period.

The board has three options: Keep the rules and submit them for an online vote from all Division I schools, rescind the rules or modify them.

The board also has agreed to reconsider a rule that would have prohibited coaches from scouting future opponents in person.

Its next meeting is scheduled for May 2 in Indianapolis.

Mountain West, ESPN strike seven-year deal

The Mountain West and ESPN have reached agreement on a seven-year deal that will give the network rights to televise some football and men's basketball games, plus all Boise State's home football games.

Terms of the deal were not released Wednesday.

The agreement runs from the 2013-14 school year to the 2019-20 season.

CBS Sports Network will still be the hold primary rights to the conference through 2015-16, and will get first selection of football games each week during the season, excluding Boise State home games.

CBS Sports Network will hold rights to Boise State's road conference games.

In addition to Boise State home games, ESPN will get rights to up to 16 Mountain West football games and 31 men's basketball games per year.

FOOTBALL

NFL owners decide to tweak Rooney Rule

PHOENIX -- The NFL is looking to make the Rooney Rule more effective after eight available coaching jobs and seven for general managers did not go to a minority candidate.

Commissioner Roger Goodell says Wednesday at the owners meetings "we were disappointed in the results this year." But the league will make some tweaks that Goodell hopes will "make sure we get the right candidates better training and we really are doing a better job of getting them in front of the people who are making the decisions."

The Rooney Rule, implemented in 2003, was named for Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who steadfastly pushed the league to require every team to interview at least one minority candidate every time there is a coaching or general manager opening.

BASKETBALL

New Mexico, Alford reach 10-year deal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico basketball coach Steve Alford has agreed to a new 10-year contract that could bring him up to $2 million per season including base salary, bonuses and incentives.

UNM Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs announced the deal Wednesday prior to the team's practice at the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City, where they play Harvard on Thursday.

The Lobos are in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years and their 29 wins this season are the second-most in school history.

New Mexico has won 155 games under Alford, the only coach in school history to win 22 games in each of his first six seasons.

The new contract will take Alford through the 2022-23 season.

NBA adds Vandeweghe as VP of basketball ops

NEW YORK -- The NBA has hired former All-Star Kiki Vandeweghe as vice president of basketball operations.

Vandeweghe, also a former general manager with Denver and the Nets, and the Nets' interim coach for a year, will be involved in the development of rules and interpretations, disciplinary matters and other details involved in the operation of NBA games.

He will start April 1 and report to executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson.

Jackson says Wednesday in a statement that Vandeweghe's more than three decades of experience give him "a tremendous amount of insight into our game."

Jackson says, "We're looking forward to drawing upon his expertise on a wide range of matters involving our game."

BASEBALL

Athletics trade Parker to Brewers for Byrd

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers acquired third baseman Stephen Parker from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitcher Darren Byrd on Wednesday.

Over four seasons in the minors, the 25-year-old Parker has batted .277 with 43 home runs and 262 RBI in 448 games. His best season was 2010, when he batted .296 with 21 homers and 98 RBI in 139 games at Class-A Stockton.

The 26-year-old Byrd spent three seasons in the Brewers' farm system and appeared in one game this spring.

Diamondbacks trade McDonald to Pirates

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded shortstop John McDonald to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named and cash.

McDonald found himself the odd man out in a crowd at the position. Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist are expected to share the spot when the season begins, with top prospect Didi Gregorius waiting at Triple-A Reno.

The 38-year-old McDonald came to Arizona along with Aaron Hill in a trade that sent Kelly Johnson to Toronto in August of 2011. Known as a defensive specialist, McDonald played in 89 games for the Diamondbacks, he hit .230, seeing time at second base and third base as well as shortstop.

McDonald has spent parts of 14 seasons in the majors with Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto and Arizona.

Yankees' Derek Jeter out of lineup again

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York captain Derek Jeter remains out of the Yankees' lineup.

Jeter was not listed to start for the second consecutive game on Wednesday because of ankle discomfort. The shortstop was removed from the lineup against Philadelphia on Tuesday for "precautionary" reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle feels "stiff."

Jeter has mild inflammation of the ankle, which a precautionary MRI showed on Tuesday. An X-ray was negative and he's listed as day-to-day.

The 13-time All-Star broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the AL championship series in October. He played in his first spring game on March 9 and later played the field for the first time. He is 3-for-11 so far.

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