Around the Nation (April 24): Cowboys Stadium to host first college football championship (with videos)

Associated Press Published:

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FOOTBALL

Cowboys Stadium to host first college championship

PASADENA, Calif. -- The first championship game in the College Football Playoff will be held at Cowboys Stadium.

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Arlington, Texas, has beaten out Tampa, Fla., in the bidding to be the site of the first title game in the new playoff system.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal vote by the BCS conference commissioners was scheduled for later Wednesday, and a formal announcement after that.

The game will be held Jan. 12, 2015.

The final three sites for the semifinal rotation will also be announced later. Cowboys Stadium, home of the Cotton Bowl, is expected to be among them. The other two will be the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

BASKETBALL

Memphis' Gasol wins NBA Defensive POY

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has won his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after anchoring the league's stingiest defense.

Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami's LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The 7-foot-1 Spaniard averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a Memphis defense that allowed a league-best 88.7 points per game.

HOCKEY

Ohio State names assistant new coach

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State has elevated assistant coach Steve Rohlik as head men's ice hockey coach, replacing the fired Mark Osiecki.

Rohlik has been the associate head coach for the Ohio State program the last three seasons under Osiecki, who was fired last week after a disagreement with athletic director Gene Smith and the administration.

Rohlik has 16 years of experience as a Division I coach at Minnesota Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha. During his career, he has recruited and/or coached two Hobey Baker Award winners, 12 All-Americans and 18 players who have reached the NHL. He will help usher the Buckeyes into the new Big Ten hockey conference this fall.

AUTO RACING

Kenseth penalized for engine fails

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Matt Kenseth was essentially stripped of his win at Kansas on Wednesday because his race-winning car failed inspection.

NASCAR found one of the eight connecting rods in the engine of the No. 20 Toyota used Sunday did not meet the minimum weight requirement once it was inspected at its Research & Development Center.

As punishment, Kenseth was stripped of 50 driver points in standings, as well as the three bonus points he earned for the win that would have been applied in seeding for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. His pole also was stripped.

Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended six races.

Car owner Joe Gibbs also was suspended six races and will not earn any owner points during his suspension.

NASCAR penalizes Sauter for fuel cell

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Johnny Sauter lost the Truck Series points lead Wednesday after NASCAR penalized him for an illegal fuel cell at Kansas.

Sauter was docked 25 points by NASCAR. It knocked him from first place into a second-place tie with Jeb Burton, 13 points behind new leader Matt Crafton.

Crafton and Sauter are teammates at ThorSport Racing.

The illegal fuel cell was found on the No. 98 Toyota during an opening day inspection and was not used in the race. NASCAR also suspended crew chief Joe Shear four races and fined him $10,000.

Sauter won the first two races of the season and finished fifth at Kansas. He's finished fifth or better in all four Truck Series races this season.

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