College football’s winningest coach retires
MINNEAPOLIS — John Gagliardi put sleepy little Collegeville, Minn., on the national college football map with a style all his own.
After 60 years at Division III St. John’s, four national titles and more victories than any coach in NCAA history, Gagliardi is calling it a career at the tender age of 86.
“It’s unbelievable that I could make a living with a career in a game that is so popular and is such a huge business,” Gagliardi said Monday after announcing his retirement. “To be a small part of that has just been wonderful.”
He played a much larger role than he lets on, shirking the conventions of the stereotypical overbearing college coach. More teddy bear than Bear Bryant, Gagliardi banned whistles, tackling and, essentially, bad weather during practice.
If the notoriously thick swarms of central Minnesota mosquitos were out for blood, the coach who only responded to “John” simply called it a day.
Gagliardi started coaching college players in 1949 and spent the past six decades at the private school in central Minnesota. He retires with a record of 489-138-11 and surpassed Eddie Robinson for the career coaching victories record in 2003.
NHL labor talks to resume Saturday
NEW YORK — For the first time in eight days, the NHL and the players’ association are back at the bargaining table to try again to reach a deal that will end the two-month old lockout.
Talks resumed on Monday, the 65th day of the lockout that has already wiped out 327 games and threatens the entire season if a settlement isn’t reached soon.
After turning down a suggestion from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to take a two-week break from negotiations, the union requested another meeting with the league that was scheduled Saturday. It will be the first bargaining session between the sides since Nov. 11, when a busy week of negotiating wrapped up with a session that lasted just over an over and didn’t produce any results.
All games through Nov. 30 and the New Year’s Day Winter Classic have been called off. Another round of cancellations is expected this week if a new deal isn’t reached.
Miami self-imposes bowl ban
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Calling the move prudent and unprecedented, Miami is self-imposing a second straight postseason ban on its football program because of an NCAA investigation that is expected to eventually lead to stiff sanctions against the Hurricanes.
The decision, announced to players — who described the mood as disappointing and shocking — early Monday morning, ends Miami’s hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division, securing a berth in the league’s overall championship game and any chance for the team to play in the Orange Bowl.
And while the school said it’s not imposing any further penalties yet, Miami coach Al Golden revealed he is preparing to lose some scholarships going forward.
By skipping another bowl season, Miami — which still has not been presented with its notice of allegations from the NCAA, meaning the process is almost certainly several months from being complete — is hoping to minimize the impact of any looming sanctions that could be handed down when the investigation ends. Schools often self-impose penalties with hope that the NCAA takes those measures into account when doling out punishment, and typically, it works.
Cavendish latest Brit to be involved in bike crash
LONDON — Sprint specialist Mark Cavendish has become the latest member of Britain’s cycling team to be involved in a bike crash after hitting the back of a car during a training run in Italy.
The 2011 world road race champion says on Twitter he sustained a bruised arm after a car in front slammed on the brakes, but he is “relatively ok.”
Cavendish’s accident came two weeks after Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton were hospitalized after being knocked off their bikes.
Wiggins spent one night in the hospital with bruised ribs and hands when he was hit by a car. Sutton had surgery on a broken cheekbone and also sustained bruising and bleeding to the brain, but has already returned to work.
WADA: 4-year bans would serve as Olympic sanction
LONDON — Drug cheats will be kept out at least one Olympics under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s proposal to increase the suspension for serious violations from two years to four years.
WADA plans to double the standard penalty in the next edition of its global anti-doping code, which will come up for approval next year and go into effect in 2015.
WADA President John Fahey said Monday there is “an overwhelming amount of support for the sanction to be strengthened” for use of steroids, human growth hormone and other serious doping substances and methods.
Some athletes and sports bodies have previously challenged four-year bans in court as too severe and a restraint of trade. But Fahey said WADA took legal advice on the issue and believes the sanction will stand up in court.
The proposal was included in a new draft code that was presented to the WADA board on Sunday and will be reviewed next month.
While backing four-year suspensions, WADA decided not to include the IOC’s proposal of a specific ban for the Olympics. The IOC’s previous rule — barring any athlete with a doping suspension of more than six months from competing in the next Olympics — was thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year because it represented a second sanction and did not comply with the WADA code.