Minnesota hires Pitino’s son
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have hired Richard Pitino as its next coach, according to multiple reports.
Pitino replaces Tubby Smith, who was fired last week after a loss to Florida in the round of 32.
The son of legendary college coach Rick Pitino was a former Louisville assistant who also has worked as an assistant at Florida and Providence.
He replaced Isiah Thomas at Florida International and led the Golden Panthers to an 18-14 overall record, including 11-9 in the Sun Belt. They upset Middle Tennessee State in the conference tournament semifinals but lost the automatic NCAA berth to Western Kentucky.
Arizona LB Washington suspended for 4 games
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington will sit out the first four games of the 2013 NFL regular season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the team announced Wednesday.
“Adversity and dealing with it is part of the business but when it’s avoidable like this was, it’s particularly tough,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “One of the biggest things we preach is accountability; Daryl knows that and our team knows that. We will deal with this and others will have to step up until he’s back. I’m confident they will.”
The team announced that Washington will be able to take part in all offseason programs, as well as training camp and preseason games. However, he will not be able to take part in the first four games or practices during those weeks.
“I was always taught that when you make a mistake, you admit it, learn from it and face whatever consequences there are,” Washington said in a statement. “I take full responsibility and I understand that I let down my teammates, the organization and fans. I apologize for that and promise that no one will work harder to make up for it.”
Old Big East has new name: American Athletic Conference
The old Big East Conference has a new name.
The American Athletic Conference will be the new name for the former Big East Conference, ESPN reported, adding that the new name could become official as early as Thursday.
The old Big East needed a new name when the Catholic 7 schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova — kept the Big East name when it announced it was splitting apart and forming its new league.
The American Athletic Conference will look nothing like the old Big East.
In addition to the Catholic 7′s departure, the league will lose Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC on July 1. In 2014, Louisville departs for the ACC and Rutgers heads to the Big Ten.
To offset those losses, the American Athletic Conference will add full members UCF, Houston, Memphis and SMU on July 1. On July 1, 2014, East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa will join the AAC and Navy will join as a football-only member on July 1, 2015.
Cal’s Crabbe to enter NBA draft
BERKELEY, Calif. — Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe plans to forego his senior season to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.
“It has been a dream of mine to play at the next level for a long time and I feel deep down in my heart this is the right decision,” Crabbe said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cal and learned a lot from my coaches and teammates. I will miss a lot of people at this University both in basketball and in school. I will always be a Golden Bear at heart.”
Crabbe averaged 18.6 points and six rebounds per game as a junior.
A 6-6, 210-pound shooting guard, Crabbe was a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 pick — he also made the first team as a sophomore (15.2 ppg) — and the conference freshman of the year in 2010-11.
Ravens release LB Ayanbadejo
BALTIMORE — Veteran linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was released by the Baltimore Ravens. The 10-year veteran is primarily a special teams player, and he turns 37 before the start of next season.
His minimum salary given his total years of NFL service will be more than $900,000 next season. Because he doesn’t play in the base defense, Ayanbadejo might be pressed to find work in a role that typically is filled by younger and much cheaper backup defensive players.
He has played for the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from UCLA.
Ayandadejo might be best known for his support of same-sex marriage, a campaign he has taken public along with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
Brazilian player gets 6-match ban for heroic clearance
RIO DE JANEIRO — A Brazilian player has been banned for six games for entering the pitch without permission and stopping a certain goal by heading the ball off the line.
Bangu defender Celsinho had been receiving treatment for a cramp behind the goal when goalkeeper Getulio Vargas tried to dribble his way out of the defense and lost the ball to an opponent in the match against Duque de Caxias.
Duque forward Charles Chad was left with an empty goal to aim at, but Celsinho leapt up, rushed onto the field and cleared the ball with a magnificent diving header.
Celsinho was sent off, Duque de Caxias were awarded an indirect free kick which was cleared by the Bangu defence and the Carioca (Rio de Janeiro state) championship match ended 2-2.
“The player, who was off the field for medical treatment, returned to the pitch via the goal line without permission and headed the ball away,” said the referee in his report, according to a Rio de Janeiro sporting tribunal.
The tribunal found him guilty of unsporting play and unethical behavior as well as entering the field without permission.
Wizards rookie Beal to miss rest of season
Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a stress injury in his right fibula, the club announced Wednesday. Beal will be able to resume basketball-related activities in approximately six weeks.
Beal, who was selected with the third overall pick out of Florida in the 2012 NBA Draft, was averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting .386 from 3-point range in 56 games in his first season. He currently ranks third among all rookies in scoring and 3-point percentage and second in minutes per game (31.2).
Beal struggled during the first half of the season, but when teamed up with backcourt mate John Wall, Beal thrived. The duo played in 25 games together and the Wizards compiled a 16-9 mark.
Beal was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and January and set the Wizards rookie franchise record for 3-pointers made in a season with 91.
Beal previously missed 18 games during his rookie campaign, 11 because of a sprained left ankle, five because of a sprained right wrist and two others due to a sore back.