Bobby Labonte stays put
Bobby Labonte became the latest driver to take himself off the free-agent market, agreeing to a contract extension with Petty Enterprises, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The former Cup Series champion had been considering an extension since late last year and decided this week to continue driving the famed No. 43 Dodge.
FCS playoff field expanded to 20
The NCAA Board of Directors has voted to expand the Football Championship Subdivision playoff field to 20 teams beginning in 2010.
The move adds bids for the Northeast Conference and the Big South Conference, plus two at-large berths. It also means the playoffs will run five weekends.
Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton helped write a proposal to allow the addition of an at-large bid each time an FCS league becomes eligible for the playoffs – meaning the conference has six schools that are Division I in all sports.
Montana athletics director Jim O’Day isn’t sure he supports the change.
“One of the major concerns for us is how are we going to fit this into our schedule,” O’Day said. “And for us, selfishly, it could mean changes to the Montana-Montana State game being at the end of the year.”
The FCS season will remain at 11 games over 12 weeks, allowing for a bye week. The Cat-Griz game has typically been played during the final weekend of the regular season, with the playoffs starting on Thanksgiving weekend.
The Division I FCS increased its playoff field from 12 to 16 teams in 1987. Since then the FCS, formerly Division I-AA, has increased by 28 teams to 122. NCAA Division II uses a 24-team playoff bracket.
Spiders lose home opener
Jacob Sagate and the Yakima Reds spoiled the season opener and home opener of the Spokane Spiders.
Sagate scored a pair of goals and the Reds rolled to a 3-0 victory on Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College in USL Premier Development League men’s soccer action.
Sagate staked the Reds to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute of the first half. Severiano Garcia stretched the lead to 2-0 in the 86th minute and Sagate added his second goal in the 88th.
The Spiders entertain the Tacoma Tide on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Greyhound Park.