Fast Break

College basketball

NIC men after conference title

After his team lost two of three men’s conference games to Salt Lake Community College last month, North Idaho College coach Jared Phay (above) just wanted a chance to win the Scenic West Athletic Conference at the end.

Phay has his wish.

SWAC regular-season play concludes this weekend and 14th-ranked NIC (25-3, 10-3) is tied with SLCC (23-4, 10-3), which is ranked 13th. To the conference winner goes the spoils – the right to host the Region 18 men’s and women’s tournaments next week.

Both teams finish with two road games beginning Friday. NIC has a pair at Snow College (18-10, 5-8) and SLCC is at College of Eastern Utah (21-6, 7-6).

To host the tournaments, NIC must capture the title outright. SLCC will host in the event of a tie.

“I think we’ve got a real good shot if we win two,” Phay said. “We’ve got our work cut out, but I think it’s going to be tough for Salt Lake to sweep.”


League cuts staff, reduces salaries

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy, the NFL confirmed Wednesday.

The league said that its staff cut, announced more than two months ago, has resulted in a reduction of 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions. That amounts to just more than 15 percent of the league’s work force of 1,100.

“All of us understand that it will continue to take collective sacrifice to get through this challenging economic environment, but these and other steps by our office and clubs will enable us to be more efficient and better positioned for future growth,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Goodell voluntarily took a cut of 20-25 percent from the $11 million salary and bonuses he was to receive in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends March 31. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for 2009.

Ice Skating

Greensboro gets 2011 nationals

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are going South.

Greensboro, N.C., was chosen as the host of the 2011 national championships, selected over Kansas City, Mo. Next year’s national championships, which are also the Olympic trials, are in Spokane.

This is the first time nationals will be in North Carolina. Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie said it could be a boon for skating.

“We have been growing in terms of new ice facilities and having more participants in the sport,” said Wylie, who lives in Charlotte and coaches at the Carolinas Figure Skating Club. “With figure skating’s premier event coming to the state in less than two years, I expect the growth in figure skating in North Carolina to be tremendous.”

Greg Lee Associated Press Associated Press

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