Blazers fire GM just before draft
NBA: The Portland Trail Blazers have fired general manager Kevin Pritchard after six seasons with the team, ending months of speculation that he had fallen out of favor with billionaire owner Paul Allen.
The Oregonian newspaper reported about an hour before the draft started that Pritchard had been fired. He was sequestered until late Thursday when he emerged from the Blazers’ war room.
The team confirmed the firing at the conclusion of the draft.
Pritchard said last week he understood that a search firm had been hired to find his replacement but vowed to fight for his job. He was under contract through next season with a team option for 2011-12.
Eastern, Central to play at Qwest
College football: Eastern Washington and Central Washington will be matched up for the Sept. 11 “Showdown on the Sound” game at Qwest Field in Seattle with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Last season, Eastern defeated Portland State 47-10 in the inaugural “Showdown on the Sound.” Central annually plays its “Battle in Seattle” at Qwest, and will take on Western Oregon there on Oct. 16.
Tickets for the game will be available through Ticketmaster, the Qwest Field stadium box office and other locations to be announced.
End to early offers proposed
Colleges: Prep players may have to wait a little longer to start accepting scholarship offers.
An NCAA committee said that it will back a proposal to prohibit making scholarship offers to recruits before July 1 in the summer between their junior and senior years in high school. If passed, it would apply to all sports.
Coaches also would have to receive high school transcripts documenting at least five semesters or seven quarters worth of academic work for a young recruit before they can offer a scholarship.
Families have said they had felt pressured to make decisions before knowing enough about the school’s academic programs. Coaches also told the committee they were under increased pressure to “keep up” by making offers to younger and younger players or lose out on top recruits.
The issue has drawn headlines when some coaches made offers to middle school players.