College football: TCU is getting out of future debates about whether the Horned Frogs deserve to be in a BCS game. They are joining a league with automatic access.
The Frogs won’t have to be a BCS buster when they move to the Big East Conference, starting with the 2012 season. Win their new league and they will be guaranteed a spot in one of the big-money games.
In the latest restructuring of the college football landscape, TCU’s board of trustees unanimously approved an invitation Monday to join the Big East in football and all other sports. The move from the Mountain West Conference becomes official July 1, 2012.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said gaining automatic- qualifying status “was a big factor” in the move and gives the Horned Frogs “the greatest opportunity to compete for the national championship.”
The Big East, currently with eight football teams, has one of six automatic BCS slots.
• Arkansas St. coach quits after nine seasons: Arkansas State coach Steve Roberts has resigned after back-to-back 4-8 seasons.
Athletic director Dean Lee said the school had reached a financial settlement with Roberts, who was 45-63 in nine seasons at the school.
• North Texas to hire Dan McCarney: North Texas is going back to an experienced college coach. Dan McCarney, a Florida assistant and former Iowa State head coach, will be announced as the new coach of the Mean Green today, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.
He replaces Todd Dodge, fired after going 6-37 in four seasons.
James, Wade lead Heat over Wall-less Wizards
NBA: LeBron James scored 30 points, Dwyane Wade added 26 and the Miami Heat pulled away steadily to beat Washington 105-94, keeping the Wizards winless away from home this season.
Chris Bosh finished with 20 for the Heat, who won for just the second time in their past six games. James got Miami going with 20 in the first half, Wade then helped seal the win with 22 in the second half.
Andray Blatche scored 26 points and had nine rebounds for Washington, which is 0-8 on the road. Gilbert Arenas added 23 for Washington.
The Wizards were without No. 1 draft pick John Wall, who missed his second straight game with a bruised right knee.
Romo throws soft passes at practice
NFL: Since breaking his left collarbone, Tony Romo has done all the prescribed rehabilitation work and kept the rest of his body in shape. He goes to all meetings and watches games from the sideline.
Five weeks after he was hurt, Romo was back on the Dallas Cowboys practice field throwing passes. They were only soft tosses during warmups, but it shows progress and his desire to return.
• Johnson, Finnegan fined $25,000, no suspensions: The NFL fined Houston’s Andre Johnson and Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan $25,000 each for their fight in Sunday’s game, but is not suspending them.
The Texans’ star wide receiver and Titans’ cornerback slugged it out in the fourth quarter of the Texans’ 20-0 victory.
Johnson apologized after the game. Finnegan has not spoken about the incident.
• NFL turns down Harrison’s fine appeals: The NFL has rejected Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s appeals of his $75,000 fine for a hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, and $25,000 fine for slamming helmet-first into Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ back.
Harrison, fined $100,000 this season for three separate hits, faces another possible fine for his roughing-the-passer penalty Sunday against Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
• Bills rally around WR Johnson: Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson is laying low a day after questioning God and himself for dropping what would’ve been an overtime, game-winning touchdown pass.
No worries, his teammates have his back.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says he’ll still keep throwing the ball to Johnson. Center Geoff Hangartner says everyone makes mistakes.
Johnson remains the focus of attention after dropping a 40-yard touchdown pass in a 19-16 loss to Pittsburgh.
Palmeiro, Gonzalez on Hall of Fame ballot
MLB: Suspected steroid users Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez are on baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot for the first time and join Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar, both having fallen just short in last year’s vote.
Former most valuable players Jeff Bagwell and Larry Walker, and former rookies of the year Benito Santiago and Raul Mondesi also will be on the 33-man ballot, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America said.
• Pirates LaRoche, Young now free agents: Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche and infielder Delwyn Young have become free agents after clearing waivers.
• Torrealba gets 2-year deal from Rangers: Free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba has agreed to a two-year contract with the Texas Rangers, filling one of the biggest offseason needs for the A.L. champions.
The Rangers also agreed to a $1.2 million, one-year contract with right-hander Mark Lowe, the reliever acquired from Seattle with Cliff Lee.
• Former Yankees McDougald dead: Gil McDougald, an All-Star infielder who helped the New York Yankees win five World Series championships during the 1950s, has died. He was 82.
McDougald died Sunday of prostate cancer at his home in Wall Township, N.J., the Yankees said.
McDougald spent his entire 10-year major league career with the Yankees and played a key role on one of baseball’s greatest dynasties.
He was the A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1951 and teamed with Hall of Famers such as Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
Crosby extends streak to 13 games in win
Miscellany: Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 13 games and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their seventh straight by beating the New York Rangers 3-1.
Maxime Talbot scored in the first period, and goals by Kris Letang and Chris Conner in the second stretched Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 25 saves to earn his ninth win of the season.
• Barcelona routs Real Madrid in Clasico: David Villa scored twice as Barcelona routed Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid 5-0, moving into first place in the Spanish soccer league with its record fifth straight win in the “Clasico” matchup.
Xavi Hernandez and Pedro Rodriguez put the defending Spanish champion ahead 2-0 in the first 18 minutes and Villa doubled the lead early in the second half, scoring twice off passes from Lionel Messi.
• Olsen gets D.C. United coaching job for next season: As of Monday, 33-year-old Ben Olsen is the youngest permanent head coach in MLS history, getting the D.C. United job after a 12-game stint on an interim basis at the end of last season. United gave Olsen a new three-year contract.
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