College football: Notre Dame is opting out of its series with Michigan, meaning the last scheduled game between college football’s winningest programs will take place in 2014.
A letter from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon canceling games in 2015-2017 was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Brandon told the AP he was handed the letter on the field in South Bend, Ind., about an hour before Saturday night’s game.
“I put the letter in my pocket and didn’t bother to read it right away because I was focused on the game we were about to play,” Brandon said. “I read it on the way home Sunday morning.”
The Fighting Irish recently decided to move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in every sport except football and hockey, though the football team will play five games a year against league opponents, starting no later than 2015.
“While this move is a necessary precaution as we begin the process of meeting our new scheduling commitment to the ACC,” Swarbrick wrote in his letter to Brandon, “please know that Notre Dame very much values its relationship with Michigan and we look forward to working with you to ensure that our great football rivalry can continue.”
Brandon said he hopes to work with Swarbrick on another contract to extend the series.
“The ball is in their court because they’ve triggered the three-game notice,” he said. “We’ll play them next year at Michigan Stadium for the last time in a while – it appears – and we’ll make our last scheduled trip to South Bend in 2014.”
The Irish beat the Wolverines 13-6 over the weekend in the latest game of a storied series that dates to 1887. They’ve played every year since 2002 and regularly since 1978 after not meeting from 1944-77 or 1910-41. Michigan and Notre Dame were scheduled to take a hiatus during the 2018-19 seasons.
• Robinson apologizes for turnovers: The unranked Michigan Wolverines have rallied around quarterback Denard Robinson.
Robinson apologized publicly to fans and privately to teammates for turning the ball over five times in Saturday night’s 13-6 loss at Notre Dame.
Wolverines coach Brady Hoke says he has made sure Robinson understands he was only one of 69 players who made the trip, telling him every coach and player was responsible.
Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao settling
Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are settling a federal defamation case in Las Vegas, clearing a key hurdle to a long-awaited bout between two top fighters who’ve traded verbal jabs for years but have never met in the ring.
Terms of the pretrial agreement cited in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas are confidential, said Malcolm LaVergne, a lawyer representing Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s father in the case.
“The matter has been resolved,” LaVergne said. LaVergne said he had no information about whether the court settlement means Mayweather and Pacquiao will meet in the ring.
Players union, NHL resume talks Friday
NHL: The NHL and its players’ union are to resume bargaining Friday for the first time since the lockout began, although the talks will concentrate on secondary economic issues.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Players’ Association special counsel Steve Fehr met in Toronto and set up the session, which will be in New York. These will be the first formal negotiations since Sept. 12, when the players and owners exchanged proposals.
The lockout started Sept. 16 when training camps were to open.
New Jersey 2013 F1 race may be canceled
Auto racing: The prospect of Formula One racing in New Jersey, with its striking views of the Manhattan skyline, appears to be under threat.
A year after New Jersey officials forged a 10-year agreement to hold the race from 2013, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying they have failed to comply with the contract’s terms and conditions.
Alex Howe, a spokesman for U.S. promoter Leo Hindery, said he wouldn’t comment on financial details or ongoing contract negotiations.