Sports Briefs 11-30-12: David Beckham is looking beyond his Galaxy finale

GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer Published:

CARSON, Calif. -- After six seasons as the worldwide face of Major League Soccer, David Beckham believes nobody should doubt it's a major league.

It's the third word in MLS that still bugs the English midfielder.

"Even after six years, I'm still personally getting used to calling it soccer," Beckham said with a grin Thursday. "I still have my moments of saying football. To me, it will always be football, but I have adapted myself over the years. I think I've done pretty well, maybe, in the last year."

Although Beckham is leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy after Saturday's MLS Cup, he plans to play a major role in the league's growth indefinitely. He began his last few competitive days in a Galaxy uniform with a training session for the defending champions' final match against the Houston Dynamo.

Beckham still won't say where he plans to play next, coyly deflecting the latest rumors of interest everywhere from Sydney to Monaco. But he reiterated his commitment to MLS, both as a future team owner and a cheerleader.

• Football

Rivalry renewed: Nebraska and Oklahoma will renew one of college football's greatest rivalries for two seasons. The schools announced Thursday they have signed a contract that will have the Cornhuskers and Sooners play in 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in 2022 in Lincoln, Neb. Both games will be in September.

The Huskers and Sooners played 71 straight seasons as members of the Big Six and Big Eight. The game decided the Big Eight championship 31 times in 36 seasons. Oklahoma leads the series 45-38-3, having won the teams' last meeting 23-20 in the 2010 Big 12 championship game.

Report released: The Black Coaches and Administrators have awarded grades of "A'' to 21 of the 39 Division I schools that conducted head football coaching searches in 2011-12. The organization's executive director said he was alarmed only six of the schools hired minorities.

The report card released Thursday is not based on how many minority coaches were hired. Rather, schools are evaluated based on criteria pertaining to the hiring process. Historically black colleges are not included in the study.

• Auto Racing

New race car: Chevrolet unveiled its 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup car Thursday. The matching Chevrolet SS passenger car, a new rear-wheel drive vehicle that will be available in showrooms in August, will be unveiled in February around the season-opening Daytona 500, when it will debut on the track.

The Chevrolet SS replaces the Impala, which won 152 races from 1959-64 and 2007-12.

Jr. ties record: Dale Earnhardt Jr. tied Bill Elliott's record of 10 consecutive wins as NASCAR's most popular driver, and was just as nervous accepting it Thursday as he was when he received his first honor.

Earnhardt won the award Thursday at the Myers Brothers Luncheon at The Encore at Wynn. The award is presented annually by the National Motorsports Press Association, and Earnhardt has won it every year since 2003.

• Elsewhere

Watney leads: Nick Watney made five birdies on his last 10 holes -- including his first birdie ever on the 14th hole at Sherwood -- for a 5-under 67 that gave him a two-shot lead at the World Challenge.

Keegan Bradley and a pair of past champions at this tournament -- Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell -- were two shots out of the lead at 69. Tiger Woods was in the group at 70 that included Bo Van Pelt, whom Woods beat this year at Congressional, and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.

Sanctions coming: The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four starters.

The Spurs played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, all sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team's best interest. Stern disagreed, calling the decision "unacceptable," apologizing to fans and saying that sanctions against the Spurs will be forthcoming.

Wright inks deal: WFAN radio reported that David Wright and the New York Mets have agreed to a $138 million, eight-year contract that would be the richest in franchise history.

The deal would keep the All-Star third baseman under contract with the Mets through the 2020 season, when he will be 37.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.