Sports Briefs 12-14-12: Basketball schools to cut from Big East

RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- The Big East is headed for another break up. This time, the seven prominent basketball schools that don't play FBS football are planning to cut ties with the ever-changing conference.

The divorce is expected to be complicated, maybe even contentious, with millions of dollars and possibly the future of the league at stake.

The Big East's non-football members -- St. John's, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton hall, Providence and Villanova -- decided to separate from the conference, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials from those schools are still sorting through details and trying to figure how best to split from the conference. No official announcement was imminent, the person said.

• Golf

Captain named: Weary of two decades of defeat in Europe, the Americans are breaking from precedent with a captain uniquely suited for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.

Tom Watson will be by far the oldest man to fill the role and the first repeat captain for the U.S. since Jack Nicklaus in 1987. But he's also the last American to lead the team to victory on the road, and he knows how to win in the blustery Scottish weather.

Popovic leads: Australia's Daniel Popovic shot an 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian PGA on Thursday, then revealed that his father is battling incurable cancer.

Popovic said his father, Radi, who gave him his start in the game, is battling a form of bone cancer.

• Football

Change of venue: Notre Dame will face Navy at the home stadium of the Washington Redskins in 2014.

Navy officials announced Thursday that the long-time rivalry will move to FedExField in Landover, Md., on Nov. 1, 2014. The teams last played there in 1998.

Josifovski clutch: Michael Josifovski gave Marian the NAIA championship in only its sixth year of football with two more pressure field goals.

Josifovski made a 35-yarder on the final play of regulation to force overtime and hit a 26-yarder in the extra session to lift the Indianapolis school past Morningside (Iowa), 30-27 on Thursday night.

• Basketball

Rice suspended: Rutgers has suspended coach Mike Rice three games without pay and fined him $50,000 for a violation of department policy. Athletic director Tim Pernetti announced the decision Thursday. He said the suspension is a result of inappropriate behavior and language, not NCAA violations.

Rice will return to his duties as head coach Jan. 2 at Syracuse.

All-star voting: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are the leading vote-getters, while Jeremy Lin has a chance to bring Linsanity to the NBA All-Star game.

Lin was running third among Western Conference guards behind Bryant (639,419 votes) and Chris Paul (353,603) when the NBA released the first All-Star balloting update of the season Thursday.

• Elsewhere

Hannahan to Reds: The Cincinnati Reds and free-agent infielder Jack Hannahan finalized a $4 million, two-year contract on Thursday, giving the team added depth at third base.

The 32-year old, reunited with former Cleveland teammate Shin-Soo Choo, hit .244 for the Indians last season with 16 doubles, four homers and 29 RBIs in 105 games. His playing time was limited by a minor back injury.

Sayler returning home: The athletic director at the University of South Dakota has resigned to take a position at a college in Ohio.

Sayler, who is from Ohio, says it has been a goal of his for a while to return, but it became even more of a priority when his wife's mother passed away recently.

Ducks win in upset: Liz Brenner had 17 kills and 17 digs to help fifth-seeded Oregon sweep the final three sets and upset top-seeded Penn State on Thursday night in the NCAA women's volleyball semifinals.

The Ducks (30-4) won 21-25, 30-28, 25-22, 25-19 to advance to the title game Saturday night against third-seeded Texas, a five-set winner over unseeded Michigan.

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