Sports Briefs 2-9-14


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's football team will receive a $6 million participation fee for its 2017 season opener against Florida in Arlington, Texas.

Michigan released its contract for the Cowboys Classic on Friday. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2.

The contract is dated Dec. 14, 2013, and it includes language that says if Florida is provided a greater financial guarantee than Michigan's participation, Michigan can receive additional consideration until its guarantee equals Florida's.

The contract says ESPN receives a $5 million guarantee from CSLP Stadium LP and a $1 million sanction fee from the Stadium Events Organizing Committee. ESPN pays the $6 million to Michigan.

This game will be played at AT&T Stadium, home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. Michigan played in 2012 Cowboys Classic, losing 41-14 to Alabama.

• Baseball

Rodriguez ends lawsuit: Alex Rodriguez ended his extended and acrimonious fight with Major League Baseball on Friday, withdrawing a pair of lawsuits and accepting a season-long suspension that marks the longest penalty in the sport's history related to performance-enhancing drugs.

Rodriguez, who has steadfastly denied using banned substances while with the New York Yankees, made the decision nearly four weeks after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz largely upheld the discipline issued last summer by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Pestano asks for raise: Cleveland's Vinnie Pestano, among four Indians left in arbitration, asked arbitrators Matt Irvings, Matt Goldberg and Steven Wolf for a raise from $501,900 to $1.45 million and was offered $975,000.

Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner has won his arbitration case against the Padres and will make $2.4 million in 2014.

Baseball is having its first salary arbitration hearings in two years. Last year was the first time all cases settled without any hearings.

• Elsewhere

Allen hangs on to lead: Michael Allen birdied four of his last eight holes for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead over Scott Dunlap and Chien Soon Lu on Saturday in the Allianz Championship at Broken Sound.

A day after becoming the ninth player to shoot a 60 on the Champions Tour, Allen fell out of the lead after playing his first 11 holes in 1 over. He birdied the next two holes to move into a share of the lead and birdied the last two to finish two rounds at 15-under 129.

Big Ten tournament changes: The Big Ten has announced that the conference tournament will have an eight-team field for the first time. The tournament is May 21-25 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

The conference said Friday the double-elimination format will culminate with a single championship game, with the winner earning the tournament title and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. The teams will be split into two brackets, with the Nos. 1, 4, 5 and seeds in one bracket and the Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 7 seeds in the other.

Packers hire coaches: Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has chosen former Illinois coach Ron Zook and Sam Gash to fill spots on his coaching staff.

Zook was named assistant special teams coach. He replaces Chad Morton. Gash fills the running backs coaching position that became vacant when Alex Van Pelt was moved to quarterbacks coach to replace Ben McAdoo. Winston Moss, who was assistant head coach/inside linebackers, will now oversee the entire linebacker group.

Blue Jackets make moves: The Columbus Blue Jackets reassigned defensemen Cody Goloubef and Tim Erixon to their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday

The 24-year-old Goloubef has appeared in three games with the Jackets since being recalled from Springfield on Jan. 25 under emergency conditions. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound blueliner has six goals and 14 assists in 41 games with the Falcons this season. He was the Blue Jackets' second pick, 37th overall, at the 2008 NHL draft.

The 22-year-old Erixon has registered four goals and 20 assists in 27 games with Springfield in 2013-14. He skated in two games for Columbus earlier this season. In 51 career NHL appearances with the Blue Jackets and New York Rangers, Erixon has seven assists.

U.S. beats Russia: Carli Lloyd and Christen Press each scored twice to help the U.S. women's soccer team beat Russia 7-0 on Sunday in an exhibition game.

Abby Wambach entered 14 minutes into the second half and scored the seventh goal in the 67th minute. She has a record 164 international goals.

Heather O'Reilly and Sydney Leroux also scored.

The teams will play again Wednesday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The U.S. attacked from the opening minutes FAU Stadium, and took the lead on Lloyd's first goal in the 29th minute. O'Reilly scored in the 32nd, and Lloyd struck again 5 minutes later.

Williams withdraws: Top-ranked Serena Williams withdrew Friday from the Qatar Open and the Indian Wells event because of a back injury sustained last month in the Australian Open.

The Qatar Open begins Monday in Doha, and the BNP Paribas Open is March 3-16 in Indian Wells, Calif.

Iditarod start could move: The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's competitive starting point could move to Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that race officials sent an email to mushers Friday saying poor trail conditions in the Alaska Range may force the 1,000-mile race to start in Fairbanks. Race officials say a decision will made on Feb. 17 on the starting point.

The ceremonial start of the race is scheduled for March 1 in Anchorage and the official start is set for the next day in Willow, about 50 miles north. If the race is moved to Fairbanks, the competitive start would move to March 3 to give mushers time to make the 360-mile drive north.

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