NFL office can help refs with replays

BARRY WILNER AP Pro Football Writer Published:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL officiating department will help referees rule on instant replay reviews starting next season.

League owners passed a rule Tuesday allowing referees to consult with director of officiating Dean Blandino and his staff to help determine whether a call should be upheld or overturned. NFL officials said the change should speed up the process.

Blandino and other staff will be monitoring the games from league offices in New York, and they will immediately begin reviewing challenges before the referee even gets to his monitor. They can make recommendations on what replays to look at, but the referee still will make the final decision.

• Football

Passes away at 95: During his 95 years, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson went from fan to "Foolish Club" member to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, enjoying every step along the way.

The NFL lost the person regarded as the league's "conscience" on Tuesday, when Wilson died at his home around 1:40 p.m.

Navy player dies: Navy football player Will McKamey, who has been hospitalized since collapsing at practice three days ago, has died while in a coma. He was 19.

The academy says the freshman running back from Knoxville, Tenn., died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore on Tuesday.

Dr. Pepper is the choice: Dr. Pepper will be the first presenting sponsor of the new College Football Playoff championship trophy.

The four-team playoff will begin this season, replacing the Bowl Championship Series.

• Basketball

Headlines class: Shaquille O'Neal, Grant Hill and Darrell Griffith headline the 2014 College Basketball Hall of Fame class.

They will be joined at the induction ceremony in November by NAIA star Zelmo Beaty from Prairie View A&M; Final Four coaches Dale Brown of LSU and Gary Williams of Maryland; longtime coach and author Glenn Wilkes Sr.; and Howard Garfinkle, the founder of the Five-Star Basketball Camp.

Cavs hold on: Dion Waiters scored 24 points and Luol Deng added 19 as the Cleveland Cavaliers prevented Toronto from getting closer to a playoff spot with a 102-100 win over the Raptors on Tuesday night.

Vanguard wins NAIA: Preston Wynne scored 20 points, Chris Gorman added 18 and sixth-seeded Vanguard of California beat No. 8 seed Emmanuel of Georgia 70-65 on Tuesday night to win the program's first NAIA national championship.

• Baseball

New vision: Detroit has released a new vision for the former site of Tiger Stadium that would include a youth baseball field along with stores, residential space and offices.

A request for proposals issued by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. would build a new 10,000-square-foot headquarters and maintain much of the Detroit Tigers' former field for youth baseball.

Baseball salaries: The Los Angeles Dodgers have knocked the New York Yankees off baseball's payroll perch.

The Dodgers are ending the Yankees' 15-year streak as baseball's biggest spenders and as of Tuesday had a projected payroll of $235 million, according to a study of all major league contracts

• Auto Racing

Trying to swap: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday he wants to swap race cars with Graham Rahal, but believes it won't be possible because they drive for rival manufacturers.

Both drivers are sponsored by Army National Guard this season.

Last call: Actor Jim Nabors says this year's Indianapolis 500 will be the last time he performs "Back Home Again in Indiana"

The actor best known as television's Gomer Pyle has performed the song live at the race every year since 1987 with the exception of 2007 and 2012.

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