The America's Cup is headed for a rare one-on-one showdown in 90-foot multihull boats after a New York State Supreme Court judge sided with a U.S. yacht club Tuesday in a legal battle between billionaires.
Despite months of rhetoric and rancor, both sides said it could be one of the most exciting matchups in the 157-year history of a sport that sometimes can be downright boring.
Judge Herman J. Cahn refused to hear new arguments from two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland, letting stand his November order that San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club was the rightful Challenger of Record, not a Spanish club that had been chosen by the Swiss.
Golden Gate backs BMW Oracle Racing, which is headed by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison.
Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli said he would not appeal and plans to face BMW Oracle Racing in a best-of-three showdown for the oldest trophy in international sports.
BMW Oracle Racing spokesman Tom Ehman said his syndicate feels it has the right to hold the regatta in October. Alinghi is pushing for July 2009.
Central Florida player collapses and dies
A Central Florida wide receiver died after voluntary strength and conditioning drills, the day before spring practice was set to begin.
Police said there was no foul play or obvious cause for redshirt freshman Ereck Plancher's late-morning collapse. Athletic Director Keith Tribble said the players had been lifting weights, then ran for about 10 minutes.
After the workout, the team huddled for a quick chat. As everyone was leaving, Plancher, a 19-year-old from Naples, Fla., took a knee in obvious distress, Tribble said. Trainers immediately provided CPR and Plancher was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was pronounced dead just before noon.
UCLA wide receivers Marcus Everett and Gavin Ketchum were each awarded an extra year of eligibility after ankle injuries cut short their 2007 seasons. Everett will be a fifth-year senior and Ketchum a fourth-year junior in 2008. Fullback Michael Pitre, a fifth-year senior in 2007, was denied a sixth year.
Missouri linebacker Marquis Booker was dismissed from the team after the 20-year-old sophomore was arrested on a possible weapons violation last weekend.
Raiders near deal for Falcons' Hall
The Oakland Raiders and former Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall have made "significant progress" toward renegotiating his contract in one of the final steps needed to complete a trade with Atlanta.
The Falcons would acquire from Oakland at least a second-round pick, the 34th overall, in next month's draft.
Molina qualifies for Beijing Olympics
Light-welterweight boxer Javier Molina of Commerce secured a berth in the Beijing Olympics with a one-sided victory over Canadian Kevin Bizier at the Americas Qualifier in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Molina, 18, the U.S. champion, took a 6-0 lead after two rounds and was never challenged in winning, 20-5.
His brother Oscar Molina, who is representing Mexico in the welterweight division, can qualify in the final pre-Olympic tournament next month in Guatemala.
Former welterweight champion Paul Williams has exercised his rematch clause to fight Carlos Quintana, and the two will fight June 7 at a site to be determined.
Williams (33-1, 24 KOs) lost his World Boxing Organization belt by unanimous decision to Quintana (25-1, 19 KOs) on Feb. 9 in Temecula. The June 7 card also will feature a bout between Sergio Mora and Vernon Forrest, promoter Dan Goossen said.
Runner's death linked to heart problems
Ryan Shay's death during the Nov. 3 U.S. Olympic marathon trials resulted from natural causes linked to an irregular heartbeat and an enlarged heart, the New York City Medical Examiner's announced.
Although the statement did not include the results of toxicology tests, the runner's father, Joe Shay, said the medical examiner's office told him in December the toxicology report was negative.
Rodney Harmon will take over from Patrick McEnroe as coach of the U.S. men's Olympic tennis team in Beijing, the U.S. Tennis Assn. announced.
China's Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao executed a flawless short program to lead the pairs in the world figure skating championships in Goteborg, Sweden.
Nichols, 66, played on the PGA Tour
Bobby Nichols, who spent three years on the PGA Tour, died of cancer in Cookeville, Tenn. He was 66.
Bob Purkey, who pitched in three All-Star games and one World Series with the Cincinnati Reds, died Sunday in Bethel Park, Pa. He was 78. Story, Section B