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NCAA tells Justice Department to talk to BCS about college football playoff

NCAA President Mark Emmert says the organization does not play a role in the BCS.

May 18, 2011|Staff and wire reports

NCAA President Mark Emmert told the Justice Department on Wednesday that its questions about the lack of a playoff system for college football are best directed to another group: the Bowl Championship Series.

Other than licensing the postseason bowls, "the NCAA has no role to play in the BCS or the BCS system," Emmert wrote in a letter to the department's antitrust chief, Christine Varney. He added that short of member colleges and universities discontinuing the BCS and proposing an NCAA championship, "there is no directive for the [NCAA] to establish a playoff."

In a letter two weeks ago, Varney told Emmert that "serious questions continue to arise suggesting the current Bowl Championship Series system may not be conducted consistent with the competition principles expressed in the federal antitrust laws." Critics who have urged the department to investigate the BCS contend that it unfairly gives some schools preferential access to the title game and other lucrative, top-tier bowls.

Emmert's comments about the role of the NCAA were in response to Varney's questions about why a playoff system is not used in major college football, unlike in other sports, and what steps the NCAA has taken to create one.

SOCCER

Landon Donovan rumors discounted

Rumors linking Galaxy forward Landon Donovan and Aston Villa midfielder Michael Bradley to a move to AS Roma of Italy's Serie A have been discounted by agents for the two U.S. national team players.

Donovan, 29, is the all-time scoring leader for the U.S. and leads Major League Soccer in goals this season. He would be an obvious target for a move when the European transfer window opens in July.

But even though AS Roma reportedly is willing to offer MLS $14 million for Donovan and also would match his $2.3-million Galaxy salary, his agent, Richard Motzkin, has questioned why his client would want to switch leagues.

Similarly, Alberto Faccini, the agent for Bradley, 23, said he doubted there is "much truth to these rumors" and said they probably stemmed from the fact that a majority share of AS Roma was recently purchased by Boston businessman Thomas DiBenedetto.

— Grahame L. Jones

Heather O'Reilly had a goal and an assist and Amy Rodriguez also scored as the U.S. women beat Japan, 2-0, in an exhibition game at Cary, N.C.

ETC.

Tiger Woods will drop out of top 10

Tiger Woods is about to fall out of the top 10 in the world for the first time in 14 years. Woods, whose last win came 18 months ago at the Australian Masters, will be at best No. 11 in the next world ranking, to be published Monday. It will be the first time he is out of the top 10 since he was No. 13 on April 6, 1997, the week before he won the Masters for the first of his 14 majors.

Woods started the year at No. 2 and has been steadily dropping points. Woods, who tied for fourth at the Masters last month, withdrew from the Players Championship last week because of injuries. He said on his website Monday that he will try to return June 16-19 at the U.S. Open.

Farmers Insurance announced that it has signed on for another year as title sponsor of the single Los Angeles stop on the ATP Tour. Along with keeping a sponsor, the Farmers Classic tournament, scheduled for July 25-31 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA, got a big-name commitment.

Juan Martin del Potro, 23, the winner of the 2009 U.S. Open after an upset of Roger Federer, announced he will be in the field. The 6-foot-6 Del Potro, who sat out the majority of last season after wrist surgery, has been moving up in the rankings this season. He has won two tournaments (Del Rey Beach and Estoril) and his ranking has climbed from around 500 to No. 27. After winning the U.S. Open, Del Potro, from Argentina, was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world before his injury.

He is the only player outside of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer to have won a Grand Slam title since the 2005 French Open. Del Potro, who was to have played in Los Angeles last year until his surgery, won the 2008 event at UCLA by upsetting Andy Roddick in the final.

Del Potro's U.S. Open win, his only Grand Slam championship, was memorable because he upset third-seeded Nadal in the semifinals and then came from two sets to one down in the final and beat top-seeded Federer in five.

— Diane Pucin

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