Thomas Pieters of Illinois plays a shot during NCAA regional qualifying… (Steve Sisney / Associated…)
Cory Whitsett shot a three-under-par 68 to help Alabama take a four-shot lead after two rounds of the NCAA Division I men's championships on Wednesday at Riviera Country Club.
The Crimson Tide was four-over 572. UCLA is alone in second.
Thomas Pieters of Illinois shot a second-round 68 and led by two shots over first-round leader Anton Arboleda of UCLA and Florida's Tyler McCumber.
The NCAA individual champion will be crowned after 54 holes, and the top eight teams advance to match play.
Pieters, who is from Belgium, tied for the low round with Whitsett. Whitsett led Alabama, and freshman teammate Justin Thomas shot his second consecutive under-par round (70). Hunter Hamrick had a two-over 73 and Scott Strohmeyer shot 76.
USC jumped into a five-way tie for eighth place, 12 shots out of first.
Clippers fire an assistant coach
Although Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro had his contract option exercised by the team Tuesday for the 2012-13 season, one of his assistant coaches was let go.
Assistant coach Dean Demopoulos was fired by the Clippers on Wednesday, said two people who were not authorized to publicly speak on the matter.
Demopoulos, who was in his second season with the Clippers, was the team's defensive coordinator.
After a promise from players that the game will be more competitive, the NFL will hold the Pro Bowl in Honolulu next Jan. 27, a week before the Super Bowl.
Commissioner Roger Goodell had made it clear canceling the all-star game was a possibility after the uninspired play of this year's 59-41 AFC victory. Following discussions between the league and the players' union, the NFL announced Wednesday that Aloha Stadium would host the Pro Bowl for the third straight year.
It will be the 33rd Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Sirius XM Radio will announce Thursday that it has hired former UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel to be an analyst on its college sports channel.
Neuheisel will debut Monday on "College Football Playbook," which airs from 9 a.m. to noon PDT. He will also co-host "College Sports Today" weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Roger Clemens' former catcher with the Toronto Blue Jays, Charlie O'Brien, testified that he had seen vitamin B12 "shots lined up ready to go" for players, a claim also made by Clemens and for which he was charged with obstructing Congress.
Clemens is charged with obstruction of Congress, perjury and making false statements for denying to Congress in 2008 that he ever used steroids or human growth hormone. The obstruction count contains 13 allegedly false statements, including Clemens' assertion in his congressional deposition that "four or five needles" of vitamin B12 would be "already lined up ready to go" in the trainers' room after games. The government maintains that Clemens concocted the B12 account as a cover for steroid injections.
After 20 seasons, the Nicklas Lidstrom era is coming to an end for the Detroit Red Wings.
Lidstrom will announce his retirement at a news conference on Thursday morning, a person with knowledge of his plans confirmed to the Detroit Free Press.