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Shaka Smart, VCU reach deal on extension

Virginia Commonwealth athletic director says it's a pre-emptive move to keep away schools with openings such as UCLA and USC.

March 27, 2013|Staff and wire reports
  • Virginia Commonwealth Coach Shaka Smart talks to guard Troy Daniel during an 88-47 victory over Akron in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Virginia Commonwealth Coach Shaka Smart talks to guard Troy Daniel during… (Duane Burleson / Associated…)

Shaka Smart and Virginia Commonwealth have agreed in principle to a deal to keep the basketball coach at the school.

Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin said the details were still being finalized, but the majority of changes involve "program enhancements for the student-athletes and coaches." McLaughlin said it also extends a contract already scheduled to run through 2020.

Smart's record is 111-37 in four years, the sixth-most wins in the country over that stretch.

Since he guided VCU to the Final Four in 2011, Smart's name has been among the first mentioned whenever a high-profile job comes open.

With openings at places such as UCLA, USC and Minnesota, McLaughlin said VCU wanted to give him a new deal to be proactive in the face of certain interest from elsewhere.

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Connecticut women's basketball Coach Geno Auriemma signed a new $10.86-million contract, a deal designed to keep him at the school through the 2017-18 season, Connecticut announced.

ETC.

Sharapova reaches semifinals

Maria Sharapova, a four-time runner-up in the Sony Open, returned to the semifinals despite a patchy performance, beating Sara Errani, 7-5, 7-5, at Key Biscayne, Fla.

Seeded No. 3, Sharapova will play Thursday against No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, who beat No. 15 Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

The men's quarterfinals featured eight Europeans for the first time, and in the opening match, No. 3 David Ferrer of Spain rallied past unseeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Ferrer's opponent Friday will be bracket buster Tommy Haas of Germany, who beat No. 11 Gilles Simon of France, 6-3, 6-1.

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Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a new contract that guarantees the ace an additional $97.5 million over five years through 2018.

Wainwright had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.

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The Atlanta Falcons found a replacement for John Abraham by reaching an agreement with free-agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora on a two-year contract.

The Falcons released the 34-year-old Abraham, who led the team with 10 sacks in 2012, earlier this month.

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The Oakland Raiders released defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, cutting ties with their longest-tenured position player on the roster.

The move is the latest to distance the organization from the era of late owner Al Davis. Kelly originally signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and quickly became a mainstay on the defense, signing a $50.1-million, seven-year contract to remain with Oakland in 2008.

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Times staff writer Lance Pugmire was recognized in three categories in the annual writing competition by the Boxing Writers Assn. of America. Pugmire earned a second-place award for event coverage, a third for news story and honorable mention for short feature.

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Tom Boerwinkle, the former Chicago Bulls center who had a franchise-record 37 rebounds in a 1970 game against the Phoenix Suns, has died. He was 67.

The University of Tennessee issued a statement saying the former Volunteers player died Tuesday at his home near Chicago after a lengthy illness.

The 7-foot Boerwinkle, drafted fourth overall in 1968, averaged 7.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 10 seasons with the Bulls from 1968-69 to 1977-78. He also worked as an analyst on the team's radio broadcasts from 1991-94.

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