The Atlantic 10 has discussed the possibility of a 21-team basketball league in the event that the changing conference landscape makes the Big East’s seven non-football members available, several media outlets reported Tuesday night. The A-10 has been strengthening its brand as a high-profile basketball conference with the additions of Butler and Virginia Commonwealth, two programs that were in the 2011 Final Four. The A-10 is a 16-team conference for the 2012-13 season, but Temple and Charlotte are set to leave for the Big East and Conference USA, respectively. The 21-team model would occur if the A-10 were to add the seven Big East basketball-only Catholic schools (Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova), which met Sunday in New York with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco to go over their options. The seven schools are debating whether to split from the Big East.
Alabama puts 4 on All-America squad
Alabama is No. 1 when it comes to All-Americans. The second-ranked Crimson Tide placed four players on the Associated Press All-America football team. Among them was center Barrett Jones, who became a two-time first-team selection. No other team had more than two players selected to the first team. No. 1 Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Stanford, and Florida were second with four players on the three teams, though linebacker Manti Te’o was the only Fighting Irish player to make the first team. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, the first freshman Heisman Trophy winner, became the first freshman to be named the first-team quarterback. Alabama’s Jones was joined on the first team by teammates Chance Warmack, a guard, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and cornerback Dee Milliner . . . Southern Mississippi hired Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken as its next coach. Monken, 46, comes to the Golden Eagles after two successful seasons leading the Cowboys’ high-scoring offense, which is averaging nearly 45 points per game this season. Monken replaces Ellis Johnson, who was fired on Nov. 27 after finishing with a 0-12 record in his only season . . . Former Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski has been hired as offensive coordinator at Georgia State . . . Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will earn $118,500 for returning to the sideline to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl and a win against Stanford will mean a $50,000 bonus. He replaces coach Bret Bielema, who left to take the coaching job at Arkansas . . . San Jose State defensive coordinator Kent Baer will coach the team for the Military Bowl game Dec. 27 against Bowling Green. Baer takes over for Mike MacIntyre, who left Monday to take the head coaching job at Colorado . . . Miami cornerback Thomas Finnie was arrested on charges of grand theft and burglary, and has been suspended indefinitely from the football program.
Watson to be US Ryder Cup captain?
Golf Digest reported that Tom Watson will be named US captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup when the PGA of American announces its decision live on “The Today Show” Thursday morning on NBC. Watson will be 65 when the 2014 Ryder Cup is played at Gleneagles, Scotland, making him the oldest US captain in history. He also would be the first American to repeat as captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1987 when the matches were played on his home course of Muirfield Village. Watson said over the weekend that it would be a ‘‘great honor if I got tapped on the shoulder.’’ Watson also was the captain in 1993, the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup away from home . . . Colleen Walker, the former LPGA Tour player who won nine times during her 23-year career, died after her second battle with cancer. She was 56. The LPGA Tour said Walker died at her home in Valrico, Fla.
Lakers’ Nash out until after holidays
Lakers guard Steve Nash, out since the first week of the season because of a broken fibula and nerve damage in his leg, told USA Today he won’t be ready to return until after the first of the year. “I think it will be at least another two weeks,” Nash told the newspaper. “I can move. I can shoot, I just can’t run full speed. And I’m not even in shape. I’ll probably need at least a week of practice once I start running.’’ . . . Toronto center-forward Amir Johnson was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA for throwing his mouthpiece at a referee in the Raptors’ loss at Portland on Monday night . . . Omer Asik of the Rockets and Zaza Pachulia of the Hawks received warnings from the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule during games last week.
Armstrong fought release of records
Lance Armstrong resisted turning over records sought by US Postal Service investigators, then tried to keep the inquiry under seal and out of the public eye, according to recently released court documents. In 2011, Postal Service officials investigating Armstrong and his teams for doping wanted records from his team management groups, financial statements, training journals, and correspondence with former training consultant Michele Ferrari. He eventually complied with a subpoena but as recently as October was still asking the courts to keep the inquiry private. Last week, federal Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson ordered the subpoena and Armstrong’s efforts to keep it private released to the public. The judge rejected Armstrong’s arguments that releasing the subpoena would violate the secrecy of the grand jury process or a pending whistleblower lawsuit filed against Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis . . . The Portland Timbers of the MLS re-signed Danny Mwanga, the 21-year-old forward who was acquired by Portland in a June trade with the Philadelphia Union.