Quarterback Marcus Mariota said he will return to Oregon for his junior season. There had been speculation Mariota might declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. Oregon will know its postseason fate Sunday when the bowl pairings are announced. Mariota has thrown a touchdown pass in all 25 games he’s played in as a Duck. His 39 touchdowns — 30 passing and nine rushing — this season and 3,994 yards of total offense are the most in a single season at Oregon . . . Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs will discuss a new contract — which will probably come with a raise — for coach Gus Malzahn after the season. The third-ranked Tigers (11-1) will face No. 5 Missouri Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championship game and still have a shot at playing for the national title after stunning No. 1 Alabama Saturday . . . Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin accepted the job as head coach at struggling Miami of Ohio. Martin succeeds Don Treadwell, who was fired after the RedHawks lost their first five games. The RedHawks lost to Ball State, 55-14, last Friday, finishing the season 0-12 under offensive coordinator Mike Bath, the interim coach . . . Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin could miss next week’s game against No. 6 Kansas because of an ankle sprain.
BC could be headed to Dallas for bowl
Boston College (7-5), bowl-eligible for the first time since 2010, might be interested in landing an at-large berth as a Big Ten replacement in the Heart of Dallas Bowl Jan. 1 opposite a Conference-USA opponent, possibly Rice. “It obviously would resonate with the BC community because it would be played in the Cotton Bowl, because we have a lot of history there,’’ said BC athletic director Brad Bates. “But there’s just too many moving targets with all these bowls right now to really say, one way or another, that we’re going to end up at one particular place at this point.’’ If BC were to strike a deal with the Heart of Dallas bowl, it would also facilitate the ACC’s task of finding bowl berths for its 11 bowl-eligible teams.
— MICHAEL VEGA
Vonn cleared for downhill training
The US Ski Team said Lindsey Vonn has been cleared to begin World Cup downhill training. Vonn is expected to start in Wednesday’s first official training session at Lake Louise, Alberta, where she has won 14 races, including three each of the past two years. The team said a decision on whether Vonn will return to competition for the first time since last February will be made after Thursday’s training session. The scheduled races at Lake Louise are downhills on Friday and Saturday, with a super-G on Sunday . . . Larry Probst, the chairman of the US Olympic Committee said ‘‘it is our intention to bid’’ for the 2024 Olympics if a number of criteria are met — the strongest indication yet that the United States will put forth a bid city by the end of next year. A small group from the USOC has been visiting potential host cities, including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington.
Mexico City’s altitude is a challenge
The NBA is back in Mexico for a regular-season game, and the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves are learning there’s an additional rival to conquer: The altitude. During a practice game Tuesday, Minnesota’s players looked noticeably exhausted. ‘‘It was very tough getting through the sprints,’’ Kevin Love said. ‘‘You lose your breath very easy in here, but it was a good practice.’’ The Timberwolves and Spurs will play Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. EST. Sitting at 7,350 feet above sea level, Mexico’s capital is at a far higher elevation than Denver, which is the NBA’s highest venue at 5,280 feet . . . The disappointing Brooklyn Nets have shaken up their coaching staff, reassigning top assistant Lawrence Frank to a non-bench role. Head coach Jason Kidd said Frank will not be at practices or games, and that he will be writing daily reports.
Revolution’s Goncalves nets honor
New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves was voted to the 2013 Major League Soccer Best XI team. Goncalves, who won MLS Defender of the Year honors last week, garnered Best XI accolades following a season in which he anchored one of the league’s top defenses and helped the Revolutions return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in four seasons . . . Season tickets for the 2014 Revolution season are on sale and start at $306 for 18-game packages. Call 1-877-GET-REVS or visit revolutionsoccer.net for more information . . . Forward Jozy Altidore earned his first Futbol de Primera US national team player of the year award . . . Rogers Communications has bought the naming rights to the future home of the Edmonton Oilers, expanding its already wide reach in Canadian professional sports. The telecommunications giant said in a statement the downtown arena that is set to open in 2016 will be called Rogers Place.