NCAA president slams union idea
NCAA president Mark Emmert called an effort to unionize players a ‘‘grossly inappropriate’’ way to solve problems in college sports while insisting the association has plans to change the school-athlete relationship. On Sunday at Arlington, Texas, during his annual Final Four address, Emmert said that the NCAA wants to allow the big conferences with moneymaking teams to write their own rules, and those changes could solve many athletes’ complaints more effectively than unionization. Emmert said the Union-employee model would ‘‘throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics.’’He also joined Kentucky coach John Calipari in wanting to revise the one-and-done rule in college basketball. Emmert said he is in ‘‘vocal opposition’’ to the rule established by the NBA and its union that requires players be at least one year removed from high school before declaring for the draft. Calipari has said he favors a two-year period before players can declare.
Phillips replaces Christian at Ohio
Saul Phillips, who guided North Dakota State to an upset of fifth-seeded Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament and 26 wins this season, was hired as Ohio University’s basketball coach. Phillips succeeds Jim Christian, who left after two years to coach Boston College. Christian was 49-22 at Ohio; Phillips was 134-84 in seven seasons at North Dakota State . . . The men’s Final Four’s television viewership is down after its move to cable. The two NCAA semifinals Saturday on TBS and TNT averaged a total of 14 million viewers, an 11 percent decrease from last year’s games on CBS. Monday’s title game will be on CBS. Kentucky’s 74-73 win over Wisconsin in the second semifinal slot averaged 16.3 million viewers, down 5 percent from last year’s Michigan-Syracuse game. The 11.7 million viewers for Connecticut’s 63-53 victory over Florida in the early game were down 19 percent from Louisville-Wichita State in 2013 . . . Harvard softball coach Jenny Allard reached 500 career wins with the Crimson’s sweep of Columbia.
US women’s coach Sermanni is fired
US Soccer said Tom Sermanni was fired as coach of the women’s national team. The Americans beat China, 2-0, in a friendly Sunday at Commerce City, Colo. Hours later, the sport’s national governing body announced the sacking in a news release. Sermanni took over as coach in January 2013. He previously spent eight years coaching Australia’s women’s team. The US was unbeaten last year under Sermanni, winning 13 matches and drawing three. Against China, Lauren Holiday scored late in the first half and substitute Megan Rapinoe added the second goal . . . Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot as host Liverpool beat West Ham, 2-1, to stretch its Premier League winning streak to nine and return to the top of the standings.
NASCAR Texas race postponed by rain
The Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth was postponed by NASCAR after a four-hour rain delay. The Duck Commander 500 will be run Monday at noon. The race didn’t start as scheduled as steady rain saturated the track. NASCAR’s new track drying system requires two hours to dry the 1.5-mile speedway, but the unseasonably cool temperatures made the task difficult . . . Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg after an intense race-long battle to take victory at the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir. The two recorded their second 1-2 finish in eight days after victory last weekend in Malaysia. Force India’s Sergio Perez was third . . . Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said a US-backed team led by NASCAR’s Gene Haas is among two new teams likely to join the series next season.
Mets closer Parnell is out for season
Mets closer Bobby Parnell will have Tommy John surgery and is out for the season. Parnell blew a save Opening Day against Washington and the next day it was revealed he had a partially torn right elbow ligament . . . Righthander Jameson Taillon, considered the Pirates’ top pitching prospect, will have Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season and likely part of 2015 . . .The Browns agreed to a one-year contract with free agent wide receiver Nate Burleson. A 12-year pro, Burleson has made 103 career starts and finished last season with 39 catches for 461 yards for Detroit . . . The Bears agreed to a one-year free agent contract with former Saints center Brian de la Puente . . . Roger Federer won the decisive singles match to give Switzerland a 3-2 win over Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup and a spot in the semifinals for the first time in 11 years. Federer cruised to a 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev. Italy, trailing 2-1, ousted Britain to reach its first semifinal in 16 years after Fabio Fognini pulled off a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Andy Murray. France defeated Germany, 3-2, after Gael Monfils beat Peter Gojowczyk, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 . . . Andrea Petkovic won the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. outlasting Jana Cepelova for a 7-5, 6-2 victory . . . Ana Ivanovic beat Jovana Jaksic, 6-2, 6-1, to win the Monterrey (Mexico) Open for her second title of the year . . . Police in Medina, Minn., arrested Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham for the second time in three days. The 26-year-old Cunningham was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of making terrorist threats. Police declined to go into detail about the allegations but said more information would be released on Monday. Cunningham was arrested Thursday and charged with felony domestic assault.