Kent State’s Hazell is Purdue’s choice
Purdue announced Wednesday it has hired Kent State coach Darrell Hazell to be its next football coach. Hazell won this season’s Mid-American Conference coach of the year award after leading Kent State to its first winning season since 2001, first bowl appearance in more than four decades and the brink of a BCS bowl game. Hazell replaces former coach Danny Hope . . . California has hired Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes to take over for the fired Jeff Tedford. Two people with knowledge of the hire confirmed that Dykes got the job and will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday . . . Florida International fired coach Mario Cristobal after the Panthers finished with a 3-9 record. Cristobal was 27-47 at FIU, but took the Panthers to their first two bowl games . . . Rutgers is suing the Big East, trying to avoid paying a $10 million hit for leaving en route to the Big Ten. Big East bylaws state a school must give 27 months’ notice in addition to paying the fee. The suit says the Big East selectively enforced the rules. Rutgers claims some schools did and some did not have to give notice or pay the fee on their way out of the conference. The Big East allowed Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and TCU to leave the league before the 27-month period had run its course.
Notre Dame LB Te’o wins Lombardi
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the Lombardi Award as college football's best lineman or linebacker. Also a Heisman Trophy finalist, Te’o had 103 tackles and seven interceptions this year
Wallace fined $5,000 for a second flop
Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for flopping, joining teammate Reggie Evans as the only repeat offenders under the league’s new penalty system. The league also gave Clippers veteran Chauncey Billups a warning for falling backward after launching a jumper against Utah with little or no contact. Wallace was defending LeBron James on Saturday in Miami when he went tumbling backward after James put his right hand on Wallace’s body. Wallace had previously been warned for a flop against New York on Nov. 26.
Messi injures knee in tie with Benfica
Lionel Messi was carried off the pitch after suffering a bone bruise to his left knee as host Barcelona and Benfica played to a scoreless tie in a Champions League match. Messi collided with Benfica goalkeeper Artur in the 85th minute and fell to the turf after weakly attempting a chipped shot . . . Defending champion Chelsea was knocked out of the Champions League after Juventus beat host Shakhtar Donetsk, 1-0. Chelsea needed Juventus to lose in order to advance to the knockout stage. Chelsea became the first reigning champion to exit at the group stage.
Four stripped of medals from Athens
Athens Olympics shot put gold medalist Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, hammer throw silver medalist Ivan Tskikhan of Belarus, shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia, and discus thrower Irina Yatchenko of Belarus were all stripped of their medals after their Athens doping samples were retested this year and came back positive for steroids. The case of a fifth bronze medalist, weightlifter Oleg Perepechenov of Russia, is pending . . . The IOC held off stripping Lance Armstrong of the bronze medal he won at the Sydney Olympics in the cycling road time trial. The IOC said it must wait for UCI, cycling’s governing body, to formally notify Armstrong of the loss of his results since August 1998. The IOC wants to avoid any legal problems in connection with the eight-year statute of limitations in the Olympic rules . . . The Michigan Senate approved legislation to help finance a downtown project that would include a new home for the Detroit Red Wings. Team owner Mike Ilitch announced plans for a $650 million development, which would include an events center where NHL games could be played.