Auburn’s football program changed players’ grades to secure eligibility, offered money to potential NFL draft picks so they would return for their senior seasons, and violated NCAA recruiting rules under former coach Gene Chizik, according to a report by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts. The report appears on Roberts’s website, Roopstigo.com. According to three former Auburn players, as many as nine players’ grades were changed before Auburn’s win in the 2011 BCS national championship game . . . The former Big East Conference changed its name to the American Athletic Conference.
BC’s Gaudreau a Baker award finalist
Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau, Quinnipiac’s Eric Hartzell, and St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc have been selected as finalists for the Hobey Baker award, college hockey’s top individual honor. The winner will be revealed April 12 in Pittsburgh, the site of this year’s Frozen Four. Gaudreau is a sophomore forward who led the Hockey East in points and assists and was tied for second in the nation with six game-winning goals. Hartzell, a senior goalie, and LeBlanc, a senior forward, helped their teams reach the NCAA semifinals for the first time in the history of their programs . . . Aaron Gordon had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead the West to a 110-99 victory over the East in the McDonald’s All-American game at Chicago. Kansas commit Wayne Selden of Roxbury and Tilton Academy scored 13 points and had five rebounds, and Indiana commit Noah Vonleh of Haverhill and New Hampton scored 3 points and had six rebounds in 11 minutes. Both played for the East squad.
Reds’ Ludwick to be out three months
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months following surgery Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder. Ludwick dislocated his non-throwing shoulder while sliding into third base in Cincinnati’s opening 3-1, 13-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels Monday. An MRI a day later found the cartilage tear. The Reds put Ludwick on the 15-day disabled list . . . San Jose’s mayor, Chuck Reed, has requested a meeting with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to ‘‘resolve any lingering issues about our commitment to having the A’s home plate be located in San Jose,’’ the San Jose Mercury News reported. Selig assigned a special committee four years ago to study the proposed A’s move to San Jose. The San Francisco Giants have objected on grounds they relied on territorial rights to the San Jose area when they built AT&T Park, now in its 13th season . . . Mets manager Terry Collins said Shaun Marcum is coming to New York to have his pitching shoulder and neck examined by team doctors and that Aaron Laffey would likely make a spot start in place of the righthander Sunday.
Kings vote may be delayed, says Stern
Commissioner David Stern said the expected vote in two weeks that will decide the future home of the Kings franchise may be delayed. A Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a pending agreement with the Maloof family to buy 65 percent of the team and move it back to the city, which the SuperSonics left in 2008. Sacramento, the Kings current home, has put together its own group to make a competing bid. Both sides made presentations to a committee of owners Wednesday. A vote was expected during the April 18-19 Board of Governors meeting. But Stern said questions remain about real estate and arena construction timelines, and owners may need more time to sort through them . . . Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia will miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair his sore right Achilles’ . . . Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal will miss the rest of his rookie season because of a stress injury in his right fibula. Beal is expected to resume basketball-related activities in about six weeks.
Smith, Kiprono to defend BAA crowns
Kim Smith and Allan Kiprono will defend their titles in the Boston Athletic Association Distance Medley, a three-race series that awards $100,000 to the man and woman with the fastest cumulative time from all three races. Defending women’s champion and course record-holder Werknesh Kidane will compete in the BAA 5k, which awards $25,000 to the winner. Both races are April 14 . . . Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is signed up to swim the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle events this weekend at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas, said Armstrong spokesman Mark Higgins. US Masters Swimming is not covered under the same drug testing rules of the US Anti-Doping Agency, which banned Armstrong for life from its sanctioned events for his performance-enhancing drug use during his cycling career.