AHL announces new Pacific Division: The AHL did as expected today, announcing a new five-team Pacific Division comprised of California teams that will begin play next season. Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim Ducks) to San Diego. Adirondack Flames (Calgary Flames) to Stockton. Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers) to Bakersfield. Manchester Monarchs (LA Kings) to Ontario. Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) to San Jose. To be clear on the Oklahoma City Barons move to Bakersfield, the Barons are closing shop and the Bakersfield Condors will be moved up to the AHL ranks.
Sources: Jim Harbaugh Expected to Take Michigan Job: Two members of the San Francisco 49ers staff and a third NFL source said Saturday they expect 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to accept a six-year, $48 million contract to become the head coach of the University of Michigan.
ESPN Gets Ready to Launch Its First Web Video Subscription Service — For Cricket’s World Cup: ESPN's efforts to sell streaming video subscriptions for some sports programming without requiring viewers to pay for cable TV could start early next year.
People familiar with ESPN's plans say that Russell Wolff, who heads up the company's international group, is spearheading the plan to sell online access in the U.S. Earlier this year, Wolff pegged cricket's U.S. fan base at 30 million.
Mike Carey, longtime NFL referee, avoided Washington’s games because of the name: “I’ve called them Washington all my life,” he said, when finally asked. “And I will continue to call them Washington.”
In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes—and Whistle-Blower: Beginning in the 1990s and continuing at least through 2011, UNC’s Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies offered more than 200 lecture courses that never met. The department also sponsored hundreds of independent study classes of equally dubious value. Internal reviews have identified forged faculty signatures and more than 500 grades changed without authorization. The students affected were disproportionately football and basketball players. Behind the cover of this week's edition.
Brad Ausmus Is Your New Detroit Tigers Manager: Former Tigers catcher Brad Ausmus has never been a manager — in the major leagues or the minor leagues. But all signs pointed this morning that Ausmus would become the Tigers’ next skipper.
Look dude, you can do this.: Teenager Sloane Stephens takes down her idol Serena Williams in the Australian Open. Stephens also happens to be the daughter of former New England Patriot, John Stephens.
Coach Bill Callahan Threw Super Bowl?: Former Oakland Raider players, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, claim that coach Bill Callahan threw Super Bowl XXXVII against Tampa Bay because was still miffed at the Raiders for trading coach John Gruden to the Buccaneers. In response, Callahan vehemently denies their allegations and seems to be firing up the ol' defamation lawsuit engine.
Ex-Lion Lomas Brown: I got Scott Mitchell hurt on purpose.: Lomas Brown admitted that he blew a block with the aim to get QB Scott Mitchell out of the game. Scott Mitchell responds.
High and Tight:: High and Tight: Our Rock & Roll Baseball Experts Pick the Best and Worst Big League Stadiums
High and Tight: : Our Rock & Roll Baseball Experts Discuss Uniforms – the Good, the Bad and the Fugly.
NHL governors adopt radical realignment plan: The NHL's Board of Governors on Monday approved a radical realignment plan, according to multiple reports. The plan reportedly eliminates the current two-conference, six-division setup in favor of a configuration that features four conferences based on geography. Two conferences will have eight teams and the other two conferences will have seven teams, according to the report.
Cubs great Ron Santo elected to Baseball Hall of Fame: A little more than a year after he died, Cubs great Ron Santo has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
Jaguars Fire Jack Del Rio, Team Sold: The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Jack Del Rio after nine seasons and announced the sale of the team to Illinois auto parts magnate Shahid Khan, who previously tried to buy the St. Louis Rams. Despite only winning one playoff game over that span, never winning a division title and not having a winning season since 2007, Del Rio was one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker takes over as interim head coach. "The Jaguars were better off jettisoning Del Rio now instead of putting the fan base through weeks of waiting for the ax to fall," writes Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette. Departing owner Wayne Weaver claimed that Khan will keep the team in Jacksonville, but said there's no guarantee in writing.
Report: Urban Meyer to Coach Ohio State: Former Florida coach Urban Meyer will sign a seven-year, $40 million deal to coach Ohio State, unnamed sources told Orlando TV station WKMG. A day earlier the Gainesville Sun quoted Meyer as saying he had not been interviewed, but his comments sounded receptive to the possibility: "I've found that it is possible to have balance between your job and your family, that there are coaches out there who are doing it. ... I'm in a good place right now mentally and physically. So if something happens with Ohio State, I'll have a decision to make."
London Rippers getting ripped: If the London Rippers were looking for attention, well, they got it - a swarm of criticsm for the name of the city's newest professional baseball team.
There's No Defense for a Bad Goalie: Schuckers mapped every shot each goalie faced last season, allowing him to isolate a goalie's save percentage against shots from every location on the ice. He put those findings against a plot of every shot taken in the NHL in order to estimate how each goalie would fare not just against the shots he faced, but against the shots all the goalies faced—therefore putting them all up against the same shots. DIGR stands for "defense independent goalie rating."
Plane crash kills ‘majority’ of KHL team Lokomotiv: Among the NHL alumni on Lokomotiv's roster as of Aug. 31: Josef Vasicek, Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins and Red Wings goalie prospect Stefan Liv. Former Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brad McCrimmon was listed as their head coach.
A mascot for our Craigslist era: The Amarillo Sox are an American Association (independent) baseball team in the panhandle of Texas. They recently commissioned a new mascot costume. The results were unsatisfactory (also on MetaFilter).
Finland kicks a little Swedish ass: to claim first IIHF World Championship gold since 1995. Finland scored five goals in the third period en route to a 6-1 victory. The Finnish youth celebrated by taking to the streets by the thousands and getting naked. (all three of those links are best viewed away from work)
NBC, Versus win NHL TV rights in bidding war vs. ESPN: A source with knowledge of the NBC/NHL relationship told us this morning that it's a 10-year deal.
2011 SpoFi NHL Playoofs Confidence Pool: Pick your teams and then pick your nose for the 2011 SpoFi NHL Playoofs Confidence Pool is in town! The deadline for getting your picks in is 13 April, 7:00 PM Eastern Time. Uh, that would be for picking your teams in the confidence pool, not picking your nose. There's never a deadline for that!