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Press Box: Davidson joins Atlantic 10; Penalties against Gibbs team reduced

The SportsXchange

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Davidson was announced as the newest member of the Atlantic 10 on Wednesday. The Atlantic 10 Conference Council of Presidents unanimously approved Davidson's application for membership.

Xavier and Butler defected to the new Big East prior to the 2013-14 season and after the upcoming season, Temple (American Athletic Conference) and Charlotte (Conference USA) are leaving the league.

Davidson joins George Mason as the A-10 newcomers. The Patriots are joining the A-10 for the 2013-14 season.

--Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes was named Wednesday to be the NCAA men's basketball committee chairman for the 2014-15 season. Barnes, who has been a committee member since 2010, will serve as vice chairman this season while Wake Forest's Ron Wellman serves as committee chairman.

Barnes has been the athletic director at Utah State since April 2008. On July 1, Utah State leaves the WAC and becomes a member of the Mountain West.

--Former basketball standout Chris Webber's exile from Michigan is over.

The school's 10-year disassociation period with one of the prominent members of the Wolverines' "Fab Five" team of the 1990s ended Wednesday. The banishment was the result of the Ed Martin booster scandal and subsequent NCAA penalties.

Webber was one of four disassociated Michigan basketball players - Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock -- who accepted more than $600,000 from Martin, who was the subject of a federal investigation and is now deceased.

In the fallout from the sanctions, Michigan removed banners from the school's 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances. The players involved also were not permitted to assist with recruiting, donate to the athletic department or show up on campus.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has suggested that Webber owes the school an apology and former Webber teammate Jalen Rose, now an ESPN analyst, agrees. But Webber has never offered to do so.

In April, Webber was spotted along with other "Fab Five" teammates in the crowd at the Final Four in Atlanta, where Michigan advanced to the national championship game.

Webber was not available for comment, according to several news organizations that tried to reach him.

SOCCER

Legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season.

Ferguson, 71, will become a club director and ambassador after the final two games of the season. Manchester United has clinched its 13th Premier League title in Ferguson's 26 years.

Everton's David Moyes is a leading candidate to replace Ferguson, the London Evening Standard reported. Moyes' contract runs out this summer with Everton.

During his storied run, Ferguson also won two Champions League titles and five FA Cups. He took over Old Trafford in 1986 and is considered the most successful manager in British soccer history.

The club is owned by the U.S.-based Glazer family.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR reduced the penalties against Joe Gibbs Racing after the team's owner appealed the sanctions against his crew and driver for using an illegal engine part during the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in April.

A three-member National Stock Car Racing Commission appeals panel decreased the points penalty against driver Matt Kenseth from 50 to 12 and the suspension of crew chief Jason Ratcliff from six races to one. The additional points elevated Kenseth from 11th to fourth in the season standings.

Gibbs also successfully lobbied for Kenseth's Kansas victory to count toward Chase for the Championship contention and for Gibbs to be able to collect owner points for the next six races.

Gibbs argued that his team wasn't responsible for a connecting rod being 2.7 grams too light while the other rods were over the minimum weight.

He contended that the blame falls on Toyota Racing Development, the engine maker that had its manufacturer points penalty increased from five to seven.

Ratcliffe still faces a $200,00 fine. He will serve the suspension this week at Darlington and then will be on probation for the following three races.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Mount Union coach Larry Kehres resigned Wednesday after leading the NCAA Division III program to unparalleled success.

Kehres won 11 national championships and 23 Ohio Athletic Conference titles and compiled a 332-24-3 record, a .924 winning percentage, since he became coach in 1986. His teams also finished undefeated 21 times and the 332 wins rank fifth in college football history behind Jon Gagliardi (489), Eddie Robinson (408), Bobby Bowden (377) and Pop Warner (336).

The 63-year-old Kehres will remain as athletic director at the school, located in Alliance, Ohio. His son, Vince, will take over as head coach.

Vince Kehres played on two national championship teams. He joined his father's coaching staff 13 years ago and spent the last eight as defensive coordinator.

Mount Union won the 2012 national championship in Larry Kehres' final season.

---Former Notre Dame fullback Asaph Schwapp died Wednesday as the result of a year-long battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Schwapp, 26, graduated from Notre Dame in 2010.

GOLF

A week after the PGA Tour lifted sanctions against Vijay Singh for acknowledging his use of a deer-antler spray, he filed suit Wednesday against the tour.

Singh was cleared last week by the PGA Tour of wrongdoing, but that didn't stop him from taking his case to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleging that the tour violated its duty of care and good faith.

The suit claims that the tour should have recognized through testing and research that the deer-antler spray contained no banned performance-enhancing substances.

Singh had acknowledged in an interview in January that he had used the spray but did not realize it had been linked to a human growth hormone. The World Anti-Doping Agency no longer has the deer-antler substance on its banned list.

Singh has won three major championships and has 34 career PGA Tour victories. He's also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame
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