Thursday's Sports In Brief

The Associated Press
The Associated Press


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A few days after Alabama won the 2013 national championship, a University of Texas regent and a former regent talked with Nick Saban's agent about the possibility of the Crimson Tide coach replacing Longhorns coach Mack Brown, The Associated Press has learned.

Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas told the AP he spoke by telephone with agent Jimmy Sexton a few days after the Jan. 7 game. Tom Hicks, a former regent who is the brother of current Regent Steve Hicks, also was on the call.

Two days after the call with Sexton, Tom Hicks asked Brown if he was ready to retire. Brown, who had just finished his 15th season at Texas, said he wanted to keep coaching and the matter was dropped.

On his weekly radio show Thursday night, Saban said he didn't know anything about the meeting and said he's too old to start over someplace else.


ATLANTA (AP) - Henrik Stenson looked like he couldn't miss in the first round of the Tour Championship.

Stenson ran off five birdies over a six-hole stretch on the front nine at East Lake. His last birdie, a 5-iron from 223 yards to 4 feet on the par-3 18th hole, gave him a 6-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Masters champion Adam Scott.

Scott made six birdies in seven holes for a 29 on the back nine.

Tiger Woods missed a short birdie putt on his opening hole that set the tone for the day. He was the only player in the 30-man field to go without a birdie. It was only the seventh time in his PGA Tour career - and third time at East Lake - that he went an entire round without a birdie. Woods shot a 73, matching his highest opening round of the year on the PGA Tour.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An America's Cup that continues to see remarkable performances by fast, space-age catamarans is nonetheless plodding along because of a convergence of wind, tide and safety concerns.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill and defending champion Oracle Team USA sped around San Francisco Bay to win Race 12 by 31 seconds and prevent Emirates Team New Zealand from sailing off with the America's Cup.

Shortly after Oracle's big win, the race committee postponed a race for the fourth time in three days because the wind limit was exceeded.

With the Kiwis at match point, Oracle Team USA responded with a dominating performance in Race 12 to pull to 8-2. Although Oracle Team USA has won four races, it was penalized two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.


VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) - A lawyer who filed the first concussion lawsuit against the NFL believes the proposed $765 million settlement will go through, and lead to payments to injured players within 18 months.

The deal could be nixed if too many ex-players opt out to sue individually.

But Philadelphia lawyer Sol Weiss, speaking at Villanova Law School, says they would face an uphill battle in court. He thinks most will accept the deal.

Addressing criticism that the NFL, with more than $9 billion in revenues, got off lightly, he said time was of the essence for many of the families. Protracted litigation could have taken years, and left some players with nothing, if the judge threw out the case or they couldn't prove their conditions were caused by their years in the NFL.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - NAPA Auto Parts announced it will end its multimillion-dollar sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the year, the latest fallout from the team's attempt to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into NASCAR's version of the playoffs.

Napa is Truex's primary sponsor and in the first year of a three-year extension announced last August. The deal ran through the 2015 season and is believed to be worth at least $15 million a year.

The company issued a harsh rebuke of MWR last week after NASCAR sanctioned the organization for its shenanigans in the Sept. 7 race at Richmond. MWR was punished for deliberately manipulating the outcome of the race in an attempt to get Truex into the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field.


LAS VEGAS (AP) - Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s dominating win over Canelo Alvarez was the richest fight ever, a box-office smash at the arena and on television.

Showtime announced that at least 2.2 million homes bought the pay-per-view for the bout, second only to the 2.44 million homes in Mayweather's 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya. With the highest pay-per-view boxing price - at an average of more than $70 - the fight will generate nearly $150 million in revenue in TV sales alone.

Nevada boxing regulators say the gate for the bout was just more than $20 million, also a record. A total of 16,146 seats were sold for the event at an average price of almost $1,240 per ticket. Promoter Richard Schaefer said total revenues would approach $200 million upon final count, surpassing the $165 million generated by the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker won the WNBA MVP, making her the fifth player in league history to receive the award twice.

Parker accepted the trophy from league president Laurel Richie before the Sparks faced the Phoenix Mercury in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series. She also earned $15,000.

Parker edged out Minnesota's Maya Moore and Chicago's Elena Delle Donne in one of the closest ballots in league history. Parker finished with 234 points, Moore had 218 and Delle Donne 189. It's the closest the top two players have been in the voting since Sheryl Swoopes edged Lauren Jackson by two points in 2005.

Parker and Moore each received 10 first-place votes from the 39-member national media panel.