Staging the first NCAA college basketball game on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is going to be a task as big as the USS Carl Vinson itself.
Just less than five months before North Carolina and Michigan State are scheduled to play on Veterans Day, officials from the Navy, ESPN and the Morale Entertainment Foundation spent a few hours Monday inspecting the flat top.
The inspection, which continues Tuesday, is a big step in the process of securing final approval from the Navy. Among the numerous issues organizers have to deal with are security, weather, lighting and getting the participants and an estimated 7,000 fans from shore to the ship, which is 1,092 feet long.
Haith buyout: Missouri has made it much more expensive for its new men's basketball coach to leave before his contact is up.
The school that lost former head coach Mike Anderson to Arkansas two months ago has sharply increased the buyout penalty for Frank Haith, his successor.
The buyout starts at $1.2 million after one year and gradually decreases to $500,000 by year four. Anderson's contract capped the buyout penalty at $550,000, an amount equal to two years of his base salary.
Missouri released copies of Haith's contract Monday. He will earn $1.5 million annually and an extra $100,000 in yearly deferred compensation starting in 2013. He can earn another $825,000 in incentives.
Stewart buyout: West Virginia says former football coach Bill Stewart will receive $1.65 million as part of a settlement agreement with the university.