NCAA weighing increase in grants

Associated PressOctober 25, 2011 

— NCAA President Mark Emmert backed a proposal to allow conferences to increase grants to student athletes by $2,000, "to more closely approach" the full cost of attending college, beyond the athletic scholarships athletes receive for tuition, fees, room, board and books.

Emmert told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday the proposal will be finalized this week and he'll ask the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to support it at its meeting Thursday. He noted that student athletes have limited opportunities to work outside the classroom and playing fields, and the current model of athletic scholarship hasn't changed for 40 years.

Emmert said he'll also ask the board to allow colleges and universities to provide multiyear grants, instead of year-to-year scholarships.

"We are going to create a model that would allow - probably ... up to $2,000 in addition to" tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies.

Emmert said he expected all of the Bowl Championship Series conferences to adopt it - at least those six that get automatic bids to BCS bowl games - because they have the revenue stream to afford it.

PAN AM GAMES

U.S. baseball tops Cuba: The United States beat 10-time defending champion Cuba 12-10 in the baseball semifinals at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Americans, who won their only Pan Am Games title in 1967, led 7-0 in the third inning and stretched their advantage to 12-2 before the Cubans rallied.

Cuba has won 12 of the 15 baseball titles at the Pan Am Games, including every one between 1971 and 2007. The United States has finished second to Cuba eight times. The U.S. will face either Mexico or Canada in today's final.

The United States won the women's team all-around in gymnastics and Jordan Burroughs took gold in the men's 74-kilogram freestyle wrestling category. The U.S. women's basketball team, the Pan Am defending champions, finished seventh among eight teams.

SOCCER

Olympic qualifier set: The U.S. women will play in Group B with Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in January in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada is in Group A with Costa Rica, Cuba and Haiti.

The eight-team tournament will be held Jan. 19-29 at B-C Place in Vancouver. The top two teams advance to next summer's Olympic Games in London.

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol stepped down as coach of the New England Revolution after 10 years. He was the longest-serving coach in Major League Soccer history. He took the Revolution to the Eastern Conference championship game six straight years, in 2002-07, winning four of them to advance to the MLS Cup. But the Revs never won the title and they haven't made the playoffs the past two years.

MOTORSPORTS

Drivers, officials discuss safety: IndyCar drivers and officials debated how to make open-wheel racing safer. Now comes the hard part: turning talk into action.

More than a dozen IndyCar drivers met for three hours in Indianapolis with series CEO Randy Bernard and Brian Barnhart, president of competition, about preventing another fatal accident.

The meeting came eight days after two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed in a fiery, 15-car crash in the season finale at Las Vegas and less than 48 hours after he was buried in his adopted hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla.

TENNIS

Nos. 1 and 3 out early: Top-seeded Gilles Simon and third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov made early exits in the first round of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Open.

Adrian Mannarino rallied to beat fellow Frenchman Simon 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Dolgopolov was upset by Israeli wild-card Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-2.

Earlier, fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced to the second round, beating Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6 (7), and Potito Starace of Italy defeated Russian wild card Ivan Nedelko 6-0, 6-1.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson defeated 2010 finalist Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Anderson, the sixth seed, relied on his serve, breaking Haider-Maurer once in each set. He closed out the win with his 10th ace.

Anderson won his first career title in Johannesburg this season. He will next play Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who defeated 73rd-ranked Ryan Sweeting 6-4, 6-2.

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