Sports Extra

College Football

Schools are leaving Big East to build a basketball league

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The seven Big East schools that don’t play FBS football are leaving behind the conference many of them founded to build a league focused on basketball.

The presidents of the seven schools made the announcement Saturday.

The seven basketball schools leaving are: DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s and Villanova. Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and St. John’s helped form the Big East, which started playing basketball in 1979. Villanova joined in 1980. The Big East didn’t begin playing football until 1991.

The statement from the seven Catholic schools gave no details about their plans, such as when they want to depart and whether they will attempt to keep the name Big East.

The latest hit to the Big East leaves Cincinnati, Connecticut – also a founding member of the league – South Florida and Temple – the four current members with FBS football programs – as the only schools currently in the Big East that are scheduled to be there beyond next season.

The Big East still is lined up to have a 12-team football conference next season with six new members joining, including Boise State and San Diego State for football only. Louisville and Rutgers, which both announced intentions to leave the Big East, still are expected to compete in the conference next year.

Notre Dame, which is moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference, also is expected to continue competing in the Big East next season in all sports but football and hockey.

Joining the Big East next season are Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Southern Methodist for all sports and Boise State and San Diego State for football only.

NHL

NHL players will vote Sunday on dissolving the union

TORONTO – NHL players will begin voting Sunday on whether they will grant the players’ association’s executive board the authority to dissolve the union because of the inability to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the league.

Two-thirds of the union’s membership must vote in favor of allowing the executive board to file a “disclaimer of interest,” a source told The Canadian Press on Saturday. Votes will be cast electronically over a five-day period that ends Thursday. If the measure passes, the 30-member executive board would have until Jan. 2 to file the disclaimer.

The union is taking steps toward breaking up even after the NHL started mounting a legal challenge against it.

On Friday, the NHL filed a class-action complaint which asked a federal court in New York to make a declaration on the legality of the lockout.

World Cup Ski Racing

Nyman tops an unlikely downhill leaderboard

VAL GARDENA, Italy – American skier Steven Nyman took advantage of changing conditions for an improbable win in a World Cup downhill that was shortened because of heavy snowfall and low visibility Saturday.

Nyman also won this race in 2006 – his only previous victory – but struggled with injuries in recent seasons. He started with the No. 39 bib, with the first 30 start positions reserved for the top-ranked skiers.

Rok Perko of Slovenia, another late starter, finished second for his first career podium result, 0.19 seconds behind Nyman’s time of 1 minute, 28.82 seconds. Downhill world champion Erik Guay of Canada was third, 0.24 back.

World Cup calls off women’s super-G because of weather

VAL D’ISÈRE, France – The women’s World Cup super-G race in the Alpine resort of Val d’Isère was canceled because of poor weather conditions.

Organizers decided to call off Saturday’s race because of heavy snowfalls in the morning and poor visibility. It has not yet been decided when the race will be rescheduled. A giant slalom is scheduled Sunday for the nearby resort of Courchevel.

Associated Press