Sports Extra

Basketball

USA isn’t ruling out Coach K’s potential return to the bench

NEW YORK – Mike Krzyzewski said London was going to be the last time.

Well, maybe; maybe not.

There’s still a chance Krzyzewski will return for a third stint as U.S. Olympic men’s basketball coach, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Krzyzewski said he was through with the job after leading the Americans to a second consecutive gold medal in London.

Yet the Americans haven’t hired another coach, even after USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in London his plan was to have a successor in place around the new year.

Perhaps he won’t need to.

The 65-year-old Krzyzewski long has been committed to USA Basketball, having been on the staff of 12 U.S. teams since 1979. He said last year he thought this was “the last time,” though he said he would remain close to Colangelo and the program even if he no longer wanted to coach.

College Football

Michigan Maize and Blue can draw a crowd, too

INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan was the national leader in college football attendance for the 15th consecutive year, and the Southeastern Conference had more than 7 million in total attendance for the first time after expanding from 12 to 14 teams.

The NCAA said Thursday that almost 49 million fans attended games in all divisions in 2012-13. More than 37 million fans attended Football Bowl Subdivision games, where the average was 45,440 a game.

Michigan averaged a record 112,252 fans for six home games. The Wolverines broke the record of 112,179 they set over eight home games in 2011.

Three other teams averaged in six figures – Ohio State (105,330), Alabama (101,722) and Texas (100,884).

The SEC was the top-drawing conference for the 15th year in a row, with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M helping the league total 7.48 million fans and average 75,538 a game.

The Big Ten (70,040), Big 12 (59,004), Pac-12 (53,679) and Atlantic Coast (49,910) rounded out the top five in conference average attendance.

Appalachian State led FCS attendance for the fifth time in six years with an average of 26,358 fans. Grand Valley State led Division II for the second consecutive year, with 12,034 fans, and St. John’s (Minn.) led Division III with 7,948.

Cycling

Ekimov, Rodriguez, Katusha: a top-tier UCI team?

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Russian team Katusha is presenting an appeal to sport’s highest court after the International Cycling Union refused to grant it top-tier status in 2013.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said a verdict is expected next week. Katusha riders include the 2012 rankings leader, Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain.

The team’s general manager is Viatcheslav Ekimov, the three-time Olympic champion and longtime teammate of Lance Armstrong with the U.S. Postal Service team.

Tennis

No Stephens, no Williamses: Hampton, Lepchenko for USA

RIMINI, Italy – American Jamie Hampton will face Sara Errani in the opening match of Fed Cup series against Italy today.

Varvara Lepchenko will play Roberta Vinci in second singles on the indoor red clay court in Rimini, Italy.

Serena and Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens are injured, so Hampton and Lepchenko will make their Fed Cup singles debuts.

The doubles Sunday will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp.

Italy beat the Americans in back-to-back finals in 2009 and 2010, the first victories against the U.S. after nine consecutive defeats.

Veterans Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta, who have struggled lately, were left off Italy’s squad.

Associated Press