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ESPN buys rights to college football playoff

– The college football playoff system will be televised on ESPN for 12 years once it starts after the 2014 season, the network said Wednesday.

The title game will be played on a Monday, at least a week after the semifinals.

The deal is worth about $470 million a year, a person with knowledge of the terms said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the fee had not been announced.

“Folks are going to love this playoff and the attention ESPN will give to it,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.

ESPN’s current four-year contract to air the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls along with the BCS title game is worth about $125 million per year.

ESPN will own the rights to all six bowls involved in the four-team playoff system. Conference commissioners had decided that the two semifinals would rotate among those half-dozen sites; the four not involved each year will host major bowl games similar to the current BCS contests. The title game will be bid out each season through a separate process, as the Super Bowl is for the NFL.


White Sox sign OF Wise

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract with outfielder Dwayne Wise. The 34-year-old Wise joined Chicago as a free agent on Aug. 3. He is a career .228 hitter with 30 home runs and 112 RBI in 546 games over 10 seasons with Toronto, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Florida and the New York Yankees, in addition to the White Sox.


Spartans’ Harris to miss 2-3 weeks

Michigan State freshman guard Gary Harris has a sprained left shoulder and will be out two to three weeks. Harris was injured when the 15th-ranked Spartans beat Boise State 74-70 on Tuesday night. He is averaging 12 points a game, third on the team.

West Virginia extends Huggins

West Virginia’s Bob Huggins has received a contract extension that includes the choice of moving into another role or continuing his basketball coaching duties beyond the 2017-18 season. Athletic director Oliver Luck says the 59-year-old Huggins will earn $3 million this season, including a base salary of $250,000. The contract will run through 2022-23.


Homestead’s Coate commits to USF

Homestead senior Seth Coate has orally committed to play next year at Saint Francis. A 6-foot-3, 180-pound wide receiver/safety/long snapper, Coate was selected as the Spartans’ MVP. He had 34 receptions for 563 yards and seven touchdowns. Seth is the son of Doug Coate, the Saint Francis running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, and he had considered Grand Valley State and Ohio Dominican.

Duke’s Cutcliffe signs extension

Duke has agreed to a contract extension with coach David Cutcliffe, who has the Blue Devils (6-5, 3-4 ACC) bowl eligible for the first time in nearly two decades. It will run through June 2019, though contract terms were not released.


NHL labor talks stall quickly

NHL talks quickly broke off again after the players made a new proposal they said left sides separated by less than $40 million annually over a five-year contract and Commissioner Gary Bettman immediately rejected the plan, saying “we’re still far apart.”

On the 67th day of a lockout that already has led to the cancellation of more than a quarter of the regular season, the sides didn’t set a date to get back together.

“On the big things there was as of today no reciprocity in any meaningful sense, no movement on the players’ share, no movement on salary-arbitration eligibility, no movement on free agency eligibility, no agreement on a pension plan,” union head Donald Fehr said.


Women’s league to launch in spring

U.S. Soccer announced that an eight-team women’s league will launch in the spring. The clubs will be in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, western New York and Washington. The sport has repeatedly shown it can draw large numbers of fans in the stands and on TV for the World Cup and Olympics, but women’s soccer has yet to find a foothold..