MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota fired Tubby Smith on Monday, cutting ties with the veteran coach one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament.
Athletics director Norwood Teague announced the decision and said it was time for a fresh set of eyes on the program.
Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota, helping to bring the program back to respectability and ramping up expectations for a team hit hard by an academic cheating scandal.
Smith won 20 games five times. But he went just 46-62 in Big Ten play and never finished higher than sixth in the conference. The Gophers made three NCAA tournament appearances under Smith. They beat UCLA this year before losing Sunday.
Hamlin fractures back in crash
Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine during a last-lap crash while racing for the win against former teammate Joey Logano, and Joe Gibbs Racing gave no indication Monday how long its driver could be sidelined.
Coaches pick Bruins to win SAC
Northrop was selected by the leagues eight coaches as the preseason choice to win the SAC title. After the Bruins were: 2. Snider, 3. Bishop Luers, 4. Concordia, 5. South Side, 6. North Side, 7. Bishop Dwenger and 8. Wayne.
NCAA ratings highest in 15 years
The NCAA tournaments first week has earned its highest television rating in 15 years. The broadcasts on CBC, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 5.8 household rating and 12 share, the highest rating for the tournaments first week since 1998.
Bowling Green AD hired by Xavier
Xavier hired Bowling Greens Greg Christopher as its next director of athletics, responsible for guiding the Jesuit school into the Big East next season.
Colts woo receiver Heyward-Bey
The Indianapolis Colts next free agent target is former Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Indianapolis invited Heyward-Bey for a two-day visit that was supposed to begin Monday. The information was first posted on the teams website.
Around the NFL
Chicago and offensive tackle Jonathan Scott agreed to a one-year contract. The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Scott signed with the Bears last September and appeared in 12 games. The Bengals reached deals with two of their unrestricted free agents, cornerback Adam Pacman Jones and receiver Brandon Tate.
USF spring game tickets go on sale
Tickets for Saint Francis spring game go on sale today at area Penn Stations. The game is 7 p.m. April 19 at Bishop DArcy Stadium. Tickets are $10 apiece, while kids 2 and under get in free. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Noah Barbknecht, a Northrop football player injured in a skiing accident and paralyzed from the breastbone down.
Dunbar, Gates return to Pensacola
The Komets returned forward John Dunbar and defenseman Jeremy Gates to Pensacola of the Southern Professional Hockey League so they can compete in the postseason for former Fort Wayne assistant coach Gary Graham. Dunbar had five goals and 10 points in 17 games with Fort Wayne. Gates had one goals and four points in 17 games. The Komets play host to Toledo on Wednesday.
Costa Rica protests loss to US in snow
FIFA says it is studying a protest from the Costa Rica soccer federation, which wants a World Cup qualifier against the United States replayed after losing 1-0 in a snowstorm in Commerce City, Colo., on Friday. Costa Rica says players physical integrity was affected, ball movement became impossible and field markings were not visible. The U.S. plays at Mexico today in another World Cup qualifier.
Serena, Murray advance at Sony
In Key Biscayne, Fla., top-ranked Serena Williams rallied from a down a set to defeat Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round of the Sony Open, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. American Sloane Stephens was eliminated by defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. In mens third-round play, Andy Murray beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (3), 6-3.