Newport Beach, Calif. The new BCS executive director officially began his tenure Thursday by saying the often-criticized postseason represents a consensus among the 120 schools that play major college football.
Bill Hancock said a playoff at college football’s highest level would lead to more injuries, conflict with final exams, kill the bowl system and diminish the importance of the regular season.
“I know this is not completely popular, but I believe in it,” Hancock told reporters Thursday at the Football Writers Association of America awards breakfast. “I believe it is in the best interest of the universities. College football has never been better, and I believe the BCS is part of that.”
Hancock, a longtime administrator in college athletics, was hired by the conference commissioners in November to be a full-time point person for the Bowl Championship Series. During the first 12 years of the BCS, the position of coordinator rotated among conference commissioners on a two-year basis. Hancock now assumes those duties.
The Bowl Championship Series was implemented in 1998 to match the two top-ranked teams in major college football at the end of the season and help create matchups for the four other marquee bowl games — the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas played in the BCS national championship Thursday night at the Rose Bowl.
Hancock said the fact that other lower levels of college football use playoffs to decide their champions doesn’t mean it would work in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The second-tier of Division I football, the Championship Subdivision, has a 16-team playoff.
Leach wants speedy trial
Lubbock, Texas — Attorneys for fired coach Mike Leach want to take Texas Tech to trial in the next six weeks. The coach’s legal team filed court documents Thursday asking a state judge to allow them to depose adminstrators and others in about two weeks. One of those they want to question is Adam James, the player whose injury ultimately led to Leach’s dismissal last month.
Browns keep Mangini
Cleveland — Eric Mangini will return for a second season as coach of the Cleveland Browns.
New team president Mike Holmgren decided Thursday to retain Mangini, whose job security was in jeopardy after the Browns started 1-11. But the team regrouped and finished with a four-game winning streak, Cleveland’s longest since 1994, to help save Mangini. Team spokesman Neal Gulkis said Mangini’s staff will return as well.
League executive dies
New York — Tim Davey, the NFL’s director of football operations, has died. He was 58. Davey was an employee of the New York Jets and the NFL for a total of 33 years. He died on Wednesday.
Burress request denied
New York — Plaxico Burress is not getting out of prison just yet.
The work-release application for the ex-Giants star was denied by the New York Department of Correctional Services because of the nature of his crime. Burress pleaded guilty in August to attempted criminal possession of a weapon for having a loaded handgun in a nightclub that went off and shot him in the leg.
Glover leads in Hawaii
Kapalua, Hawaii — U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover returned to Kapalua and had another miserable start to the first rouqqqqqqqqnd of a new PGA Tour season. The difference Thursday was how he finished.
Glover recovered from a double bogey on his opening hole by going 9-under par over a nine-hole stretch in the middle of his round. He finished it off with a tap-in birdie for a 7-under 66 on Thursday and a one-shot lead in the season-opening SBS Championship.
Nathan Green of Australia and Martin Laird of Scotland, among seven players making their debuts at Kapalua, joined Dustin Johnson and Nick Watson at 67. British Open champion Stewart Cink and Masters champion Angel Cabrera were among those at 68.
Royals sign pitcher
Kansas City, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a $7 million, five-year contract with Cuban left-hander Noel Arguelles. Arguelles, who turns 20 on Jan. 20, defected with Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. He likely will start in the lower minors to work on command of his fastball, which is in the low-90 mph range.
A solid 6-foot-4, Arguelles pitched for the La Habana Vaqueros in the Cuban National Series and was the winning pitcher in the gold medal game of the Pan American Junior Championships in 2007.
Holliday deal finalized
St. Louis — Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals have finalized their $120 million, seven-year contract. The sides reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday that was subject to a physical, and they held a news conference Thursday.
Dealt to the Cardinals from Oakland in July, Holliday hit .353 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs in 63 games for St. Louis. Holliday, who turns 30 on Jan. 15, helped propel the team to the NL Central title while batting cleanup behind NL MVP Albert Pujols.
Bonds’ son charged
Redwood City, Calif. — San Mateo County prosecutors have charged Barry Bonds’ son with five misdemeanors after he allegedly threw a doorknob at his mother. Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Thursday that 20-year-old Nikolai Bonds faces charges of battery, false imprisonment, vandalism, making threats to an officer and obstructing an officer.
Mariners add Kotchman
Seattle — The Mariners have finalized the trade with the Boston Red Sox that brings first baseman Casey Kotchman to Seattle for outfielder Bill Hall and a player to be named.
A’s, Cust reach deal
Oakland, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics agreed to a $2.65 million, one-year contract Thursday to bring back Jack Cust, giving the team some much-needed power in the middle of the order. Cust is likely to be the club’s primary designated hitter this season.