National Sports Digest
INDIANAPOLIS ó Indiana University is about to go on defense with the NCAA.
School officials are scheduled to go before the NCAA infractions committee Friday in Seattle over alleged rules violations by former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson.
They will be trying to avoid penalties beyond the scholarship and recruiting restrictions the school imposed when the allegations came to light last year.
The case against Sampson was detailed in a 96-page report sent to the university in May and made public last week. The NCAA accuses Sampson of providing false and misleading information to investigators about more than 100 impermissible calls and knowingly violating NCAA recruiting restrictions imposed because of a previous phone-call scandal at Oklahoma.
What Indiana must do now is explain how all this happened while making the case it has endured enough punishment and made major changes through its buyout of Sampson’s contract and reorganization of its athletic compliance staff.
“I felt the penalties that were self-imposed were significant and, of course, that’s in addition to all the changes you just mentioned,” university trustees president Stephen Ferguson told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Those are significant changes, and I don’t know what more the university could do.”
Among the self-imposed penalties were Sampson’s forfeiture of a $500,000 pay raise, the loss of one scholarship for 2008-09 and a one-year extension of the restrictions placed on Sampson and his staff. Indiana bought out Sampson’s contract in February for $750,000 and hired Tom Crean away from Marquette in April as his replacement.
– LOS ANGELES ó UCLA’s Josh Shipp has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to the Bruins for his senior season.
“I am glad I went through this process, ” Shipp said in a statement Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, I wanted to come back and make another run for the championship. We’ve been close three times and a goal of mine is to win the NCAA championship.”
ATLANTA ó Once again, the lure of college football is bringing Bill Curry back to Atlanta.
Almost 50 years after he began his college playing career at Georgia Tech, Curry will become the first coach of Georgia State’s new football program Thursday.
Curry’s hire was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the process who did not want to be identified because the school has scheduled a news conference for Thursday.
The 65-year-old Curry will join former Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves as patriarchs of the program. Reeves has served as a consultant and helped raise $1.2 million in pledged funds for the program.
CARSON, Calif. ó For Landon Donovan, playing 100 games for the United States is part of an ongoing process.
“I don’t set goals like that,” he said. “I’m proud of it but I enjoy winning as much as possible. My main goal is to try to win MLS Cup every year and try to get us to the World Cup.”
The 26-year-old Donovan enters Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Barbados as the youngest American and fourth-youngest ever to make 100 times international appearances. He achieved that milestone Sunday in a exhibition tie against Argentina.
RALEIGHó The Carolina Hurricanes signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year, $1.2 million contract on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Leighton will be backup to Cam Ward. Leighton spent most of last season with Albany, Carolina’s top minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League. He was chosen AHL goalie of the year after leading the league in save percentage (.931) and shutouts (7) and tying for second in goals-against average (2.10).
HALLE, Germany ó Roger Federer shook off his lopsided French Open final loss, extending his grasscourt streak to 55 matches with a 6-4, 6-2 win Wednesday over Michael Berrer at the Gerry Weber Open.
The top-ranked Federer dropped just one point on serve in the first set against the 89th-ranked German player in his first match since his loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
– LONDON ó French Open champion Rafael Nadal had little trouble adjusting to grass, dispatching Jonas Bjorkman 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday to advance to the third round at Queen’s Club.
The top-seeded Nadal arrived in London on Monday ó a day after lifting the French Open trophy for the fourth time ó to begin preparing for Wimbledon.He practiced on grass and competed in doubles on Tuesday.