Jeff Long to head college football playoff panel

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long will be the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, and the rest of the 13-member panel that will decide which teams play for the 2014 national championship will be officially revealed Wednesday.

The announcement of Long to lead the committee and act as a spokesman was made Monday.

A news conference will be held Wednesday at the College Football Playoff's new offices in Irving, Texas, with Long and Executive Director Bill Hancock unveiling the rest of the members.

The names of the other expected members of the committee, however, already have been reported by the Associated Press and other media outlets.

Long is among five current athletic directors, along with West Virginia's Oliver Luck, Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez, Clemson's Dan Radakovich and USC's Pat Haden.

Also expected on the committee are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; retired Lt. Gen Michael Gould; former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese; former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne; former Notre Dame, Stanford and Washington coach Tyrone Willingham; former NFL and Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning; former NCAA vice president Tom Jernstedt; and former college sportswriter Steve Wieberg.


St. Mary's basketball Coach Randy Bennett must serve a five-game suspension and won't be allowed to recruit off-campus this season as the NCAA has upheld penalties against the successful mid-major program for recruiting violations.


Franchitti has more surgery

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti underwent another surgery on his broken right ankle.

It's the second operation on his ankle since Franchitti was injured in an Oct. 6 accident on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston. He also fractured two vertebrae and suffered a concussion.


Brian Vickers will sit out the rest of the NASCAR season because of a blood clot in his right calf.

The clot was found after an examination Monday and he was put on blood-thinning medication that will prevent him from racing. Vickers sat out the final 25 races of the 2010 season because of blood clots, and during that time required heart surgery.

He said in a statement his physicians are confident he'll be able to resume activity before the 2014 season.


Michael Waltrip Racing will run only two full-time cars next season because of the loss of sponsor NAPA, part of the fallout from its attempts to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Truex, crew chief Chad Johnston and 15% of the workforce were notified they are free to negotiate with other teams. Team co-owner Rob Kauffman said the cuts were across the organization and not limited to Truex's team.


Major League Baseball umpire Wally Bell, who worked the National League playoff series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals this month, has died. He was 48.

MLB confirmed Bell's death Monday. He died of an apparent heart attack in his home state of Ohio.


Oakland Athletics rookie right-hander Sonny Gray will have surgery on his left thumb to repair a torn ligament.

Gray injured his glove hand on a comebacker by Detroit's Prince Fielder in a 3-0 Game 5 loss in an American League division series Thursday night.


Can the Man won the $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes by 11/3 lengths at Santa Anita, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his third consecutive victory on the card.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Can the Man ran six furlongs in 1:09.53 and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 4-5 favorite in the field of five.

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