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Fox not standing in way of BCS format change

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fox Sports President Ed Goren said Tuesday he doesn’t care what format the Bowl Championship Series adopts. His network wants to keep its prominent place in the college football business.

“If there’s a change, we’re all for it,” he said at a meeting of BCS officials in Florida. “If it stays the same, we’re thrilled. We just want to be associated with this product.”

Fox is entering the third year of a four-year, $320-million deal with the BCS. It broadcasts the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls, plus the national title games attached to those games in the double-host format. The Rose Bowl has a separate contract with ABC that runs through the 2014 game.

Fox has an exclusive 30-day negotiating window with the BCS that can be triggered between Sept. 1 and Feb. 1. The BCS could then elect to take its package to the open market. That’s how Fox was able to snatch most of the BCS away from ABC.

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-- Chris Dufresne

TENNIS

Dokic falls in straight sets in Morocco

Jelena Dokic, once ranked No. 4 in the world and now unranked after missing two years because of injuries, made a quick exit in the first round of the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem at Fez, Morocco. Dokic lost to Greta Arn, 6-4, 6-2.

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Third-seeded David Nalbandian rallied to defeat Agustin Calleri, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3, in the second round of the Barcelona Open in Spain. Mario Ancic beat seventh-seeded Andy Murray, 6-4, 6-4.

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Wimbledon officials ruled out scheduling matches on the middle Sunday -- except as an “emergency option” in the event of a major weather backlog -- and said the tournament will not follow the lead of the French Open by starting on a Sunday.

MOTOR RACING

Schrader is named to replace Franchitti

Ken Schrader will replace the injured Dario Franchitti in Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway. Franchitti broke his left ankle Saturday in a crash at Talladega Superspeedway.

BASKETBALL

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Hansbrough will transfer to Notre Dame

Ben Hansbrough, who helped Mississippi State advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament last month, is transferring to Notre Dame. The 6-foot-3 guard is the younger brother of Tyler Hansbrough, a forward for North Carolina.

HOCKEY

Ducks, Carter agree to a new contract

The Ducks locked up promising center Ryan Carter, 24, for the foreseeable future by re-signing him to a three-year contract worth $18.75 million. In 35 games, Carter had four goals and four assists along with 36 penalty minutes.

-- Eric Stephens

OLYMPICS

L.A.'s Estrada makes Olympic boxing team

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Middleweight Shawn Estrada of East Los Angeles became the ninth U.S. boxer to qualify for the Beijing Games with a semifinal win in the final Americas Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Estrada defeated Brazil’s Yamaguchi Florentine.

Welterweight Oscar Molina of Commerce, biding to join his brother Javier in Beijing, lost a one-point quarterfinal decision to Venezuela’s Omar Moreno. Javier Molina is the U.S. light welterweight champion.

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Double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius began his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, urging the tribunal to grant him the right to compete at the Beijing Olympics.

He is asking that a ruling by the IAAF that bans him from racing against able-bodied runners be overturned.

MISCELLANY

Beschen advances at surfing event

Surfer Shane Beschen of San Clemente was among those advancing to Round 3 of the 6.0 Lowers Pro event at nearby Trestles. The ASP World Qualifying Series contest runs through Saturday.

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Sprinter Asafa Powell won’t race for the next two months because of a chest injury.

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UCLA quarterback Ben Olson will have a screw inserted in his fractured right foot. He is expected to be out at least six weeks.

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UCLA is the top-seeded women’s water polo team in the NCAA championships on May 9-11 at Stanford.

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The UCLA tennis teams will play host to first- and second-round NCAA regionals, scheduled for May 9-11.

PASSINGS

Marion, 81, was long-time NFL official

Ed Marion, an NFL official for 28 years and a head linesman in three Super Bowls, has died. He was 81.


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