New college football rules allow teams to take time off clock for some penalties

College football could have a very different look next fall.

Teams will have the option of shaving 10 seconds off the clock for penalties called in the final minute of each half. They will contend with a more liberal definition of intentional grounding, and they could see points taken off the scoreboard for taunting penalties.

The most sweeping change approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday is the 10-second runoff, something the NFL has used for years. College teams will have the option of taking the yardage and the time, the yardage only or declining the penalty.

The committee also approved a change in how intentional grounding will be called. Previously, the penalty was called if the intended receiver did not have a "reasonable opportunity" to catch the pass. Starting this season, the penalty will be called only if a receiver is not in the area of the pass — a modification that more closely resembles the NFL rule.

And the panel adopted a rule allowing video monitors in the coaches' booths. The televisions will have access only to any live broadcast of the game — no video recorders — to help coaches decide if they should challenge a call. If the monitors are available to the home team, they must also be available to the visitor.

Those changes coincide with perhaps the biggest change of the season — implementation of the new taunting rule. Last April, the playing rules panel approved a decision to nullify touchdowns if a player is called for taunting before he crosses the goal line. The panel decided then to wait one year before making the change.

Previously, a 15-yard penalty was assessed on the extra-point attempt, two-point conversion attempt or the ensuing kickoff. Penalties called after the player crosses the goal line still will be assessed on those plays, but live-ball fouls will be assessed at the spot of the foul and eliminate the score.

University of San Diego President Mary E. Lyons said she and the school's trustees have "unwavering support" for men's basketball Coach Bill Grier and Athletic Director Ky Snyder as the FBI investigates a bribery case.

Two former players and a former assistant coach are charged in the case with running a sports betting business to fix games.

Lyons, Grier and Snyder spoke for the first time since federal authorities announced Monday that Brandon Johnson, the school's all-time leading scorer, former coach T.J. Brown and former player Brandon Dowdy were among 10 people charged.


Seven players tied for first in Texas Open

PGA Tour rookie Brendan Steele double-bogeyed the par-four 15th hole, losing a two-stroke lead in the Texas Open at San Antonio, then finished with a 72 and fell into a seven-way tie atop the leaderboard at three under. The crowd at the top of the leaderboard is one shy of the tour record of eight set in the 2001 Greater Hartford Open.

Geoff Ogilvy (72), Rich Beem (70), Kevin Sutherland (70), Charley Hoffman (73), Brandt Snedeker (72) and Kevin Chappell (73) also held a share of the lead.

Defending champion Adam Scott (74) and three others were one stroke behind.

Russ Cochran shot a 7-under 64 and had a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am at Lutz, Fla. The 52-year-old left-hander started with birdies on Nos. 10-12 and went on to a bogey-free round. John Cook and Jay Don Blake shot 66s and were a stroke ahead of Kenny Perry.

Rory McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 in the rain-shortened second round of the Malaysian Open at Kuala Lumpur and shared the lead with Sweden's Alexander Noren (69) at 11-under 133. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was among 77 players who failed to complete their rounds.


Federer loses in quarterfinals in Monaco

Roger Federer lost to Jurgen Melzer, 6-4, 6-4, in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals at Monaco, his earliest tournament exit since Wimbledon last year.

Rafael Nadal beat Ivan Ljubicic, 6-1, 6-3, for his 35th straight win at the tournament. Nadal will next face Andy Murray, who defeated Frederico Gil, 6-2, 6-1. Melzer will face David Ferrer, who beat Viktor Troicki, 6-3, 6-3.

A group of American investors led by Boston businessman Thomas DiBenedetto signed a deal to buy three-time Italian soccer champion Roma. Under the terms of the deal, DiBenedetto's group will pay around $100 million for a 60% share of a new company that would own roughly two-thirds of the Serie A club. The deal, which needs to be approved by regulators, would make the four-man American group the first foreign majority owner of a Serie A club.

UCLA clinched the last qualifying spot in the preliminary round of the NCAA women's gymnastics championships at Cleveland, keeping alive its quest for a second straight national title.

Oklahoma (196.775) and Michigan (196.7) were in the top two positions after the morning session, and UCLA (196.5) was third. Alabama (197.05), Nebraska (196.85) and Utah (196.2) led the night qualifying round and also will compete in the team finals Saturday.

Michigan senior Kylee Botterman (39.525) won the NCAA all-around championship. …

At Columbus, Ohio, Stanford won its fifth NCAA men's gymnastics title and the school's 100th national championship in all sports. The Cardinal totaled 363.450 points, holding off top-ranked Oklahoma, which had 361.600.

Rob Wigod, an assistant commissioner of the CIF Southern Section for the last 10 years, has been selected to succeed Jim Staunton, who is retiring, as the commissioner. Wigod will be the ninth commissioner of the Southern Section and will take over Aug. 2. He turned 52 on Friday.

The CIF Executive Committee's choice was unanimous, according to a news release. Wigod's selection is expected to be popular among coaches who have worked with him in football and baseball. He has been involved in Southern Section sports for some 40 years as a player, coach and administrator. He is a graduate of Long Beach Wilson High.

In a statement, Wigod thanked the Executive Committee and Staunton for their support.

"I pledge to them and to all of our stakeholders my total commitment to leading this organization to the best of my ability in the time ahead," he said.

— Eric Sondheimer

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