Tuesday’s Sports Briefs – News & Observer
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Is Louisiana State University getting its roar back? A Florida tiger could be its next mascot.
The university said in a statement that a 9-month-old, 160-pound tiger at a rescue facility in Okeechobee, Florida, could become Mike VII and arrive on campus later this month. LSU says the sanctuary plans to donate the tiger.
It would replace a tiger that died in October following months of treatment for a rare form of cancer.
LSU won’t bring a tiger to its campus until it finishes renovating the animal’s enclosure and yard next to Tiger Stadium. Those updates are scheduled to be completed later this month.
LSU says the tiger would be quarantined for about a week before it could be released into its yard and officially named Mike VII.
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber agreed a two-year contract extension that could keep him with the Wildcats through the 2020-21 season.
It was the first major personnel decision made by new athletic director Gene Taylor.
Weber had two years left on an extension he signed in April 2013, and the terms of those two years remain unchanged. That means he is due $2.15 million this season and $2.25 million next season, and the two extension years will pay him $2.35 million and $2.45 million.
The final two years of the agreement now include a reduced buyout provision.
Weber was on the hot seat last season before leading the Wildcats to 21 wins and a win over Wake Forest in a First Four game in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas State lost to Cincinnati in the next round.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors are keeping all three of their centers from a championship season, re-signing 7-footer JaVale McGee to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of about $2.3 million.
McGee is a fan favorite for his ability to deliver on alley-oop dunks when Stephen Curry and the others find the sure-handed big man with high lob passes.
McGee emerged as a reliable option off the bench in Steve Kerr’s three-center rotation featuring starter Zaza Pachulia and reserve David West, both of whom also received new contracts.
In Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Spurs, McGee scored a postseason-best 16 points — all in the first half — as Pachulia sat out with a bruised heel. McGee made all seven of his shots in Game 2 of a first-round win against Portland, shooting 18 for 23 in all in the four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers.
Overall, he averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds playing 9.6 minutes in 77 games with 10 starts while shooting a career-best 65.2 percent.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona is worried, very worried, that Neymar might be headed to Paris-Saint Germain.
The Brazil striker is expected to be at practice on Wednesday, but no one seems to know if he’ll accept a world record transfer or show up for training. Just in case, Barcelona is making moves to protect 26 million euros ($30.7 million) that would be paid to Neymar if he stays in Spain, according to a club official.
The official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said “given doubts concerning the future of the player and while the situation is resolved” the money is being held from Neymar.
“What the club does with the money, it does not know yet, given the uncertainty of the future,” the official told The Associated Press.
The 25-year-old Neymar would be due the money now as per his contract renewal last year. But the amount is tiny compared to the 222 million euros ($262 million) that PSG would have to pay Barcelona to trigger the release clause included in Neymar’s contract.
MIAMI (AP) — If the World Cup returns to the U.S., Miami wants to be involved.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez that the county will submit a bid by September to host games in the 2026 World Cup, a move that comes with David Beckham possibly on the cusp of getting approval to bring an expansion Major League Soccer franchise to Miami and following a week where more than 110,000 fans attended two high-profile exhibition matches in South Florida.
The county will make its pitch to the United Bid Committee, the group formed by the national delegations of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to pursue bringing a men’s World Cup to North America for the first time since 1994.
“We are hopeful,” Gimenez said. “We anticipate that we would make the first cut. I think Miami is in a very strong position to make the first cut and actually to make the final cut of either eight or 10 American cities to host World Cup games in 2026.”
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — There was a sense of loss as Odell Beckham Jr. and Weston Richburg took the field for the start of the New York Giants’ second week of training camp.
It had nothing to do with football for the all-everything wide receiver and the much-less known starting center.
The sadness revolved around the life of 9-year-old Jayro Ponce of Follett, Texas, and his death on Monday following a battle with rare form of cancer.
Richburg of Bushland, Texas, met Ponce in a hospital in the offseason. Beckham, who was Ponce’s favorite player, met the young man a couple of days before the Giants reported to training camp on Thursday.
Ponce made an impression on both.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The upcoming football season at a Green Bay middle school named for legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi has been canceled because the school can’t find any coaches.
WLUK-TV reports that administrators at Lombardi Middle School have been advertising for coaches since last April and have not had a single application. Efforts by the high school coaching staff to help fill the positions have come up empty.
The school district’s website says a middle school coaching job pays $2,149 a season.
Principal Jim Van Abel says in a letter to parents there will be opportunities for students to play with area club football teams.
Lombardi Middle School student Alex Coniff says he’s happy that he can still play football, but was looking forward to suiting up for his school this season.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. says he wants to sell his team for about $500 million.
Karmanos told The News & Observer of Raleigh that he and an ownership group led by former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg have agreed to a term sheet but do not have a purchase agreement.
Karmanos spoke publicly for the first time since club officials acknowledged last month that an offer was made for the team without identifying the buyer or the sale price.
Karmanos says he is giving Greenberg some time to assemble his ownership team. But Karmanos adds that “if we get a few more weeks down the road and he can’t raise enough money, I’m going to tell him sayonara.”