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Pac-12 takes shape for next season

SAN FRANCISCO — The new Pac-12 Conference approved football divisions that will split the California schools and adopted an equal revenue-sharing plan Thursday as the league presidents and chancellors hashed out the important issues that arose because of recent expansion.

Colorado and Utah recently accepted invitations to join the Pac-10 in the conference's first expansion since 1978, necessitating changes for when the league becomes a 12-team conference on July 1. Football is the only sport that will have two divisions. Most of the other sports won't see much change.

The league split the California schools, with Stanford and Cal playing in the North Division with Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. UCLA and Southern California will be in the South with Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado.

The historic California rivalries remain. Cal and Stanford will play UCLA and USC every year in football.

"It was something all four of the California schools from minute one stated as essential to us," Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said.

The other cross-divisional games in the nine-game conference schedule will rotate, with the Oregon and Washington schools playing in Los Angeles every other year. The Northwest schools would either play both Los Angeles schools every other year or one L.A. school each year.

With revenue sharing, the conference will switch from an appearance-based model where the Los Angeles schools traditionally earned more money to an equal sharing of football television revenues when a new TV deal starts in September 2012.

The conference also approved a football championship game at the campus site of the division champion with the best conference record.

Oregon 60, UCLA 13: The Ducks (7-0, 4-0 Pac-10), playing as the No. 1 team for the first time ever, rolled past the visiting Bruins (3-4, 1-3) on Thursday night. Oregon's Darron Thomas completed 22 of 31 for a career-high 308 yards and three touchdowns, and LaMichael James rushed 20 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. James is the nation's top rusher. The Ducks stopped a run of losses for the No. 1 team. Alabama lost to South Carolina two weekends ago and Ohio State lost at Wisconsin last week.

Shirt sales benefit paralyzed Rutgers player

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Steve Ostergren, owner of "Scarlet Fever," a store on Rutgers University's campus, produced a shirt to raise money for paralyzed player Eric LeGrand.

The shirts have LeGrand's No. 52 on the front and the team mantra, "Keep Chopping" on the back.

Ostergren said he is covering the shirt's production, with all proceeds going to a fund Rutgers will set up for LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle who was paralyzed from the neck down making a tackle Saturday.

"I don't know Eric personally or the family but as a fan, it's like, 'this guy is battling so we can go cheer our team on,' " said Ostergren, a Scarlet Knights mascot in the mid 1980s.

Red shirts are $15 and white shirts $10. Ostergren said plans are also in the works to create a shirt stamped with the word, "Believe," which has become the team's rallying cry in the wake of LeGrand's injury.

JAB AT PETRINO: A former colleague of Bobby Petrino criticized the Arkansas coach for abruptly leaving the NFL's Falcons for his college job. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who was with the Falcons when Petrino was the head coach in 2007, said Petrino was "gutless'' and a coward for quitting the Falcons with three games left in the season. Zimmer said, "Most people in football have enough courage about them and enough fight to stick through something and not quit halfway through a year. It is cowardly." Petrino declined comment.

Connecticut: Quarterback Cody Endres will not play again for the Huskies, coach Randy Edsall said. Endres was suspended Wednesday for the remainder of the academic year for an unspecified violation of university policies, and Edsall said the junior won't be allowed back on the team next season.

Kentucky: Running back Derrick Locke, the team's leading rusher, will miss Saturday's game against Georgia because of pain from two shoulder stingers sustained earlier in the season. Locke should be available Oct. 30 against Mississippi State.

notre dame: Coach Brian Kelly said leading receiver Michael Floyd (sore hamstring) showed better movement in limited practice and he's hopeful Floyd can play Saturday against Navy.

Oklahoma: Receiver Dejuan Miller, who has played in every game with one start, needs surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season. He was injured during practice Tuesday and will need about five months to recover from surgery.

Basketball

Duke was ranked No. 1 and Florida No. 11 in the preseason men's ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. The Blue Devils received 29 of 31 first-place votes. No. 2 Michigan State received the other two. No. 4 Pitt is the highest-ranked Big East team.

.fast facts

The Pac-12

When the Pac-10 adds Colorado and Utah next season and becomes the Pac-12, this is how it will look:

North

Division

Washington

Wash. State

Oregon

Oregon State

Stanford

California

South

Division

USC

UCLA

Arizona

Arizona State

Utah

Colorado

Pac-12 takes shape for next season 10/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 12:28am]
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