ESPN said it won't increase its bid for an expanded NCAA men's basketball tournament, the Sports Business Journal reported Friday, leaving a combined CBS/Turner Broadcasting bid as the highest.
The NCAA is scheduled to meet April 29 and must decide whether to opt out of the final three years of an 11-year, $6 billion deal with CBS for the 65-team tournament. The final three years are worth an average of $700 million. It also must decide if it wants to expand the tournament to 96 teams.
The Journal reported ESPN's bid averaged "roughly $800 million per year over 14 years" while CBS/Turner offered a 14-year deal that averages $840 million.
ESPN declined comment.
If CBS and Turner air the tournament, games likely would air on four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, the Journal reported. CBS and Turner would alternate years airing the Final Four.
In an e-mail to the Journal, Greg Shaheen, the NCAA's senior vice president for basketball and business strategies, wrote: "There is no agreement with any party. In fact, discussions/negotiations are ongoing with multiple parties. No final decisions have been made and as such, no agreements have been made."
Michigan St.: Guards Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas said they will return for their senior seasons. Summers scored about 19 points a game during the NCAA Tournament. Lucas averaged 14.8 points during the regular season before rupturing his left Achilles' tendon late.
Oregon: The school received permission from Missouri to interview coach Mike Anderson for its vacancy. But ESPN.com and Kansas City, Mo., radio station WHB reported Anderson, who has led the Tigers to the Elite Eight and second round of the tournament the past two seasons, turned down an offer of $3 million a season.
FIU stabbing: Quentin Wyche, accused of stabbing Florida International running back Kendall Berry, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Miami. Police say Wyche, 22, stabbed Berry during an argument on campus March 26. Wyche remains jailed as he awaits trial, which has not been scheduled.
Syracuse: Delone Carter, last season's leading rusher, was charged with misdemeanor assault. According to police, a car carrying Carter and teammates was hit with a snowball just off campus about 1 a.m. Feb. 27 and a fight ensued. An arraignment hasn't been scheduled.