Hits to head could result in ejection next season
A hit to the head of a defenseless player could prompt an ejection starting next season, under an NCAA proposal. The Football Rules Committee approved it Wednesday, and the Playing Rules Oversight Panel is expected to do so next month.
If the penalty occurs in the first half, the player would miss the rest of the game. If it occurs in the second half or overtime, the player will miss the rest of the game and the first half of the next game. Currently, hits to the head are only a 15-yard penalty.
Air Force coach and committee chairman Troy Calhoun said in Division I-A games last season, there were 99 hits that would have earned an ejection under the new rule.
Among other rules passed:
• Teams must wear jerseys or pants in a color contrasting the playing field. For example, Boise State couldn't wear all-blue uniforms on its all-blue turf.
• Establish three seconds as the minimum time left in order to spike the ball and stop the clock.
Tree poisoning: A judge in Opelika, Ala., revoked the bond for Harvey Updyke, the Alabama fan accused of poisoning Auburn's oak trees, because of a November arrest in Louisiana over an altercation at a store. The tree trial begins April 8.
Miami: Cornelius Elder of Nashville Ensworth signed. Rivals.com lists him as the nation's seventh-best running back.
Vikings lock up Frazier through '14
The Vikings picked up the option for 2014 on coach Leslie Frazier's contract, which was set to expire after the 2013 season. Last season, the Vikings improved from 3-13 to 10-6 and a playoff berth.
Bucs: P Chas Henry signed. The ex-Gator averaged 44 yards over 19 games for the Eagles from 2011-12 before being released in September. Incumbent Michael Koenen is signed through 2016.
Retirement: WR Johnny Knox, released this week by the Bears, retired. Knox, 26, said he still has trouble walking 13 months after his back was bent backward against the Seahawks.
Soccer: The Rowdies lost 4-1 to Montreal of MLS in their second game at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic preseason tournament. Takuya Yamada scored their goal on a penalty kick. … Cristiano Ronaldo scored to give host Real Madrid a 1-1 tie with Manchester United in the first leg of a round of 16 Champions League game. The second leg is March 5.
Tennis: Victoria Azarenka, playing her first event since winning the Australian Open, beat Romina Oprandi 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of the Qatar Open. American Sloane Stephens lost to Klara Zakopalova 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5). … The United States hosts fellow Fed Cup first-round loser Sweden April 20-21. The winner stays in the World Group. The loser falls to a lower tier.
Autos: Saying she signed a two-year deal, IndyCar driver Katherine Legge threatened to sue over her firing from Dragon Racing. Tuesday, the team said Sebastian Saavedra would drive the No. 6. Legge drove the car to start last season then split time with Sebastien Bourdais after an engine manufacturer change forced the team to run one car.