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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Mike Slive wants knowledgeable football people choosing who plays for the national championship.

Whatever the selection committee's makeup, the SEC commissioner aims for a process the fans will buy into when the system takes effect in 2014.

"We want football expertise," Slive said Monday. "We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you're (the media) comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It's not going to be easy."

He would not predict when the final, big piece of the playoff puzzle would be put in place.

Speaking at the Associated Press Sports Editors Southeast regional meeting, across from SEC headquarters, Slive spoke on the playoff system and the potentially stabilized conference alignment.

Bowden, Fisher together: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher made his first public appearance with former FSU coach Bobby Bowden since Bowden's controversial ouster three years ago when the two teamed Sunday for a fund-raiser in Birmingham, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Fisher and his wife, Candi, were joined by Bowden and his wife, Ann, at an event to benefit Kidz1stFund, which raises money for research on the rare disease Fanconi anemia. The Fishers' son suffers from the disease.

Tennessee:Athletic director Dave Hart got a one-year extension. His salary will remain $592,250, though he also gets $150,000 annually for media appearances. Hart, the former AD at Florida State, has a contract through Sept. 18, 2018.


Baffert to sit out Kentucky Derby

Bob Baffert won't saddle a horse in Kentucky Derby for the first time since 2008. The Hall of Fame trainer said Govenor Charlie would not run. His other possibility, Code West, also won't compete in Saturday's Derby at Churchill Downs.


Teams get win in Legislature

With time running out on the session, the Florida Senate voted 35-4 for a bill that would let the Dolphins and other sports franchises compete for state taxpayer money. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross lobbied for the bill, which now goes to the House. The Dolphins want $3 million a year for 30 years for Sun Life Stadium renovations; Miami-Dade voters are scheduled to vote May 14 on a referendum to increase hotel taxes for the project.

High schools

Three die in crash involving team

A minivan carrying six members of a Michigan boys' golf team collided with another van on a rural road, killing the 30-year-old coach and a 17-year-old golfer, and a 27-year-old woman in the other vehicle. Four other members of the Grayling High team were in critical condition after Monday morning's crash in Excelsior Township, 25 miles east of Traverse City.

Et cetera

Soccer: MLS referees and their assistants are unionizing. The match officials voted to certify the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) as their collective bargaining agent.

Tennis:Rafael Nadal is scheduled to play at Roger Federer's hometown event for the first time in nine years. The Swiss Indoors is Oct. 19-27 in Basel.

Times wires