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Published Jan. 26, 2012


PGA Tour to consider Qualifying changes

SAN DIEGO — The PGA Tour is closer to eliminating qualifying school as a path to a tour card, a significant overhaul that would include starting the season in the fall instead of the calendar year.

Commissioner Tim Finchem presented the proposal at a players meeting ahead of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. It involves merging the top 75 players from the Nationwide Tour money list and the top 75 who failed to retain their PGA Tour cards. They would play a three-tournament series, with the top 50 advancing to the tour. The rest would have the option of qualifying school, where only Nationwide status would be available. It's part of a broader plan to start the season in late October.

The player advisory council meets in three weeks, and though the overhaul could be approved in March, later is more likely.

Player reaction is mixed. Dustin Johnson wrote on Twitter "I don't like any of the ideas about changing the tour!" Geoff Ogilvy likes the tour as is but said it "hasn't made that many missteps in the last 20 or 30 years. It's probably going to end up the right thing to do."

Et Cetera

Autos: NASCAR said it will stop issuing undisclosed fines. … Scott Pruett will try to tie Hurley Haywood's record five wins at Saturday's 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Qualifying starts today.

Greyhounds: Spry Kimbrel and Hwj Isabelle won Matinee Idol semifinals at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Others to advance to Saturday's finale: Ahk Remember Me, Meacham Field, Nefarious, Sing In The Rain, Tiger Boy and Tmc's Pistol.


Longhorns want Brown to stay through 2020

Texas' Board of Regents was expected to meet today and approve a four-year contract extension offer to football coach Mack Brown that would keep him with the Longhorns through the 2020 season.

Many fans aren't sure if Brown, 60, would coach to the end of the deal, when his salary would be more than $6 million. Athletic director DeLoss Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman, "I just know we'd like to have him here nine years."

Fewer bowls? Sentiment is growing among conference commissioners, athletic directors and bowl officials that the number of wins to become bowl eligible should be raised from six to seven, or a winning record, when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014, reported. After the 2011 season, there were 35 bowl games; of the 70 teams involved, 14 had six wins. Because not enough teams would qualify to fill the current number of berths with a seven-win minimum, five to 12 bowls could be eliminated, reported.

Big 12 Expansion: The Big 12 expansion committee will meet soon to decide if the league should grow to 11 or 12 football teams, or remain at 10. If the number goes up, Louisville is a "slam dunk" for No. 11 and Brigham Young could enter the mix for No. 12, reported.

Wisconsin resignation: Associate athletic director John Chadima resigned this month after an unidentified male student employee accused him of grabbing him inappropriately at a party before the Badgers played in the Rose Bowl, a school report said. Chadima threw a party in a hotel suite for 30 or more people, and after everyone had left, the student said, Chadima reached into his pants and grabbed his crotch, the report said. As the school began to investigate, Chadima was put on leave. He resigned and issued an apology without acknowledging the specific allegations.

Jurisprudence: New Mexico QB Ryan Trujillo was arrested last week and charged with battery on a household member after an Albuquerque police report said he pepper sprayed his girlfriend during a fight over car keys. … Former Kansas QB Brock Berglund had an assault charge dismissed in Castle Rock, Colo., after he completed community service, took a conflict management course and paid $2,935 in restitution to the alleged victim in an April party altercation.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires