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UPI NewsTrack Sports

  |   Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM
Rutgers to join Big Ten Conference

PARK RIDGE, Ill., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Rutgers made it official Tuesday and announced it was leaving the Big East Conference for the Big Ten.

The move was widely expected and comes in the wake of Monday's shift of Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten. Rutgers said it looks to join its new conference in the 2014-15 academic year, which then would give the Big Ten 14 members.

"This is a historic day for Rutgers University," said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. "It is an honor to join such as prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There is no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics."

Rutgers joined the Big East for football in 1991 and all sports in 1995 but the league has seen a series of defections. Boston College left in 2005 and West Virginia became a member of the Big 12 in 2012. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are to become part of the ACC next year. Notre Dame was a partial member but is going to the ACC. Texas Christian was to join the league but turned to the Big 12 even before making the move to the Big East.

The conference has signed up several schools -- Houston, Southern Methodist, Memphis, San Diego State, Boise State, Central Florida and Navy -- to try to keep its membership numbers up.


Jeff Tedford fired as Cal football coach

BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The University of California Tuesday fired Jeff Tedford, who had been the Golden Bears' head football coach for 11 seasons.

Tedford was relieved of his duties three days after Oregon State beat Cal 62-14. The Golden Bears finished the season with a 3-9 overall record, and 2-7 in the Pac-12.

It was just the second losing season for Cal under Tedford. The Golden Bears were 5-7 in 2010.

His record at Berkeley, 82-57, made him the winningest coach in school history and only three other coaches lasted as long as 10 seasons at Cal, which has been playing football since 1886.

"For many years, under Jeff Tedford's leadership, our program represented all that and more," said Cal Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. "Coach Tedford deserves credit for the extraordinary effort he undertook to turn this program around and bring us to the heights of a Pac-10 co-championship in 2006.

"He has served his university admirably and I will forever be indebted for his commitment and expertise as well as the positive impact he has made in so many young men's lives over the years."

Barbour said a "change in direction to get our program back on the right track" was needed and that led to the coaching change.


Morehead State changing football coaches

MOREHEAD, Ky., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Matt Ballard, Morehead State's head football coach since 1994, won't have his contract renewed, school Athletics Director Brian Hutchinson said.

Ballard was an assistant at Morehead State from 1984-87 and became the head coach there in 1994. The Eagles were 102-105 in Ballard's 19 seasons.

Morehead State was 4-7 overall this season and 3-5 in the Pioneer Football League after a 3-8 record (2-6 in the league) in 2011.

"We have not made continual progress on the football field. The program is not performing up to the expectations we have for it," Hutchinson said.

"Over the years, we have identified obstacles to our success and have been diligent in addressing them. The results have been consistent for a few seasons now and it is time to change leadership."

Hutchinson expressed gratitude toward Ballard, who took over a program, in Hutchinson's words, "in shambles."


John Gibbons returns as Blue Jays' manager

TORONTO, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- John Gibbons, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004-08, is returning to the American League team as manager, the team announced Tuesday.

Gibbons, 50, followed John Farrell, who left the Blue Jays after two seasons as manager to take a similar position with the Boston Red Sox. Toronto was 154-170 under Farrell.

Gibbons managed the Blue Jays for parts of five seasons, fashioning a 305-305 record. He was fired 74 games into the 2008 season. His best season was 2006 when the team went 87-75 and finished second in the AL East. The 610-game tenure was the longest for a Toronto manager since Cito Gaston's 1992-97 tour.

The Blue Jays on Monday completed a trade with Miami that gives Toronto pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio. The Blue Jays also agreed to a deal with free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera.

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