Atlanta tight end Gonzalez to return
ATLANTA, March 12 (UPI) -- Tight end Tony Gonzalez, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection, announced Tuesday he plans to return to the Atlanta Falcons for the 2013 season.
Gonzalez, 37, had suggested at the end of last season, which ended for Atlanta with an NFC title game loss to San Francisco, that he was going to retire.
But a posting Tuesday on his Twitter account indicates a change of heart.
"I'm happy to say that after speaking with my family, I'm coming back," Gonzalez wrote. "The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up. We have a great shot to get to the Super Bowl, RISE UP ATLANTA!"
Next season would be the fifth with the Falcons for Gonzalez, who previously played 12 seasons in Kansas City. He made the Pro Bowl each year from 1999-2009 and then from 2010-12.
He caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He has 1,242 career receptions, which is second most all-time in the NFL. His receptions, 14,268 receiving yards and 103 touchdown catches are NFL records for tight ends.
Notre Dame to leave Big East this summer
PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 12 (UPI) -- Notre Dame will officially leave the Big East Conference in time to join the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2013-14 academic year, officials said Tuesday.
The Big East said an agreement had been reached for Notre Dame to leave the conference effective July 1. Notre Dame announced in September that it was joining the ACC in all sports except ice hockey and football, although it must play a certain number of ACC teams in football each fall.
The Big East has been evolving quickly over recent years. Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have all left for the ACC and West Virginia became a member of the Big 12 Conference. Rutgers is to join the Big Ten Conference in 2014 at the latest.
More problematic was last week's announcement that so-called Catholic seven members of the Big East were leaving for a more basketball-focused league. In that separation agreement the departing schools get to keep the Big East name.
Connecticut is the only school left in the Big East from its founding in 1979.
The schools still in the Big East -- which will need to decide on a new conference name -- are Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida and Temple. Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Southern Methodist join next fall. Tulane is to join in 2014 with East Carolina playing football in the league in 2014 and Navy's football program joining in 2015.
Vick cancels book tour amid threats
PHILADELPHIA, March 12 (UPI) -- A book tour by controversial Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was canceled due to "credible threats" of violence, his publisher said.
Vick, who served 18 months in federal prison after being convicted of running a dog-fighting ring in Virginia, has been on a sustained campaign to make amends and repair his public image, CNN said Tuesday.
"Despite warnings of planned protests, Vick had hoped to continue with the appearances as planned, bringing his story of redemption and second chance to major markets," said Worthy Publishing, a Tennessee-based Christian publishing company. "However, once the reported protests escalated into threats of violence against the retailers, Worthy Publishing, Vick and his family, decided to cancel the events."
The book, "Finally Free," was to be sold at signings in Barnes & Noble and other book stores across the country.
"It is disturbing that a few extremists would threaten Vick's family and store employees," said Vick's spokesman Chris Shigas. "Michael Vick has millions of fans and has countless letters from teachers thanking him for inspiring students to make positive change."
Georgia Southern fires basketball coach
STATESBORO, Ga., March 12 (UPI) -- Charlton "C.Y." Young was fired Tuesday after four seasons as the men's basketball coach at Georgia Southern.
Georgia Southern Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein announced the coaching change after the Eagles finished the season 14-19 overall and 7-11 in the Southern Conference.
"Charlton Young represents Georgia Southern with the utmost character. He has done a tremendous job with taking a program that had some trouble when he arrived and getting it to a level of respectability," Kleinlein said.
"At the same time, I felt where we needed to go is beyond where we are at right now and that a change in leadership is necessary."
Georgia Southern was a combined 48-84 overall and 26-46 in the conference in Young's four seasons as coach.
Young, 41, was a three-time all-conference pick while as player at Georgia Southern. He owned the school record in assists with 570 when he graduated.
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