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Big 12 admits officials blew key calls

IRVING, Texas, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Game officials blew two key calls in a Monday contest between fifth-ranked Kansas and Iowa State, the Big 12 Conference has admitted.


Cyclones fans were incensed when the referees missed a potential charging violation against the Jayhawks' Elijah Johnson in the closing seconds of regulation time.

The officials then called a foul on Iowa State's Georges Niang as he and Johnson battled for the ball.

Johnson sank a pair of score-tying free throws, forcing an overtime, during which the Jayhawks went on to win 108-96.

"The Big 12 Conference acknowledges that officiating errors were made at the end of regulation during last night's Kansas at Iowa State men's basketball game," league officials said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"The plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with Conference policies."


Bobby Valentine joins Sacred Heart U.

FAIRFIELD, Conn., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Bobby Valentine was introduced Tuesday at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., as the school's new director of athletics.

Valentine, 62, whose career includes 10 years as a player in the major leagues, manager of the Texas Rangers, the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, as well as an analyst for ESPN, is a Stamford, Conn., native, the Hartford, Conn., Courant reported Tuesday.

"We recognize Bobby as an out-of-the-box selection, but we believe his entrepreneurial spirit, extensive sports background and love of athletics make him an ideal choice," said Sacred Heart president John Petillo in a statement.

The school has 700 student-athletes in 31 Division I varsity sports, the newspaper noted.

NHL reveals realigned divisions

NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The NHL Tuesday unveiled a realignment plan that would take effect for the 2013-14 season if the players' association approves.

Under the alignment outlined in a memo circulated amongst the 30 teams, the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets would move from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference.


The new setup includes two divisions of eight teams each in the East (Atlantic and Central), while two divisions of seven teams each (Midwest and Pacific) would comprise the West.

The new alignments would be:

-- Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the Islanders, Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington in the Atlantic.

-- Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Tampa Bay in the Central.

-- Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg in the Midwest.

-- Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim for the Pacific.

Flyers re-acquire former star Gagne

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Former Philadelphia star forward Simon Gagne has re-joined his old team, which acquired him Tuesday from the Los Angeles Kings for a draft pick.

Gagne was the Flyers' first-round draft pick in 1998 and racked up 259 goals (524 points total) in 664 games for the Flyers from 1999-2010, when he was dealt to Tampa Bay for salary cap reasons.

This season the 32-year-old has compiled just five assists in 11 games for Los Angeles following a concussion-plagued 2011-12 campaign.

In return, the Kings acquired either a third or fourth-round draft pick, depending on whether the Flyers make the playoffs, the Los Angeles Times reported.


"Simon is an experienced veteran who will help us in a lot of areas," Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said in making the announcement. "We are glad to have him back."

Gagne is the Flyers' 10th-leading all-time point producer.

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