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March 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM
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Seven Catholic schools leaving Big East

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 8 (UPI) -- Seven Catholic schools and the Big East Conference Friday announced an agreement in which the schools will leave the league effective July 1.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said the schools will be allowed "an orderly formation of a new conference."

He described the process as "cordial and professional discussions."

The seven Catholic members of the league -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova -- will keep the Big East name and the league's post-season tournament will remain in New York.

The latest iteration of the Big East is expected to add members to a basketball-centric conference. Reports in recent weeks have linked Atlantic-10 members Butler and Xavier, and Creighton of the Missouri Valley as potential Big East members.

The former Big East -- America 12 has been mentioned as a new name -- still has Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston Memphis, South Florida, Southern Methodist, Temple and Tulane in its membership.

The seven departing members did not field Football Bowl Subdivision football teams.

The Big East was formed in 1979 with seven members, including Georgetown, Providence, St. John's and Seton Hall, and basketball was the primary focus. The league had nine members by 1982 and in 2004 boasted 15. Since then Boston College, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech left for the ACC and Temple has since joined the MAC.

Los Angeles wants 2024 Olympics

LOS ANGELES, March 8 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee saying the city is interested in hosting its third Summer Olympic Games.

Villaraigosa said city officials and business and community leaders have expressed "enthusiastic interest" in a bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The city previously hosted Summer Games in 1932 and 1984.

"We are proud of our city's sports heritage and tradition," Villaraigosa wrote. "And we stand ready to work with you to bring the Olympic Games back to the United States."

The last Summer Olympics in the United States were the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Athletes cited for doping -- 8 years ago

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, March 8 (UPI) -- Six track and field athletes who were in the 2005 Helsinki, Finland, world championships were cited for doping almost eight years later, officials said.

The IAAF said test samples from the gold- and silver-medal-winning winning athletes from Russia and Belarus were reanalyzed and found to contain banned substances, The New York Times reported Friday.

The list includes shot putters Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Andrei Mikhnevich and hammer throwers Ivan Tsikhan and Vadim Devyatovskiy of Belarus, and hammer thrower Olga Kuzenkova and long jumper Tatyana Kotova of Russia.

Ostapchuk also was stripped of her gold medal from the 2012 Olympics after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, the newspaper noted.

"The IAAF's message to cheaters is increasingly clear that with constant advancements being made in doping detection, there is no place to hide," IAAF President Lamine Diack said.

The governing body did not specify which banned substances were found in the re-examination.

Michael Jordan to wed for second time

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 8 (UPI) -- Fourteen-time NBA all-star Michael Jordan and fiancee Yvette Prieto were spotted at a Palm Beach, Fla., courthouse applying for a marriage license.

Jordan, 50, and Prieto, 34, a model, arrived unannounced Thursday and were processed like any other license applicants, Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller's Office spokeswoman Kathy Burstein said.

"I know some people shook his hand but I don't think he lingered too long," Burstein said.

Jordan, majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, and Prieto each listed their residence as Jupiter, Fla., where he owns a home, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

The marriage, which the pop culture website TMZ reported is scheduled for Apr. 27, would be Jordan's second.

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