Pro football won’t disappear from TV screens, mobile devices and the American consciousness once the Super Bowl ends next February.

The Alliance of American Football will kick off the following Sunday – on network television (CBS) as well as through a multitude of free digital platforms.

The new spring football league is the creation of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, an accomplished NFL executive, and Charlie Ebersol, a longtime TV and film producer. Ebersol’s father, Dick, defined NBC Sports’ programming for more than two decades and created “Sunday Night Football.”

The league will have eight teams – cities and stadia to be announced, though look for complementary sites, not NFL venues, and warmer climates given the February-late April schedule. Rosters will be culled from NFL cuts, collegians who have gone undrafted, players looking to return to the sport and free agents from the CFL or elsewhere.

As a single entity, the Alliance will own all contracts and players will be dispersed in a variety of manners.



COLLEGE MEN: Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 in Milwaukee to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face either Mississippi State or Louisville at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27.

Andrew Rowsey scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).

YOUTH: The NBA and USA Basketball are dipping their toe into youth sports, recommending guidelines they hope will help with development and enhance experiences at a young age.

The recommendations include lowering the basket and prohibiting zone defense and 3-point shots at the youngest level of competition. They also call for the use of a 24-second shot clock at the high school level and a 30-second shot clock for ages 12-14.


The guidelines were developed over a two-year period by a working group that included former players and coaches, and representatives from high school, the NCAA and AAU basketball. They were divided into four segments: ages 7-8, ages 9-11, ages 12-14 and grades 9-12.

The hope is that recreation organizations will implement all or at least some of the recommendations.


FRENCH OPEN: Total prize money for the tournament will go up by around 8 percent this year, with the men’s and women’s champions winning 2.2 million euros ($2.7 million) each, an increase of 100,000 euros.

Roland Garros director Guy Forget says that the total prize money will reach 39.197 million euros ($48 million), an increase of about 3 million euros from last year.

This year’s tournament in Paris is scheduled for May 27-June 10.



DOPING: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s diplomats on Tuesday to seek changes to international doping rules in the wake of the nation’s drug scandals.

Putin said the Foreign Ministry should try to alter the key treaty underpinning anti-doping work worldwide. He said Russian diplomats working with UNESCO should aim to “refine” the existing International Convention against Doping in Sport so that “the rules are fair and absolutely transparent.”

Putin didn’t say exactly what changes need to be made or how they could be achieved.

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