October 27, 2008|By From Sun news services

ACC petitioning to limit NBA draft status window

col. basketball

The Atlantic Coast Conference is pushing for legislation to sharply reduce the time given underclassmen to decide their NBA draft status, and league president John Swofford said the movement has support from the other five major conferences. According to current rules, underclassmen must declare for the draft in late April and have until mid-June to withdraw and return to school if they haven't hired an agent. Under the proposal, that period would be cut to seven to 10 days after the Final Four. ACC associate commissioner Karl Hicks said the matter could be considered next week by a committee of NCAA presidents. Hicks said if the presidents agree to put the legislation up for vote, the earliest it could take effect is September 2009 - too late to affect next year's recruiting class or NBA draft. Several coaches, including North Carolina's Roy Williams, said that period leaves them waiting to find out what kind of team they'll have for the following season. Those draft decisions come after their signing period for recruits ends on April 15.

More ACC: : North Carolina, coming off a 36-win season and a trip to the Final Four, has been selected as the early favorite to win the 12-team league for the second straight year and the Tar Heels' Tyler Hansbrough is the unanimous early choice for Player of the Year, as voted on by media attending the conference's preseason gathering. Maryland was chosen to finish seventh.

1st-time competitors win Marine Corps Marathon


First-time marathoners won the men's and women's divisions of the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. Andrew Dumm of Washington took the men's race, finishing the course among the monuments in the nation's capital in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 42 seconds, and Cate Fenster of Wooster, Ohio, led the women's field in 2:39:32. Fred Joslyn, 24, of Rochester, Mich., finished second in 2:23:52 and was followed by Corey Duquette, 26, of Pensacola, Fla., in 2:24:38. Lindsay Wilkins, 30, of Arlington, was second among the women in 2:49:04, and was followed by Melissa Tanner, 27, of Bethesda.

Beckman rallies to beat Sutherland in playoff


Cameron Beckman tapped in a par putt on the second playoff hole to beat Kevin Sutherland in the PGA Open in Scottsdale, Ariz. Beckman, 447th in the world ranking, was four shots behind Sutherland at the turn, then made birdies on five of the next seven holes. Sutherland missed putts of 13 and 9 feet that would have won it at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole, also the 18th. It was the second playoff loss for Sutherland this year.

LPGA Grand China Air:: Helen Alfredsson shot a 7-under-par 65 to win in Haikou, beating LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng by three strokes for her second victory of the season. Alfredsson and Tseng (68) trailed second-round leader Karen Stupples by five strokes entering the final round of the first LPGA tournament in China. Alfredsson birdied six of the first 10 holes.

Champions AT&T Championship:: John Cook won the event for the second year in a row, shooting a 6-under 65 to beat Keith Fergus by three strokes in San Antonio. Cook hadn't won since the AT&T last year.

Federer earns Swiss title for third straight year


U.S. Open champion Roger Federer won his hometown tournament for the third straight year, beating second seed David Nalbandian of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel. It was Federer's fourth title of the season. Afterward, Federer's agent, Tony Godsick, told the Associated Press that Federer will cut exhibition matches from his 2009 schedule as he pursues Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

Elsewhere:: Top seed Andy Murray won the ATP St. Petersburg (Russia) Open for the second straight year by beating qualifier Andrey Golubev, 6-1, 6-1. Murray, who also won at the Madrid Masters the previous week, became the first British player to win back-to-back tour-level titles since Mark Cox took events in London and Washington in March 1975. ... Olympic champion Elena Dementieva won her third title of the year, outlasting Caroline Wozniacki, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4), in the WTA Fortis Championships in Luxembourg. ... Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic routed No. 2-seeded Vera Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-1, in the final of the WTA Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria, to win her first title since the French Open.

Season-ending loss denies D.C. United a playoff spot

et cetera

Brad Evans scored the only goal and the host Columbus Crew denied D.C. United a Major League Soccer playoff berth with a 1-0 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams. United (11-15-4) finished with 37 points, handing the New York Red Bulls the final wild-card spot with 39. Columbus (17-7-6) already had secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with the league's best record.

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