* U.S. opens vs. Mexico in World Baseball Classic: Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is going to play for Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Cabrera was among the first 32 players — 12 major leaguers — to commit to playing in the tournament that begins March 2 with games hosted by two-time defending champion Japan and Taiwan. The Mets’ David Wright and Minnesota’s Joe Mauer will play for the United States. The team managed by Joe Torre has been placed in Pool D for the first round with Italy, Mexico, and Canada. The U.S. plays its first game March 8 against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix.
* NHL talks to resume on today: The NHL labor talks are set to resume today with six owners and players scheduled to meet without a couple of the key figures from each side. With negotiations to resolve the lockout at a standstill, the league and union finalized the details for the unusual bargaining session over the weekend. The meeting will include the small group of owners and players, staff members and counsel on each side, but commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will not be present. The NHL announced Sunday that Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) will take part in the talks for the league.
* Ex-Vols coach Fulmer entering Hall of Fame: Phillip Fulmer remembers assuming he would coach again when Tennessee fired him in 2008. Four years later, Fulmer still hasn’t returned to the sidelines. He hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of a comeback, but it seems less likely with each passing year. The latest signal of potential closure comes today when Fulmer is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, an honor that generally comes after retirement. Fulmer will join former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum and 14 former players in getting inducted at a National Football Foundation awards dinner in New York.
• Johnny Football is Mr. SEC after dynamic debut: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was a unanimous choice Monday for Associated Press Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year after a dynamic debut season in College Station. The charismatic redshirt freshman known as “Johnny Football" passed for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns, rushed for 1,181 yards and an SEC-leading 19 TDs, and guided the Aggies to a surprising 10-2 mark in their first SEC season. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones edged out South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney for the defensive player of the year award. Jones leads the conference with 22.5 tackles behind the line and ranks second to Clowney with 12.5 sacks.
• Paul Petrino hired as Idaho coach: The University of Idaho has announced that Paul Petrino will be its new head football coach. The university said Monday that Petrino has produced some of the most prolific offenses in the nation as an assistant coach at several other schools. Petrino replaces interim coach Jason Gesser, who guided the Vandals during the final four games after Robb Akey was fired. Petrino has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas.
• An Englishman gets his card in the last Q-school: Two years after playing for Europe on a winning Ryder Cup team, Ross Fisher of England endured six stressful days to earn a PGA Tour card in La Quinta, Calif. In the final Q-school where players could go straight to the PGA Tour, Fisher easily finished among the top 25 on Monday to get his card. D.H. Lee of South Korea birdied his last three holes for a 67 to win Q-school, giving him the highest priority ranking for next year and a $50,000 check. Erik Compton, who has gone through two heart transplants, made it back to the tour by tying for seventh.
* LeMond wants to run UCI after Armstrong scandal: Greg LeMond says the President of the International Cycling Union can’t remain in his job while a panel examines possible links between the organization and the doping case involving Lance Armstrong. The three-time Tour de France winner said after Change Cycling Now’s first meeting that he would be willing to run cycling in the interim. Before the Change Cycling Now meeting in London, the UCI announced Friday that a three-man panel will scrutinize President Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen over their relations with Armstrong.
* Utah announces bid for 2nd Winter Olympics: Utah officials announced plans Monday for a longshot bid for another Winter Olympics, saying they already have the venues in place and have left behind the taint of scandal from the 2002 games. The bid for 2026 is contingent on the U.S. Olympic Committee deciding it will endorse a city for those games. Utah announced a bid far in advance to scare off any competitors, Reno-Tahoe among them. Nevada officials said Monday they were waiting for a USOC decision before making a possible bid of their own.
— From wire reports