Big East adds three — The two conferences growing out of the old Big East are moving forward. Butler, Creighton and Xavier will join the so-called Catholic 7 schools in the new basketball conference keeping the Big East name, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement will not take place until today, when it will be made in conjunction with a news conference on the league’s broadcast deal with Fox. Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul left to form a new league for next season. Meanwhile, their old colleagues announced a broadcasting deal with ESPN on Tuesday. The unnamed conference’s contract for football, basketball and other sports runs through the 2019-20 season and pays about $20 million a year.
NFL rule changes — NFL owners approved two rule changes Tuesday to enhance player safety. They might not vote on a proposal to ban offensive players from using the crown of their helmets against defenders. The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side, and makes contact below the waist. Also banned is overloading a formation while attempting to block a field goal or extra point. Defensive teams can now have only six or less players on each side of the snapper at the line of scrimmage. Players not on the line can’t push teammates on the line into blockers, either.
Dominicans win WBC — Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up, and the Dominican Republic capped a dominant, unbeaten run through the World Baseball Classic with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico for the championship Tuesday night in San Francisco. Erick Aybar added an RBI double to back winning pitcher Samuel Deduno.
Beavs sweep awards — Oregon State senior left-handed pitcher Matt Boyd and sophomore outfielder Michael Conforto swept the Pac-12’s weekly awards. Boyd was named the conference’s pitcher of week after a seven-inning, two-hit performance in a victory over Arizona. Conforto took player of the week honors by going eight for 19 (.421) with two home runs and four RBIs.
—From wire reports