OSU extends Casey — Oregon State Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis announced Thursday that baseball head coach Pat Casey has had his contract extended through the 2018 season. Casey is the program’s all-time winningest coach and takes a 641-380-4 (.627) record with the Beavers into this weekend’s series with UCLA. He’s a three-time national coach of the year, in 2005, 2006 and 2007 — the latter two after winning back-to-back national championships. “I wanted to extend the contract of Coach Casey in recognition of his loyalty to this University,” De Carolis said. “Coach Casey has done an incredible job in keeping Beaver baseball a national contender year-after-year and the way he has gone about doing so serves as a model for other universities.
Andrus, Rangers re-up — Elvis Andrus is staying in Texas because he wants to win a World Series with the team that brought him to the major leagues. The Rangers on Thursday announced a new contract that could keep the two-time All-Star shortstop in Texas for another decade. Andrus is guaranteed $120 million over an additional eight seasons through 2022, with a vesting option for 2023. “I think as a player I treat myself as a winner and if I don’t get my ring and I don’t get this city a ring and this organization a ring, I won’t sleep,” said Andrus, a 24-year-old already in his fifth major league season with two trips to the World Series.
Auburn investigates — Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs says the school is reviewing allegations of NCAA rules violations in the football program during its 2010 national championship season but doesn’t believe they’re credible. Jacobs issued a statement Thursday in response to a report a day earlier by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts that was posted on www.roopstigo.com. The story quoted former Auburn players Mike McNeil and Darvin Adams alleging they received or were offered money from coaches. McNeil said he had a grade changed to stay eligible. McNeil is scheduled to go on trial Monday for armed robbery charges. He appeared in Lee County Circuit Court for a hearing Thursday, but declined to answer reporters’ questions about allegations made in the story. He and three teammates from the 2010 team were dismissed from the squad following their arrests a couple of months after Auburn beat Oregon in the BCS championship.
Combine questions? — The NFL found no “specific violations” in questions teams asked college players at February’s scouting combine. Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and other players said they were asked about their sexual orientation, but did not identify by which teams or what questions they asked. The NFL’s investigation found no such improper questioning. “Our review has not established any specific violations,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday, “but we have made it clear to our clubs what is acceptable when interviewing potential players and other job candidates.” The issue was discussed at last month’s owners meetings and Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if such questions were asked, “that’s unacceptable.”
Lions kicker calls it quits —Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is retiring after 21 seasons. The 42-year-old Hanson announced his decision Thursday. Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. Hanson made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards. He’s third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495.
Isner, Djokovic to meet — John Isner will play top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the first match today in the Davis Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Serbia. Sam Querrey, the top-ranked American at No. 20, will face Viktor Troicki in the second match, based on the draw announced Thursday in Boise, Idaho. The top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will take on Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac on Saturday.
Baylor wins NIT title — Pierre Jackson had his fourth straight double-double with 17 points and 10 assists to lead Baylor to the first National Invitation Tournament title in school history with a 74-54 win over Iowa on Thursday night in New York. Cory Jefferson scored 23 points and Isaiah Austin had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bears (23-14). Mike Gesell led Iowa (25-13) with 13 points.
NCAA head defends record — NCAA President Mark Emmert spent 15 minutes documenting the progress that the organization has made under his leadership, from making sure students go to class to fighting corruption. Then he spent the next half-hour defending his record during an often-contentious news conference Thursday that took a bit of the glow off the Final Four. A defiant Emmert shrugged off his critics, insisting that anyone pushing for significant reform is going to rub some people the wrong way. “The fact of the matter is that change is what we’re about in the NCAA right now,” he said, “and we’re trying to work our way through some very, very difficult changes to make the whole notion of intercollegiate athletics strong and viable going into the second century of the NCAA and of college sport.” The NCAA has come under fire for botching the investigation into a rogue booster at Miami, and there have been complaints about the way the governing body handled other cases, such as the harsh sanctions leveled against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
— From wire reports