Sports briefs: Maryland joins Big Ten
college athletics • Maryland joined the Big Ten on Monday, bolting from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a move driven by the school's budget woes. Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953.
Marylaynd President Wallace D. Loh and other school officials involved in the decision decided that the potential money to be made in the Big Ten was more significant than the $50 million exit fee and the tradition associated with belonging to the same conference for 59 years.
Maryland will become the southernmos Big Ten member starting in July 2014. Rutgers is expected follow suit by Tuesday, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten.
Doping agency plans 4-year bans
DOPING • Drug cheats would be kept out at least one Olympics under the World Anti-Doping Agency's proposal to increase the suspension for serious violations from two years to four years. WADA plans to double the standard penalty in the next edition of its global anti-doping code, which will come up for approval next year and go into effect in 2015.
WADA President John Fahey said Monday in London that there is "an overwhelming amount of support for the sanction to be strengthened" for use of steroids, human growth hormone and other serious doping substances and methods.
Some athletes and sports bodies have previously challenged four-year bans in court as too severe and a restraint of trade. But Fahey said WADA took legal advice on the issue and believes the sanction will stand up in court.
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baseball • The Miami Marlins' latest payroll purge received final approval Monday from the commissioner's office. Commissioner Bud Selig approved the blockbuster deal even though it made Marlins fans irate and made the team a nationwide punch line. The trade sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Blue Jays along with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for seven players, none of whom has a big-money contract.
Miami received infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino, catcher Jeff Mathis and outfielder Jake Marisnick.
By swinging the deal only months after the Marlins moved into a new stadium built with taxpayer money, they pared from their books $146.5 million in payroll. That's their net savings after agreeing to send $8.5 million to the Blue Jays as part of the trade.
From wire reports
David Beckham says the MLS Cup next month will be his final game with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham and the Galaxy announced the superstar English midfielder's decision Monday, a day after the defending MLS champions advanced to their second straight league final. Los Angeles faces Houston for the MLS title on Dec. 1. The 37-year-old Beckham isn't retiring, however, saying he wants "one last challenge before the end of my playing career."
Beckham has played six years in Los Angeles since hi move from Europe, reaching three league finals and winning one MLS title last year during his best season stateside. He agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January after playing out his initial five-year deal, turning down potential moves to Paris St. Germain and other clubs. Last week, Beckham denied rumors linking him to a short-term stint in Australia.
I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league, as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future."
Beckham has played six years in Los Angeles since his groundbreaking move from Europe, reaching three league finals and winning one MLS title last year during his best season stateside. He agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January after playing out his initial five-year deal, turning down potential moves to Paris St. Germain and other clubs.
Beckham hadn't given any overt indications he was planning to leave the Galaxy after this season. Last week, Beckham pointedly denied rumors linking him to a short-term stint in Australia.
"Seldom does an athlete redefine a sport," said Tim Leiweke, the president of Galaxy owners AEG. "David not only took our franchise to another level, but he took our sport to another level It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of his world, and more importantly, to have him be a part of ours."
Los Angeles got off to a slow start to the year, but has played splendidly down the stretch, culminating in a two-game victory over the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference finals. Beckham has been the star player on the league's glamour franchise during his tenure, which began with a handful of rocky seasons before the Galaxy became a power under coach Bruce Arena over the past few years.
"In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year," Beckham said. "I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in L.A. and across the States. Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country, and I want to always be part of growing it."