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Sports news briefs — Jan. 28

Compiled from wire reports

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SKIING

Austrian posts best time in final slalom

• Mario Matt of Austria posted the fastest time in the first run of the final World Cup slalom before the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday in Schladming, Austria.

Matt, who won the annual night slalom in 2000 and 2008, finished the Planai course in 50.63 seconds to lead second-place Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway by 0.09. Mattias Hargin of Sweden was another 0.01 back in third.

Defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, who leads the slalom standings, trailed Matt by 0.16 in fourth. Felix Neureuther of Germany, who won the slaloms in Bormio and Kitzbuehel this month, had 0.67 to make up in the second run.

Americans Ted Ligety and Bode Miller both failed to finish after straddling a gate in their runs.

Colleges

Ohio State AD gets additional title, raise

• Ohio State has given athletic director Gene Smith the additional title of vice president and has extended his contract through June 2020. His base salary is now $940,484 a year. Smith came to Ohio State in 2005 as AD and has seen the athletic department weather NCAA probation in its two big-money sports, football and men’s basketball. Under his new job description, in addition to continuing his role with the athletic department he also will oversee trademark and licensing deals and Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center and several other buildings. In a statement, Ohio State said that in fiscal year 2013 the athletic department transferred nearly $30 million in assessments to the university.

• New Bowling Green coach Dino Babers has retained secondary coach Nick Monroe from the 2013 Mid-American Conference championship team while bringing the remainder of his staff with him from Eastern Illinois. Babers has appointed co-offensive coordinators in Sterlin Gilbert and Matt Mattox. Gilbert spent two seasons as offensive coordinator at EIU while Mattox was the line coach there a season ago. Kim McCloud will be defensive coordinator after serving in the same position at EIU the past two seasons. Tom Kaufman will handle special teams. Mike Lynch, Sean Lewis and Tom Freeman also join the staff after assisting at Eastern Illinois. Also from EIU, Sean Edinger will be strength and conditioning coach.

• A redshirt freshman place kicker at Division III Willamette has announced that he is bisexual, saying he decided to come forward because he wanted to be a source of encouragement for LGBT youth. Conner Mertens, who first announced his sexual orientation through the website Outsports.com, had already told his coaches and his teammates.

Soccer

United is exploring
new apparel contract

• Manchester United is negotiating with several companies for a new equipment supply contract. The club’s 13-year deal with Nike, worth 303 million pounds ($502 million), expires at the end of the 2014-15 season. Nike didn’t agree to a new contract during last year’s exclusivity period but would have the right to match a rival offer. Adidas, Warrior and Puma are among those interested in becoming the club’s new supplier, several British newspapers reported Tuesday.

— From wire reports


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