College football

Pac-12 presidents call for sweeping NCAA changes

Pac-12 university presidents have sent a letter to their colleagues at the other four major football conferences calling for sweeping changes to the NCAA model and autonomy for those leagues.

A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday night. It was sent last week to the other 53 university presidents from the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference.

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Spurred in part by Northwestern football players’ move to unionize, the Pac-12 presidents outlined a 10-point plan for reform that includes many proposals commissioners have been advocating for several years, including a stipend for athletes.

The NCAA is working on a new governance structure that will allow the five wealthiest conferences to make some rules without the support of smaller Division I schools.

“We acknowledge the core objectives could prove to be expensive and controversial, but the risks of inaction or moving too slowly are far greater,” the letter reads. “The time for tinkering with the rules and making small adjustments is over.”

Houston agrees to five-year deal with coach Levine

Houston coach Tony Levine has agreed to a five-year contract that runs through the 2018 football season.

The new deal replaces the five-year contract he signed when he joined the Cougars before the 2012 season.

Houston finished 8-5 last season after a loss to Vanderbilt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Hockey

Canada, U.S. advance at world championships

Joel Ward scored two power-play goals and had an assist to lift Canada to a 3-2 victory over Norway to clinch first place in its group at the ice hockey world championship in Minsk, Belarus.

Ward tied it at 1-1 in the second period before helping to set up Mark Scheifele’s score to make it 2-2. Ward scored the winner — his sixth of the tournament — in the third with 9:17 left. Anders Bastiansen and Mads Hansen scored for Norway.

“We felt good about ourselves,” Ward said. “We had a lot of chances, a lot of shots. We had some power plays. We just got to capitalize on special teams.”

Canada won Group A ahead of Sweden, and will play Finland, the fourth-place team from Group B in the quarterfinals.

Earlier, United States captain Justin Abdelkader returned from a one-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit and scored twice in a 5-4 win over Germany in its final group stage game.

“I felt pretty good as the game went on, pretty fresh. I just wanted to hopefully spark my team tonight and it was a big win for us.”

The United States finished second in Group B, two points ahead of Belarus. The U.S. will play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. All four quarterfinals games are scheduled for Thursday.

Boxing

Pacquiao will return to ring in November

Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring in November, most likely in Macau, and has signed a new two-year contract with promoter Bob Arum that could take him to the end of his career.

Arum said that Juan Manuel Marquez is his first choice for Pacquiao’s next fight, but other fighters — including Amir Khan — could be in the mix. A lot, he said, depends on whether Oscar De La Hoya emerges victorious in a power struggle within Golden Boy Promotions with his estranged CEO, Richard Schaefer.

“If Oscar takes over the company like he’s talking about, we’re open to those guys also,” Arum told The Associated Press. “The other guy (Schaefer) says he won’t deal with me, so we’ll see what Oscar says.”

ELSEWHERE

• Following the dismissal of three basketball players in the wake of a police investigation into an alleged rape, Oregon has formed a panel to review prevention and response practices in sexual misconduct cases.

Kyle McPhillips beat Caroline Price 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the last singles match, helping UCLA hold off North Carolina 4-3 for the Bruins’ second NCAA women’s tennis title in Athens, Ga.

In the men’s championships, Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento won their singles matches in straight sets and USC earned its 21st NCAA championship with a 4-2 victory over Oklahoma.

• D.C. United forward Eddie Johnson, formerly with Sounders FC, has been suspended for one game by Major League Soccer for a reckless challenge on Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Cristiano Ronaldo expects to be healthy enough to play for Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

• The Brazilian federation of professional athletes is demanding FIFA change the start times of more than a third of World Cup matches because of the heat and humidity in Brazil.

The federation wants to change kickoff times of all 24 matches that are scheduled for 1 p.m. local time. It wants all matches starting no earlier than 4 p.m.

• USA Wrestling has hired Olympic silver medalist and former mixed martial arts star Matt Lindland as its new Greco-Roman coach. The national sanctioning body announced that Lindland will succeed Steve Fraser, who coached the Greco-Roman program for nearly 20 years.

Times staff and news services