The NCAA put Baylor on three years of probation Wednesday after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and...

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College basketball

Baylor gets probation for

men’s, women’s programs

The NCAA put Baylor on three years of probation Wednesday after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prep recruits by coaches and assistants on the basketball teams.

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The violations were considered to be major infractions, and they were announced less than a week after the women’s team won the national championship with the first 40-0 season in NCAA history.

Still, it could have been much worse for Baylor. All of the penalties were proposed by the school and accepted by the NCAA after a review of nearly 900,000 phone and text message records found that 738 texts and 528 calls were against the rules.

The NCAA said men’s coach Scott Drew failed to monitor his program and will be suspended for two Big 12 games next season, in addition to recruiting restrictions. Women’s coach Kim Mulkey also received recruiting restrictions.

The report puts a bit of a damper on what has been an extraordinary run of success for Baylor athletics.

Besides Baylor’s win over Notre Dame for the women’s title, Drew’s team won a school-record 30 games and reached the NCAA regional finals, where the Bears lost to eventual national champion Kentucky. And all that came after star quarterback Robert Griffin III became the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner after a football season that included 10 wins for the first time since 1980.

Recruits pick UCLA, Kentucky

One of the nation’s top high-school players is headed to UCLA. Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 highly recruited wing from Las Vegas, picked the Bruins over Kentucky and Duke. Another prep star, 6-foot-10 center Nerlens Noel from New Hampshire, announced he’s joining Kentucky. His other finalists were Syracuse and Georgetown.

Eustachy to Colorado State?

Larry Eustachy is set to take over as the Colorado State men’s coach, a source told The Associated Press. The coach takes over for Tim Miles, who left for Nebraska last month after leading the Rams to the NCAA tournament.

Eustachy is coming off a season in which he guided Southern Mississippi to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991.

SMU pursuing Majerus

St. Louis men’s coach Rick Majerus, who took the Billikens to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 12 seasons, asked for and received permission to talk to Southern Methodist about its coaching vacancy.


Briggs gets extension from Bears

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2014. The new deal basically guarantees about $8 million over the next two years.

Locklear signs with Giants

The New York Giants signed veteran offensive tackle Sean Locklear. Locklear has played eight seasons in the NFL, the first seven with Seattle and last year with Washington.

Broncos sign Bannan

Veteran defensive tackle Justin Bannan signed a one-year deal to return to the Denver Broncos, the team he played for in 2010.

Auto racing

Unser pleads guilty to DWI

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and racing on a New Mexico freeway near Albuquerque. The retired racer entered the plea a day before he was set to go to trial on aggravated DWI, drag-racing and reckless-driving charges. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but a judge deferred that in favor of 364 days of supervised probation.


Pele on Messi: Not best player

Pele said Lionel Messi isn’t the best player in the world today — much less of all time. Pele said young Brazilian striker Neymar is better than the Argentina forward, and reiterated that he doesn’t think Messi belongs in the conversation about who is the best player ever.

Man United loses

Manchester United stumbled on its path to the English Premier League title, losing 1-0 at Wigan and allowing Manchester City to close within five points with a 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Shaun Maloney scored on a curling shot in the 50th minute, sending the defending champions to their first league loss since Jan. 4.


• Juventus regained first place in Serie A, beating visiting third-place Lazio 2-1 as Alessandro Del Piero scored in the 82nd minute.

• Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben failed to convert a penalty kick in the 86th minute, and Borussia Dortmund opened a six-point Bundesliga lead with a 1-0 victory.

Younes Belhanda scored twice, including a goal on a spectacular scissors kick, giving Montpellier a 3-1 win at Marseille that opened a three-point lead over second-place Paris Saint-Germain in the French league.

Hansen was made the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 13 3-year-olds for Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

• Two Bob Baffert-trained horses top the field for the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on Saturday. Bodemeister is the 9-5 favorite and Secret Circle the 5-2 second choice in a field of 11 3-year-olds.

Serena Williams is on the U.S. Fed Cup roster for matches against Ukraine on April 21-22, but her sister Venus is not. Also on the team are Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens and Liezel Huber.

• Third-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain had four of his 13 aces in a tiebreaker to overpower Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the second round of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.

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