"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated essay posted Monday, "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."

With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.

University of Texas at Austin

Longhorn basketball star Myck Kabongo is leaving school to join the NBA, the University announced today, making himself eligible for the 2013 draft.

The point guard played in the team's last 11 games, after serving an NCAA suspension for the season's first 23 games. According to the NCAA, Kabongo broke the rules by accepting a trip to Cleveland that he didn't pay for, and then lied about it twice while speaking with investigators. 

The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a 6-year deal worth $108 million with quarterback Tony Romo.

The team's website reports the deal has not been signed, but agreed-to terms stipulate that $55 million of that is guaranteed. reports:

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With the 86th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays underway, thousands of visitors will enjoy Austin throughout the weekend.

The Relays feature high school and college track and field athletes from across the country. The Texas Relays will conclude Saturday at the Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium on the UT Campus.

The Texas Longhorns men's swim team starts in NCAA competition in Indianapolis today. The 10-time champion Horns will compete for the top national spot and individual titles throughout this weekend.

The Horns finished no worse than second place during the last five NCAA team championships. 

Didn't have time to watch or didn't really care? If you're not up to speed on the weekend's news from the men's and women's Division I college basketball championships, but want to be armed with a few things to talk about if someone brings up basketball today, here goes:

KUT News

Public subsidies could attract college football playoffs to Texas.

A public hearing will be held Thursday on a bill that would modify the language of the major event trust fund to include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football post-season playoff or championship game.

With all  the talk of football player safety at the professional level, it's not surprising that some Texas lawmakers are talking about requiring more precautions for younger athletes.

Texas currently allows 30 days of full-contact practice for high school and middle school athletes, but this could soon change.

Greg Echlin, KUT News

The Texas Longhorns have advanced to the women’s volleyball championship game for the third time in four years.  The only thing standing in the way of a possible national title is Penn State. 

The Lady Lions has defeated the Longhorns in their last two final four appearances. Texas coach Jerritt Elliott hopes this will be different than their last trip to the title game in Tampa three years ago, a heartbreaking five-set loss against Penn State.


A Hardin County Judge is expected to rule today on whether to allow a group of high school cheerleaders to continue to display Bible verses at football games.

The Kountze High School cheerleaders are seeking a temporary injunction after Kountze Independent School District officials told the cheerleaders they could no longer use scripture on banners. An atheist group complained about the displays.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he’ll defend the East Texas cheerleaders.

The City of Houston has been selected as one of two finalists to host Super Bowl LI in February 2017.

At the NFL’s Fall Meeting, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that San Francisco and South Florida will duke it out for the opportunity to host the NFL’s 50th Super Bowl, Super Bowl L, in 2016. Goodell says the losing city will compete with Houston for the chance to host Super Bowl LI.

NFL owners will vote on the two Super Bowl sites during league meetings in Boston next May.

Houston’s bid is being lead by the Texans, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Harris County – Sports Authority and Reliant Park.

Texans president Jamey Rootes says Houston should feel good about their chances to host the Super Bowl in 2017.

Sean C. Murphy for KUT News

With 70,000 people making their way there each day, you can expect heavy traffic this weekend as people head down to the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Big delays around ACL host Zilker Park are a given. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Catch the Bus: Roads will also be closed around Republic Square Park at Fifth Street and Guadalupe Street to make room for Capital Metro's free ACL Shuttle at downtown. The shuttle drops off at ACL’s doorstep in Zilker Park.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin school district could start offering more perks to athletic coaches in hopes of attracting better talent. School board members will hear about a proposal tonight to pay coaches competitive stipends and offer flexible work schedules.

Austin ISD says student athletes do better in school than non-athletes. Their attendance rates are five percent higher. They score almost seven percent higher on math tests. And they are 16 percent more likely to graduate. The relationship between learning and sports is the subject of much scholarly analysis.

That’s part of the justification for increasing how much AISD dedicates to athletics. Currently, the district spends about $10.7 million a year, which amounts to 1.1 percent of AISD’s budget. Almost two out of five high school students play sports. In middle school, it’s closer to three out of five.

Providing stipends to coaches and giving them more flexible work schedules might help attract better talent and make students more likely to play sports, but the head of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Rusty Dowling says that’s not the only thing coaches will consider.


Maybe it’s time to drop the idea that only hippies play Frisbee.

Far afield from the Frisbee golf crowd, Ultimate Frisbee has grown into a collegiate sport, catching the attention of athletic students who aren’t scholarship athletes. And after college, players can  go on to club teams. Doublewide is one of the nation’s best, and it’s based right here in Austin.

Doublewide plays teams from all over the nation. Its traditional rival is Chain Lightning, based in Atlanta, but USA Ultimate (basically the MLB or NFL of Ultimate Frisbee) has recently shifted the region. Now they play in a region that stretches from Colorado all the way into Mexico. The elite of teams from this region will face off this weekend – right here in Austin.

Michael Natenberg is one of Doublewide’s three team captains (Jeff Loskorn and Valley Renshaw are the others.) In college, Natenberg played for the University of Texas, where he learned the game.  

The not-so-long, not-so-much of a national nightmare is over.

Regular NFL officials will be on the field starting with tonight's game now that the league and its referees union have reached tentative agreement on a new, eight-year contract.

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

Despite complaints from NFL coaches and players, the league and its locked-out officials are no closer to reaching a deal than they were last week, according to reports. The two sides are separated by "significant and serious economic gaps," an anonymous source tells the AP.

A representative of the NFL Referees Association confirmed that talks had taken place, but he would not go into detail, the AP reports.

Boyer photo; stadium photo KUT News

Green Beret Staff Sgt. Nate Boyer fulfilled a long-time dream during last Saturday’s Longhorn football game against New Mexico. Boyer joined the team as a walk-on after his tour with the Special Forces in Iraq. Now he represents the Longhorns’ special teams as a deep snapper.

Boyer is a unique figure on the team. Being ten or so years older than his teammates, he brings a certain sense of maturity and imbues a breath of enthusiasm into the new season.

Having gone to a high school without a football team, Boyer said at today's Mack Brown press conference that his only advantage was his work ethic and his ‘no-regrets’ mentality. “I just felt confident that going through what I’d gone through, I could make the team and help out in any way and at least be a part of it,” Boyer said. 

KUT News

We’re learning more details about the Longhorn Network’s deal with AT&T U-verse.

Texas U-verse customers with at least the U100 package can watch the network on channel 1609 (channel 609 SD). Outside of Texas, customers will need to have the U-verse U450 package to watch.

ESPN says the agreement will bring the network to more than a million Longhorn fans in Texas and throughout the country. The Longhorn Network has been around for one year but, up until now, has not been widely available.

Officials with ESPN say the deal to bring the Longhorn Network to AT&T U-verse happened early this morning.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Lawyers for seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong argued for more than two hours in federal court in Austin Friday afternoon. But in lieu of a decision, Judge Sam Sparks gave both sides a week to submit final claims in the case.

The case should boil down to jurisdiction. Armstrong’s lawyers asked District Judge Sam Sparks for an injunction against the US Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA. The USADA claims that Armstrong was a part of a doping conspiracy that led to Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005. They want to ban Armstrong from competition for life and take away his titles.

Armstrong has consistently denied doping. His lawyers claim that the International Cycling Union, or UCI, holds jurisdiction in this case. If any body is to charge Armstrong with doping, his attorneys argue, it would have to be the UCI.