Sports

University of Texas football, Longhorns sports, Mack Brown, college athletics, the Round Rock Express, UFCU Disch Falk-Field, Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the Big 12, and other sports stories related to Texas, Austin and Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson Counties

"Major college football is on the verge of implementing a playoff, its own version of the final four — two semifinals and a title game," The Associated Press writes.

Or, as The Wall Street Journal reports:

Photo courtesy NBA Development League

Game 1 of the NBA Development League finals is tonight at the Cedar Park Center.

The Austin Toros face the Los Angeles D-Fenders . The Toros are affiliated with the San Antonio Spurs.

Photo courtesy texassports.com

The University of Texas has a new women’s basketball coach. As earlier reports predicted, former North Texas head coach Karen Aston will take over for Gail Goestenkors, who resigned last month.

Aston was flanked by UT Women’s Athletic Director, Chris Plonsky, at a press conference this morning. Plonsky said the decision to hire Aston came down to her familiarity with recruiting in Texas.

"I thought we were very specific to what our target was: experience at our recruiting base, which is the state of Texas. There is a Texas tinge in women's basketball in this country that is undeniable," said Plonsky. "Karen has been in this state a long time and her imprint is here. That has to be a part of someone that is successful in this territory."

Kentucky is now in the record books as this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball champion after its 67-59 win over Kansas last night.

Photo courtesy Randall Chancellor, bit.ly/HEYSXE

UT men's basketball player J’Covan Brown will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft.  Brown said in a statement that “the time has come for me to pursue a career in professional basketball and take care of my daughter, Jordyn.”

Brown’s average of 20.1 points a game led the Big 12 this past season. His move makes 10 Longhorns to leave school early for a shot at the big leagues since 2006. Brown was also an Academic All-Big 12 Team selection.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

A panel in East Austin tonight will discuss how students can overcome racial stigmas through participating in athletics.

Moving Past Racial Stigmas to Help Students Succeed” features Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and CBS Sports Network’s Brian “BJ” Jones as moderators. Speakers include AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, City of Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier, and UT professor Michael Lauderdale. 

Lauderdale hopes tonight’s discussion will address an important topic: “And that is how we can use athletics as a means to keep kids involved in school and give the models of success. And hopefully increase the likelihood that youngsters finish high school and that youngsters go trade schools or colleges to achieve high levels of education.”

Photo courtesy flickr.com/AaronIsNotCool

Texas Women’s basketball coach, Gail Goestenkors, resigned at a press conference this afternoon.

In the five years with Goestenkors at the helm, the Lady Longhorns only made it out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament once, in 2008. That was her first year as head coach.

They barely made the tournament field this year, finishing 18-14, and 8-10 in Big 12 play. They lost to West Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/rahimageworks

Austin was selected to host the 2015 Cyclo-Cross National Championships. A press release on the USA Cycling website says the event will be held at Zilker Park.

The beautiful urban park will offer an exciting venue near the heart of downtown Austin, a thriving city with a strong cycling community recently rated one of the Top 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America by Bicycling Magazine. 

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore, flickr.com/gageskidmore

Support for Santorum Spreading in Texas

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum has a substantial lead in Texas, according to a recent poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.

Reborn in Austin, Roller Derby Spreads to Berlin

Feb 16, 2012

Attention Berlin! Superheroes, cowgirls, and cosmonauts are taking over your city this weekend!

On Saturday, the Berlin Bombshells will be opening the Roller Derby season at Arena Berlin.

Credits, clockwise bottom right: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Chrisjnelson; Chrisjnelson; flickr.com/74342264@N00;

Former Texas Longhorn running back and Baltimore Ravens starter Ricky Williams announced his retirement today. A Heisman Trophy winner and NFL All-Pro player with over 10,000 rushing yards, Williams retires after a somewhat tumultuous NFL career that began in 1999.

 Williams delivered a statement to Texas Football detailing his decision:

“The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life,” Williams said. “I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly fun. I want to thank all my fans, teammates, coaches and supporters for the strength they've given me to overcome so much. I want to especially thank my family, Coach Mack Brown, Coach [Mike] Ditka, Coach [Bill] Parcells, Ronnie Brown, Wilbert Montgomery and the Jamail family for believing me. As for what's next, I am excited about all the opportunities ahead. Continuing my education, running The Ricky Williams Foundation and whatever other opportunities present themselves.”

Photo by ColorblindPicasso on Flickr

The Aggies 2012 schedule should prove to be a significant test in their first year in the Southeastern Conference.  The SEC released its first 14-team schedule this morning. It was announced earlier this year that A&M and other former Big 12 stalwarts Missouri would leave behind Texas and the other Big 12 schools in favor of the SEC.

Photo by KUT News

After a humbling 48-24 loss to Baylor yesterday, the Texas Longhorns got a little good news Sunday.

With seven wins, the 'Horns have been picked to play in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Texas will face the California Golden Bears at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday, December 28. 

Photo by KUT

Formula One’s president and CEO has extended the deadline by which Austin race organizers must finalize their contract to ensure the race can proceed.

In an interview with Autoweek, Bernie Ecclestone said he doesn’t feel the people he’s now working with are “as reliable as they should be.”

Ecclestone says organizers have until Wednesday to come to a deal - or next year's race won't happen.

F1 race promoter Tavo Hellmund held the original contract for the Austin race, but Ecclestone canceled it after it became apparent that Hellmund would not be able to come up with the $25 million required to seal the deal. Construction on the track being built in southeastern Travis County was halted in mid-November.

“I was disappointed insofar as [Hellmund] had what he thought were partners that could finance the business and wouldn’t let him down,” Ecclestone told Autoweek. “Really, they let him down and they’re trying to steal from him, get him out of it, and do the whole thing themselves.”

Photo by cperez1104 http://www.flickr.com/photos/42757072@N00/

A rivalry that has lasted more than a century could come to an end on Friday night the University of Texas and Texas A&M University football teams square off. That’s because the Aggies are moving from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference next season.

Photo courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wants the Attorney General’s office to investigate whether Comptroller Susan Combs has the authority to commit taxpayer money to the Formula One races that could still come to Austin next year.  

Race organizers were hoping to get $250 million over ten years from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

Patterson, never one to mince words, called the deal a “real turkey” in a news release.

Last night, a private plane carrying Oklahoma State Women's Basketball Head Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna crashed in Arkansas, killing everyone on board. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Both the Longhorns and the OSU Cowgirls are in the Big 12. The Longhorns last played the Cowgirls in early March of last year, losing 37 - 52.

Texas Head Coach Gail Goestenkors posted this message of condolences on her Twitter:

The Texas Women's Basketball family sends our condolences to Oklahoma State. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cowgirls more than ever.

 The next scheduled game between the two teams is scheduled for January 7th.

The Houston Astros will be moving from Major League Baseball's National League to the American League "as soon as the 2013 season," MLB announced this afternoon.

There's a new name in the long list of World Series heroes.

David Freese.

If anyone asks this morning about last night's dramatic Game 6 between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers, here's the first thing to tell them:

Photo by KUT News

A pair of Texas Exes have earned medals at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Dylan Armstrong, a two-time All American at UT in 2000 and 2001, set a games record of 21.3 meters (69.9 feet) to take gold in the shot put. Armstrong is competing for his native Canada at the games, which are seen as an important tune-up for next year's Summer Olympics in London.

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