The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, July 22, 2021 1:00 am

Briefs

Cardinals picked to win MAC football title

Staff, news services

DETROIT – Ball State is the preseason favorite to win the Mid-American Conference football title.

The Cardinals were picked to defend their championship as the West Division winner in a MAC media poll released Tuesday.

Kent State was selected as the favorite to claim the East Division title.

Ball State returns 10 starters on both sides of the ball from a team that won its last seven games during the pandemic-shortened season.

The Cardinals closed the year with a 34-13 win over No. 19 San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl and finished ranked No. 23 in The Associated Press college football poll.

Toledo finished second in voting among West Division teams and to win the conference championship. Kent State, Western Michigan, Buffalo and Miami (Ohio) also received votes as preseason favorites to win the MAC title on Dec. 4 in Detroit.

Basketball

Viewership for playoffs rise

Television ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases over last year. According to Nielsen, the NBA and ABC, the six-game series between Milwaukee and Phoenix averaged 9.91 million viewers, a 32% increase over last year's series between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami.

COLLEGES

Tech hockey adds assistant

Jessie Rushing has joined the Indiana Tech women's hockey team as an assistant coach, head coach Scott Hicks announced. Rushing joins the Warriors, who will start their inaugural season in the fall, after spending the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the ACHA program at Towson University.

Football

Bowden reveals fatal diagnosis

Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden announced he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. The 91-year-old Bowden was hospitalized last October after he tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test came a few days after returning to his Tallahassee home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg. He did not disclose his condition in his statement.

Iowa field named for Black star

The University of Iowa plans to name the field at Kinnick Stadium for Duke Slater, a trail-blazing Black player who was an All-American tackle a century ago, two people familiar with the proposal acknowledged.

Texas, Sooners eye joining SEC

Big 12 powers Texas and Oklahoma have reached out the Southeastern Conference about potentially joining the league, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing a source it did not identify. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey declined to comment on the report.

Tennis

Federer, Osaka to play in US Open

Roger Federer, who withdrew from the Olympics because a knee injury, and Naomi Osaka, who skipped Wimbledon and withdrew from the French Open because of mental issues, are both in the singles fields for the U.S. Open.

Miscellaneous

Taylor exits ESPN

Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday.


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