Indiana signs Crean to contract extension

Indiana signs Crean to contract extension

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Indiana athletic director Fred Glass opened the season Friday night with a grand announcement to the sold-out crowd.

Coach Tom Crean will be under contract for the rest of this decade.

The announcement came right after Indiana's starting lineup was introduced and just moments before tip-off on opening night. Fans stood and applauded and the two men who had worked out the deal walked over and shook hands.

``I thought he was right guy from the beginning,'' Glass told The Associated Press at halftime of Indiana's 97-54 victory over Bryant. ``I thought he was the right guy when we hired Kelvin. As it turned out, I ended up here and we ended up hiring him.''

Nobody can quibble with what Crean has done - digging one of America's most prestigious basketball schools out a hole and putting it back on the national map.

It sure wasn't easy.

He took over a team in turmoil in April 2008. He had only two returning players, both walk-ons. The grades were sub-par, players weren't graduating and Indiana was in the midst of a NCAA scandal.

Over those first three seasons, with fans still turning out to watch in droves, Crean won only 28 games.

Cody Zeller's arrival last season changed everything.

The Hoosiers upset then No. 1 Kentucky in December and Ohio State, No. 2 Ohio State three weeks later and No. 5 Michigan State two months after that. It marked the first time in school history that the Hoosiers had ever beaten three top five teams in the same season.

When they ended a three-year postseason drought, the Hoosiers responded by making their first trip to the regional semifinals in a decade before losing the rematch to eventual national champion Kentucky. With all five starters back from the tournament run, Indiana earned the No. 1 ranking in the preseason poll for the first time in 33 years.

And now, he's being rewarded for the turnaround.

Crean's base salary will go from approximately $2.52 million per year to $3.16 million. The deal also includes performance bonuses based on Academic Progress Rate scores, Graduation Success Rate scores and the team's GPA. If all standards are met, Crean's salary could increase by as much as $55,000 per year.

The buyout, Glass said, would cost $8 million over the next three years, then drops to $1 million in Year 4 and drops again to $500,000 over the final four years of the deal. School officials said additional contract details will be announce when the deal is formally signed.

Crean ceded the credit.

``None of this would be possible without the staff. I've got a group of people who have worked so hard, and it wouldn't be possible without them,'' he said. ``And it wouldn't be possible without the players. They're the ones who are graduating early, they're the ones who are getting the grades, they're the ones who are getting 1000 on the APR (Academic Progress Rate) for the third year in a row.''

Players appreciated the move, too.

``It's pretty special, you know. He's helped us more ways than you can imagine, on and off the floor, making men out of us really,'' senior guard Jordan Hulls said of Crean. ``It's really cool to see him rewarded for the hard work he's put in for us.''

Glass didn't give an exact timeline for how the deal came together.

But with Crean getting a salary increase of more than $500,000, it didn't take long to work out the details - only the timing of the announcement.

``It reminded me a lot of the political theater I used to be part of,'' Glass said. ``They did enjoy it, and he deserves it. He's done a great job.''

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10 changes that would make the NHL better


10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.


Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.


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Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series


Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

Bryce Harper homered, Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday's game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday's 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts.

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper added a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman's blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto's groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta's runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth.


Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday's game with right hamstring tightness, got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. ... RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.


Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.