Nationals

SEC entry yields another hefty gift for Mizzou

SEC entry yields another hefty gift for Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) By all measures, Missouri endured a disappointing football debut in the Southeastern Conference, slogging through a 5-7 season in 2012 that disrupted a seven-year streak of bowl games under Coach Gary Pinkel.

Off the field, Mizzou's SEC-driven success has been far more noticeable. On Tuesday, school officials announced an $8.3 million gift from Don and Audrey Walsworth of Marceline to be used to improve and expand Memorial Stadium and also build a new clubhouse for the men's and women's golf teams at a private course in Columbia.

The donation follows a $30 million gift from the Kansas City Sports Trust in June - the second largest private gift of any kind in school history - and a $6.4 million anonymous athletics contribution in December.

``We have to have the facilities to attract men and women of SEC caliber,'' said Walsworth, an MU graduate, CEO of a northern Missouri publishing company and former chairman of the university's Board of Curators. ``We have kind of a grace period right now, but we're going to have to step up.''

Two of the Walsworths' three children played golf for Mizzou. A third, Don Walsworth Jr., was a Pac-10 golf champion as a Stanford University senior.

The school plans to add 6,000 seats to its football stadium, which now holds 71,004 fans. Eight SEC stadiums hold more than 80,000, with Bryant-Denny Stadium at Alabama and Tennessee's Neyland Stadium topping 100,000.

Missouri envisions a total of $200 million of athletic facility upgrades, funded in part by $72 million of debt financing through 30-year revenue bonds. The school hopes to recoup its entire investment through the sale of additional premium seats and football luxury boxes.

Also on Tuesday, Missouri athletics director Mike Alden offered his first public comments on reports that men's basketball coach Frank Haith could be charged with committing NCAA violations while at Miami.

CBSSports.com has reported that Haith, who spent seven mostly middling years at Miami before his surprise hire by Alden in 2011, will face charges of unethical conduct by the NCAA.

Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will also face unethical conduct charges as part of a two-year NCAA inquiry, two people familiar with the situation have told The Associated Press. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor Miami has released the expected notice of allegations.

Days before the report's anticipated release, the Miami investigation took a dramatic turn last week when NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that former NCAA investigators improperly collaborated with lawyers for disgraced Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro, a convicted felon. Shapiro has claimed he provided cash, cars, prostitutes and other impermissible benefits to dozens of Miami football players and other athletes between 2002 and 2010 with the knowledge of multiple coaches and athletics employees.

Alden said he discussed his concerns with Emmert on Monday at a winter meeting of athletic directors on Marco Island, Fla., as well as with a group of peers from Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina and Syracuse while on a 12-day tour of Nike manufacturing facilities in southeast Asia.

``I've never seen anything like that before in my tenure in college athletics,'' he said. ``So, I certainly think it raises lots of questions. I appreciate the fact that the NCAA has come up and they're addressing it. We'll kind of have to see how that plays out.''

``There's a significant amount of concern nationally relative to the integrity of the process and transparency,'' Alden added, emphasizing the impact of the NCAA's self-inquiry could be felt far beyond Coral Gables and Columbia.

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Alan Scher Zagier can be reached athttp://twitter.com/azagier

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Adam Eaton and Sean Doolittle are pumped for Stephen Strasburg's record contract

Adam Eaton and Sean Doolittle are pumped for Stephen Strasburg's record contract

When you become the highest-paid pitcher in the history of baseball, you start to generate quite the reaction. 

For Stephen Strasburg, who signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to return to the Nationals Monday, the reaction from his teammates has been all positive.

Adam Eaton and Sean Doolittle were the first to congratulate their World Series MVP. 

Strasburg opted out of the remaining four years and $100 million of the seven-year, $175 million deal he signed in 2016 after a legendary postseason run and the best regular season of his career. 

It's yet to be seen how the Nationals fill out the rest of their roster, but whoever's on the roster come March 26, they'll surely be glad to see Strasburg take the mound every fifth day. 

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D.C. United acquires Bill Hamid's contract on permanent transfer

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D.C. United acquires Bill Hamid's contract on permanent transfer

Bill Hamid is returning the District for good. 

D.C. United has acquired their goalkeeper permanently after a transfer from FC Midtjylland, the team announced on Monday. The deal is good for three years using Targeted Allocation Monday.

During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Hamid was on loan from the Danish club. Both years he continued to post superb numbers for United. In 47 starts he had 19 shutouts and a 21-12-14 record. His 14 clean sheets in 2019 led the league and had him in consideration for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

He had started for the club in some capacity in every season dating back to 2010.  The 29-year-old has club records in starts for goalkeepers (231), minutes (20,589), wins (87), saves (819) and shutouts (68).

"Bringing Bill back to the club in 2020 and beyond was a top priority for us this offseason," general manager Dave Kasper said in a release. “Bill is a leader on and off the field and we’re excited to bring him back to the club that he has worked tirelessly for over the last ten seasons. He is among the best goalkeepers in MLS and he resonates with fans and the community, and we know he is going to be an important piece at the club for the foreseeable future."

For years Hamid has been regarded as one of the top American goalkeepers, but injuries have hindered his growth. He was a part of the wave of USMNT players moving to European clubs when he signed with the Danish team back in 2018. Earlier in Jan. 2019 that appeared to pay off after his stellar season on loan with United. It resulted in Hamid on the USMNT's training camp roster.

The difference now in Hamid's permanent transfer is that he can no longer be called up by his primary team FC Midtjylland. While that never happened in his year and a half on loan with United, that possibility was always there. It's a permanent solution for United and resources can now be focused on other areas of the team. 

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