Sports

The action on and off Louisiana's playing fields.

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Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lourdes Garcia-Navarro. Time now for sports. Scott Simon is away this week so no talk of the Cubs. But B.J. Liederman still wrote our theme song.

Elite college sports conferences can set their own rules about sharing profits with student-athletes and other matters, under a new policy adopted by the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors on Thursday.

Major college sports programs could take a significant step today toward sharing their wealth with the student-athletes whose performances help line their coffers.

The NCAA Board of Directors is expected to vote this afternoon on a plan to restructure Division I athletics, which would give the five biggest athletic conferences autonomy in making certain rules and provide so-called enhanced benefits to student-athletes.

Ray Guy, a gifted athlete who became the prototype of an NFL punter in the 1970s and 80s, is officially being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, becoming the first full-time punter ever invited into the institution in Canton, Ohio.

At 64, Guy's enshrinement ends more than two decades of waiting to be recognized by the Hall of Fame. Last night, his golden Hall of Fame jacket was presented to him by his former Oakland Raiders coach, John Madden, the man who drafted him in the first round back in 1973.

Alice Coachman Davis never entered the pantheon of breakthrough African-American sports heroes, like Jesse Owens or Wilma Rudolph. But she was a pioneer nonetheless.

In 1948, competing as Alice Coachman, she became the first African-American woman to win Olympic gold, breaking the U.S. and Olympic records in the high jump.

Chances are, you've never heard of her. Davis died on Monday at age 90 from cardiac arrest.

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

After a wrenching loss to Belgium ended the U.S. team's World Cup run, fans are still touting the play of goalkeeper Tim Howard, Photoshopping his head onto U.S. currency and even (briefly) dubbing him Secretary of Defense on Wikipedia.

In Tuesday's game, Howard set a new World Cup record by making 16 saves. The mark dates back to at least 1966, when organizers started keeping records of that statistic. He was elected man of the match in the 2-1 loss.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.

Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Before her skeptical eyes, amateurism has been laid out naked on a courtroom slab for a jury of all fans to see that it has no beating heart.

Amateurism, Judge Wilken has been told in the case, commonly known as the O'Bannon trial, nobly protects college athletes from being exploited by evil outsiders — so the NCAA knighthood was created in order that colleges could tie up athletes all by themselves.

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