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Originally published Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

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Big East to become American Athletic Conference | A.M. Briefing

The current Big East will be called the American Athletic Conference starting next season. The conference announced the decision Wednesday...

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Colleges

Big East to become

American Athletic Conference

The current Big East will be called the American Athletic Conference starting next season.

The conference announced the decision Wednesday after university presidents approved the new moniker earlier in the day.

The Big East football schools were in need of a new name after they agreed to let seven basketball schools break away from the conference to start a new league this summer to be called the Big East.

The American Athletic Conference will have 10 members in its first season: Rutgers, Louisville, Connecticut, South Florida, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Memphis, Houston, Southern Methodist and Temple.

College football

Charges directed at Auburn

A report published by Selena Roberts, a former Sports Illustrated and New York Times reporter, delves into charges toward the Auburn program including academic fraud, pay-for-play incentives and positive drug testing.

"Auburn's Tainted Title: Victims, Violations and Vendettas" was published on the website Roopstigo.com.

The report focuses on former Auburn safety Mike McNeil, who faces robbery charges stemming from a March 2011 arrest, two months after Auburn won the BCS national championship.

NHL

Flurry of trade-deadline deals

Right wing Marian Gaborik landed in Columbus, providing the trade-happy Blue Jackets' playoff push a nudge.

The purge in Buffalo continued, with the Sabres dealing captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild.

The talent-laden Pittsburgh Penguins showed they weren't done dealing by acquiring left wing Jussi Jokinen from Carolina.

And even rookie of the year candidate Cory Conacher wasn't untouchable after Tampa Bay traded him to Ottawa for goalie Ben Bishop.

What began as a slow day leading up to the midafternoon trade deadline ended with a flourish as teams continued to jockey for playoff positioning with a little over three weeks to go in a lockout-shortened season. When the dust settled, 23 teams had 17 deals involving 30 players.

The Blue Jackets led the way with four trades in a bid to continue a late-season push to secure only their second playoff berth.

Their most notable deal involved the New York Rangers, in which Columbus acquired Gaborik and defensemen Blake Parlett and Steven Delisle. In return, the Rangers received forwards Derek Dorsett and Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.

The Phoenix Coyotes unloaded three veteran players from their roster for a minor-leaguer and two draft picks. The Coyotes insisted the deals were necessary for a team that's under the financial restraints of being run by the league for the fourth straight season. Left wing Raffi Torres was sent to San Jose, left wing Steve Sullivan was dealt to New Jersey and center Matthew Lombardi was bound for Anaheim.

Soccer

Vermes, Moore to Hall of Fame

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was elected to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame along with Joe-Max Moore, another former forward on the American national team.

Vermes, 46, had 11 goals in 67 international appearances from 1988 to 1997 and played for the U.S. in the 1990 World Cup and the 1988 Olympics. Moore, 42, had 24 goals in 100 international appearances, including a pair against Jamaica in October 2001 that clinched a World Cup berth. He was on the U.S. team at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Swimming

Armstrong to compete

Lance Armstrong is looking to make a splash with a return to competition. The disgraced cyclist is signed up to swim three events this weekend at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas.

U.S. Masters Swimming is not covered under the same drug-testing rules of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which banned Armstrong for life from its sanctioned events for his performance-enhancing drug use during his cycling career.

Elsewhere

Aaron Gordon, bound for Arizona, had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead the West to a 110-99 victory over the East in the McDonald's All-American game in Chicago. Gordon, who also considered Washington, was named MVP. The game had six Kentucky commits.

Mercedes Russell had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the West to a 92-64 win over the East in the McDonald's All-American girls game at the United Center in Chicago. The Tennessee signee was voted the MVP.

• Former champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-1, 6-1 at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. Venus Williams, who won this tournament in 2004, began play with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

Flashback is the early 9-5 favorite for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday in Arcadia, Calif., though the 3-year-old colt will break from the rail, a position his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert famously dislikes.

• Unbeatens Verrazano and Vyjack are among a field of 10 entered for Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in Jamaica, N.Y. Verrazano was made the 4-5 favorite and will leave from the No. 8 post. Vyjack is next at 4-1 from the No. 5 post.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored nine minutes in and Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain added goals in host Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Galatasaray in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona's Spanish league match this weekend because of a hamstring injury but may play in the Champions League return leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

Humberto Suazo and Aldo de Nigris scored late goals, and Monterrey rallied from a first-half deficit to beat the host Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.

• Colorado Rapids midfielder Kevin Harbottle is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained left knee.

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