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Originally published Monday, April 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM

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SEC commissioner Mike Slive wants expert playoff committee | College football

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive discussed what he would want from the college football playoff selection committee.

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College football

SEC boss Slive says experts

should select playoff teams

Mike Slive wants knowledgeable football people choosing who plays for the national championship.

Whatever the selection committee's makeup, the Southeastern Conference commissioner is aiming for a process fans will buy into when the new system takes effect for playoffs after the 2014 regular season.

"We want football expertise," Slive said Monday. "We want integrity, and we want transparency, because this is our opportunity to make sure that not only are we comfortable but you (the media) are comfortable and all the fans are comfortable that this process is the way it should be. It's not going to be easy."

Slive isn't predicting when that final, big piece of the playoff puzzle will be put in place but is hoping it will be in the next several months.

Slive expects the selection committee to include from 14 to 20 members.

Stanford QB Nunes retires

Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes is retiring. He tore a muscle in his chest while lifting weights in February and missed spring practice.

Nunes started nine games last season before being replaced by Kevin Hogan.

Nunes completed 52.8 percent of his passes and threw for 1,643 yards, 10 TDs and seven interceptions last season. He was projected to be Hogan's backup this year.

Obama, patient meet

The 7-year-old cancer patient who became an Internet sensation for his touchdown run in Nebraska's spring game has yet another fan — President Barack Obama.

Jack Hoffman, his family and ex-Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead visited Obama for 15 minutes in the Oval Office. Obama presented Jack with a new football and told him he was proud of him.

"I thought it was awesome," said Jack, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011.

At the April 6 spring game, Jack took a handoff and ran 69 yards to the end zone before being mobbed by Cornhuskers players and lifted on their shoulders.

College basketball

Larranaga to address grads

As a coach, Jim Larranaga is known for his motivational speeches. Television cameras captured many during Miami's rise to prominence.

On May 10, he will address a much different audience. Larranaga will deliver the spring commencement speech for the College of Arts and Sciences and the marine-science school.

"It is both an honor and a privilege to be asked to speak at the university commencement," Larranaga said.

Soccer

MLS officials to unionize

Major League Soccer's referees and their assistants are unionizing.

The match officials said they had voted to certify the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) as their collective-bargaining agent in a vote conducted under the rules of the National Labor Relations Board. Referees, linesmen and fourth officials are included in the bargaining unit.

Lucas Middlebrook, a lawyer for PSRA, said the vote was 55-7 among 77 eligible voters.

Caxirolas are projectiles

Brazil's replacement for the vuvuzela is giving 2014 World Cup organizers a headache.

It wasn't the sound of the caxirola — a maraca-like instrument not nearly as noisy as the South African vuvuzela — that attracted attention Sunday during its official debut. Instead, hundreds of the small green-and-yellow plastic objects were thrown onto the field by fans upset with their team's performance.

Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said it was "not good news" to see the caxirolas — the official fan instrument of the World Cup — thrown by fans but hopes it was an isolated incident.

Some fear the hissing sound produced by thousands of caxirolas shaken at the same time will create a nuisance like the vuvuzelas did at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an issue that forced FIFA to address the noise produced by the long plastic horns.

Golf

Muirfield to get longer

The course at Muirfield in Scotland will be lengthened by 158 yards for the British Open, which starts July 18.

The changes mainly deal with new tees at the second, fourth, ninth, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th holes. This year's course will be 7,192 yards, with par remaining at 71.

Muirfield is hosting the British Open for the 16th time since 1892.

Elsewhere

• The University of Illinois has sold the naming rights for Assembly Hall to State Farm Insurance in a 30-year, $60 million deal. The home of the Illini basketball teams will be called State Farm Center.

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