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Sports briefs: Liberty gives Freeze extension through 2026
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Sports briefs: Liberty gives Freeze extension through 2026

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Liberty gives Freeze extension through 2026

Coach Hugh Freeze, who has steered Liberty to the best start in program history at 7-0 and the No. 22 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25, has agreed to a new deal with the Flames through 2026.

Financial details weren’t announced, but ESPN reported the deal would place Freeze among the top five highest-paid non-Power Five coaches in college football. That would mean his average salary would be more than $3 million per year.

This is Freeze’s second season at Liberty. He is coming off a 38-35 road victory against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

COVID-19 racking up postponements

The pandemic derailed more games on Wednesday, with No. 12 Georgia at Missouri becoming the fourth game postponed in the Southeastern Conference and No. 3 Ohio State’s visit to Maryland canceled because of an outbreak among the Terrapins.

While the SEC will assess rescheduling options, there are no open dates built into the Big Ten’s nine-week schedule, and teams must play at least six games to qualify to play for the league championship. The Buckeyes are now down to seven games at most, and No. 13 Wisconsin, which was favored to meet the Buckeyes in the league title game, has already been saddled with two cancellations because of its outbreak.

No. 24 Auburn at Mississippi State; No. 1 Alabama at LSU; and No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee were all called off earlier this week. Both the Tigers-Bulldogs and Aggies-Volunteers games have been rescheduled for Dec. 12.

In all, eight games across major college football have been called off this week including Memphis at Navy, Air Force at Wyoming and Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State. Overall, 55 games involving FBS teams have been canceled or postponed since major college football leagues had their revised fall schedules in place on Aug. 26.

Florida State’s struggles continue to mount as the Seminoles lost several players for the rest of the season, with some sidelined by injuries and others saying it is time to move on. Preseason All-America defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and starting offensive lineman Devontay Love-Taylor will not play the rest of the year because of injuries. Coach Mike Norvell also said that leading wide receiver Tamorrion Terry has left the team and James Blackman

  • , now a backup quarterback, intends to transfer.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Iowa’s Garza unanimous pick for A-A team

Iowa star Luka Garza was the lone unanimous selection on The Associated Press preseason All-America team, one of many awards the talented big man has received prior to his senior season.

Garza was joined on the team by Baylor senior Jared Butler, Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham and Illinois junior Ayo Dosunmu. Seniors Corey Kispert of Gonzaga and Arizona State’s Remy Martin tied for the final spot.

Garza, a 6-foot-11 forward, was one of college basketball’s dominant players as a junior, averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 54% from the floor.

Marshall, Wichita State expected to part ways

Coach Gregg Marshall, a Randolph-Macon graduate and former Yellow Jackets assistant coach, and Wichita State are expected to part ways by the end of this week, according to two national media reports late Tuesday evening.

Marshall, who took WSU to the 2013 Final Four and is the winningest men’s coach in school history, has been the subject of an investigation into allegations of physical and verbal abuse of players and staff members.

Marshall was not at the team’s practices on Monday or Tuesday, a WSU spokesperson told The Eagle. It’s not known if Marshall’s absence was related to the investigation.

NBA

Thunder elevate Daigneault to head coach

The Oklahoma City Thunder promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to head coach, handing the team over to the 35-year-old former coach of its G League team.

Daigneault replaces Billy Donovan, who now is coaching the Chicago Bulls.

Daigneault coached the Thunder’s G League team for five years. He had a .572 winning percentage, won three division titles and made four playoff appearances.

Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce added former Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan

  • to his staff as an assistant. McMillan has a 661-588 record in 16 seasons as an NBA coach.

STATE GOLF

Beecroft, King elected to Virginia Hall

The Virginia Golf Hall of Fame has elected two members, Moss Beecroft and David King, to its Class of 2021.

Beecroft, a Newport News native who won six VSGA Senior Amateur Championships and two VSGA Senior Stroke Play titles, died in April at the age of 89.

King qualified for 17 USGA championships, including eight U.S. Amateurs. He won the VSGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2002, when he was named VSGA senior golfer of the year, and two VSGA Senior Four-Ball titles (2000 and 2001). He won 13 titles in VSGA, Maryland association, and Washington association events.

NHL

Realignment of teams eyed for next season

The NHL could go with a temporary realignment of its teams for next season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league also is contemplating a reduced schedule and temporary hubs. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said realignment could help with travel restrictions for Canada and mandated quarantines for visiting certain states in the United States.

The NHL is targeting a Jan. 1 start for next season. But details are still being worked out in talks between the league and NHL Players’ Association.

Howie Meeker

  • , who won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs, served in Parliament during his playing days, and went on to become a Canadian icon as a television hockey analyst, has died. He was 97.

— From wire reports

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