This Hour: Latest Arkansas sports

Arkansas St receives NCAA notice of inquiry

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State has received an official notice of inquiry from the NCAA concerning potential violations. The school self-imposed a $43,500 fine last year after admitting "inadvertent mistakes" that led to improperly certified credits for athletes who transferred to ASU.

The university said in a statement Monday it had received the formal inquiry concerning "potential violations involving ineligible competition of student-athletes due to failure to meet percentage of degree requirements and a potential academic fraud violation."

The school says it will continue to assist with the inquiry and will not discuss the investigation publicly.

Ark. player leaving football team to play baseball

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino says wide receiver Carlton Salters has left the Razorback football team.

Petrino said Monday that Salters has indicated that he plans to pursue his goal of playing professional baseball.

Salters appeared in 27 games for the Razorbacks and had 13 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. Last year, he played in eight games and had three catches on the season for 81 yards and a touchdown. Salters averaged 27 yards per catch.

In spring 2007, he was an outfielder during his redshirt season for the Razorback baseball team.

March Madness will include 4 1st round games

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA has decided to add a new round to the NCAA men's basketball tournament next year, when the field expands to 68 teams.

The men's basketball committee announced its plans Monday to have four early games, with the winners earning their way into the 64-team second round. There has been only one early game since 2001, when the field expanded to 65 teams.

2 of the so-called "First Four" games will match the lowest seeds, between 65 and 68. The other two games will include the last four at-large qualifiers.

That should prevent mid-majors from being over-represented in the first-round games, and it probably means teams from BCS conferences will be playing for the right to get to the second round.

The dates and locations for the first-round games will be announced later. All games will be on Turner Broadcasting's truTV cable channel.

NCAA may bar scholarship offers to young

The NCAA is looking at whether to ban scholarship offers to recruits before July 1 in the summer between their junior and senior years in high school.

The rule would apply to all sports if passed later this year or next. Some coaches are hopeful it could slow an arms-race mentality that has led to earlier and earlier commitments by unproven prospects.

Two years ago, the National Association of Basketball Coaches said it opposed accepting commitments from students who had not yet completed their sophomore seasons in high school. Jim Haney, the group's executive director, says he understands the reasoning behind the new proposal.

The proposal would also require coaches to receive a high school transcript documenting at least five semesters or seven quarters of academic work for a recruit before offering a scholarship.

Texas Rangers sued by prospective buyers

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers have been slapped with a lawsuit accusing them of breaching an agreement with the team's prospective buyers, a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg.

The suit filed Monday in the Rangers' bankruptcy case accuses the court-appointed restructuring officer of trying to "hijack" the case by reopening the bidding process.

The suit says the Greenberg-Ryan group was chosen to buy the team after a lengthy and fair process last year. It says the group even raised its offer by $10 million after it was chosen as the winning bidder because the team was still negotiating with other interested buyers.

The group wants the bankruptcy judge to order the Rangers to sell the team to the Greenberg-Ryan group to comply with its purchase agreement.

Ubaldo Jimenez, David Price to start All-Star game

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Tampa Bay's David Price will start for the American League in the All-Star Game, while the National League will go with Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez.

The NL will try to end a 13-year drought in baseball's midsummer classic Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.

Price is 12-4 with a 2.42 earned-run average. Jimenez has a 2.20 ERA in 18 starts and 127 innings for the surging Rockies.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose Jimenez over Florida's Josh Johnson, who's 9-3 with a majors-best 1.70 ERA for the Marlins.

Manuel and AL manager Joe Girardi of the World Series champion New York Yankees made the announcements Monday.

There was some confusion about Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre. Girardi announced that Texas third baseman Michael Young would replace Beltre, who left Sunday's game at Toronto with a strained left hamstring.

But less than an hour later, Beltre said he planned to play. MLB executive Phyllis Merhige said an announcement about Beltre's status was made prematurely. He planned to test his leg at the ballpark before making a final decision.

Ex-Cowboy seeks damages for injuries from collapse

DALLAS (AP) - A former Dallas Cowboys player who was inside the team's indoor practice facility when it collapsed last year claims he suffered a career-ending injury in the disaster and is seeking damages from the builder and companies operated by team owner Jerry Jones.

Jamar Hunt says in a court filing that he suffered "serious, disabling and permanent injuries" when the tentlike structure fell in May 2009. Hunt was a rookie free agent from the University of Texas at El Paso trying to make the team as a tight end and deep snapper at the time.

Hunt's attorney, Michael Guajardo, said the player suffered a herniated disk in his neck when a steel support fell on him.

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said the team isn't commenting on Hunt's claim.

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