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TBS opts to carry Final Four semifinals in '14

THE FINAL FOUR'S first two games are moving to cable next year. The national semifinals will air on TBS in 2014 and 2015, with the title game remaining on CBS, the companies said yesterday.

THE FINAL FOUR'S first two games are moving to cable next year.

The national semifinals will air on TBS in 2014 and 2015, with the title game remaining on CBS, the companies said yesterday.

Under the 14-year deal that CBS and Turner Sports signed with the NCAA in 2010, CBS and TBS were scheduled to start alternating broadcasts of the entire Final Four starting in 2016, but Turner had the option to move that up to 2014.

Network executives decided in recent months that the best approach for both companies was to split the coverage for the next 2 years before beginning to take turns. TBS will televise the entire Final Four in 2016 and CBS in 2017.

The two companies recently completed the third year of their contract, which televised every game in the tournament for the first time using CBS and three Turner channels - TBS, TNT and truTV. The new model has drawn strong ratings and proved viewers are comfortable finding the games on cable.

In other college news:

* LSU running back Jeremy Hill met with a judge in Baton Rouge and received more restrictive conditions for his probation in the wake of his recent arrest in a bar fight. Hill already was on probation from a past plea deal when he was arrested and booked with misdemeanor simple battery early on April 27.

* Oakland (Mich.) University announced it will leave the Summit League and join the Horizon League on July 1.

* Tennessee guard Trae Golden will transfer for his senior season, the school announced. Golden, a two-year starter, averaged 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last season.

* Florida A&M hired alum Sylvester Young as director for its famous Marching 100 band, bidding to rebuild and relaunch the band suspended after a 2011 hazing scandal.

Pro Football * 

Former Eagles and Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert was named the Denver Broncos' director of pro personnel. He will work closely with executive vice president John Elway and Matt Russell, the Broncos' director of player personnel. Russell was an Eagles college scout for three seasons under Heckert.

* Kansas City hired longtime Bears personnel man Chris Ballard to be its director of player personnel.

John Kasay, who ranks among the NFL all-time leaders in field goals and scoring, retired as a Carolina Panther after spending 2012 out of the NFL.

* Jacksonville signed free-agent cornerback Marcus Trufant and released cornerback Antwaun Molden.

Carrie Underwood will take over the theme song for NBC's "Sunday Night Football." She steps in for Faith Hill, who announced last month that she would not be back for a seventh season. Underwood will sing a new version of "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night," the network said.

Auto Racing * 

Penske Racing celebrated a small victory when NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook issued a mixed ruling on penalties levied against the team. Although most everything was upheld, suspensions for seven key employees were reduced from six points races to two.

* NASCAR said that Ryan Newman will not be fined for his rebuke of NASCAR on live television following a late accident at Talladega.

Philly File * 

Penn's Meg Markham and Shannon Mangini were named to the all-region first team and Lucy Ferguson was named to the second team by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association.

* The 11th Annual Friends of Bill Raftery Golf Outing will be held June 17 at North Hills Country Club and will celebrate the Sweet 16 run by La Salle. Funds raised directly benefit the La Salle men's basketball program. For more information, call 215-951-1524.

Sport Stops * 

Russia got two late goals to beat the United States, 5-3, and Canada beat Norway, 7-1, at the ice hockey world championships in Helsinki. The U.S. team (2-1) plays Finland (3-0) today.