THE NCAA IS putting its $2,000 stipend on hold. The governing body said yesterday the number of schools seeking an override had reached 125 - the necessary number to suspend the rule until it can be reconsidered by the Division I Board of Directors at January's NCAA convention.
The board passed legislation in October to give some athletes an additional $2,000 toward the full cost-of-tuition, money that would go beyond tuition, room and board, books and fees. Some schools have expressed opposition because they believe it violates the NCAA's philosophy on amateur sports. But most are concerned about compliance with Title IX rules requiring schools to treat men's and women's sports equally, or the budget hit athletic departments will face with incoming recruits next fall.
In other college news:
* The NCAA has agreed to a $500 million deal with ESPN to broadcast the championships in many of its sports through the 2023-24 school year.
* UCLA advanced to its first national championship match since 1991 with a three-set sweep over Florida State in the NCAA semifinals in San Antonio. The Bruins (29-6) will play in tomorrow's title match against last night's winner of Illinois vs. USC.
Sixteen-year-old Lexi Thompson took a two-shot lead after the second round of the Dubai Ladies Masters.
* Top-ranked Luke Donald, of England, has added the European Tour's golfer of the year award to his PGA Tour player of the year honor for 2011.
* Two-time major champion Sandy Lyle, of Scotland, and British commentator Peter Alliss have been selected for the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway's racing surface was singled out as a significant factor in a "perfect storm" of conditions that led to the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Wheldon was killed Oct. 16 when his car sailed 325 feet into a catchfence, and his head hit a post in the fence, creating a "non-survivable injury." IndyCar president Brian Barnhart focused on Vegas' multi-grooved, wide surface that heightened the dangers of pack racing on a high-banked oval.