Weekend Sports in Brief
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Investigators are searching for a motive to help explain why Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself.
Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had lived apart briefly earlier in the year but had gotten back together by Thanksgiving, according to a friend of Perkins.
Brianne York, 21, said Sunday the couple, who had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, argued about ``normal couple stuff'' but that her friend was ``really happy about being a mom.''
After Belcher killed Perkins he drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they'd done for him. Belcher then fatally shot himself in the practice facility's parking lot, police said.
Sunday found Crennel on the sidelines, resolutely holding together a team in turmoil. The Chiefs rallied to a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, breaking an eight-game losing streak.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on ``Sunday Night Football'' to advocate for gun control following the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.
In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock.
After praising the column, Costas said: ``In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.''
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - A member of the Cleveland Browns' grounds crew killed himself at their practice facility, a team spokesman said Sunday.
The man's body was found Saturday morning at the facility in suburban Cleveland, the same day Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager after earlier killing his girlfriend.
Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis confirmed to The Associated Press that a team employee died of a suicide, but provided no other details.
NEW YORK (AP) - The penultimate Bowl Championship Series gave college football a national championship matchup low on controversy and loaded with star power: No. 1 Notre Dame against No. 2 Alabama in Miami on Jan. 7 for the national title.
The Fiesta Bowl with No. 5 Oregon against No. 7 Kansas State looks good, too, but after that the matchups make it clear why so many fans can't wait to get rid of the BCS.
No. 4 Florida goes to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans to face No. 22 Louisville, a Big East team that was unranked as recently as last week.
Then again, at least the Cardinals are ranked. Big Ten champion Wisconsin will be the first five-loss team to play in the Rose Bowl when it faces No. 8 Stanford in Pasadena, Calif.
Then there's the Orange Bowl in Miami, where No. 13 Florida State will face No. 16 Northern Illinois, the Mid-American Conference champion that took advantage of the lackluster Big Ten and Big East champions to slip into the BCS with a 12-1 record.
Meanwhile, here's a list of teams that won't be playing in the BCS
- No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes' postseason ban helped put the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
- No. 6 Georgia, No. 9 LSU, No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 11 South Carolina couldn't get in because of the rule that permits no more than two teams from one conference.
- No. 12 Oklahoma was all but a lock for the Sugar Bowl, before NIU took the backdoor to being a BCS buster.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Dave Doeren is leaving Northern Illinois after two straight championship seasons to take over at North Carolina State.
N.C. State announced Doeren's hiring Saturday - less than 24 hours after he guided the 19th-ranked Huskies to their second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship, and just six days after firing Tom O'Brien.
Doeren was 23-4 in two seasons as Northern Illinois coach, including a 17-1 in conference play. He won't coach the No. 16 Huskies (12-1) in their Orange Bowl matchup against No. 13 Florida State.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Skip Holtz was fired as South Florida's football coach after two straight losing seasons in which the program fell back instead of progressed.
Athletic director Doug Woolard made the announcement Sunday after meeting with Holtz individually and then accompanying the former coach to a gathering with players. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with no definitive timetable for naming the successor.
BOONE, N.C. (AP) - Jerry Moore, who led Appalachian State to an unforgettable upset of Michigan and won three straight FCS national championships, won't return to the Mountaineers next season, athletic director Charlie Cobb said Sunday.
Cobb said he and Moore - the winningest coach in school and Southern Conference history - agreed following last season that that this year would be his last, but Moore didn't want to make the decision public during the season because he wanted to keep the attention on the field.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) - Graeme McDowell closed with a 4-under 68 on Sunday and held off Keegan Bradley with a pair of superb short-game shots that carried him to a three-shot win in the World Challenge despite the Sherwood Country Club playing longer than ever in a light rain.
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) - Martin Kaymer of Germany shot a 3-under 69 to earn his first title of 2012, holding on for a two-shot victory in rainy conditions at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rick Majerus, the jovial college basketball coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools, died Saturday. He was 64.
Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman, the coach's longtime friend, confirmed in a statement released through The Salt Lake Tribune that Majerus died of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital. The coach had been hospitalized there for several months.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Landon Donovan scored the tiebreaking goal on a penalty kick in the 65th minute, and David Beckham left MLS as a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup on Saturday.
Omar Gonzalez tied it in the 61st minute with a long header for the Galaxy, who defended their title in a rematch of last season's championship game.
With a stirring second-half surge capped by Robbie Keane's goal on another penalty kick in injury time, Los Angeles won its fourth MLS Cup, tying D.C. United for the MLS record.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - North Carolina scored three goals in the second half to Beat Penn State 4-1 and win its 21st women's soccer title.
The Tar Heels (15-5-3), who were making their 26th appearance in the final four College Cup, won the title for the first time since 2009.
Penn State, which was playing in its first women's soccer championship game, finished its season at 21-4-2.
NEW YORK (AP) - Traditional labor talks have made little progress in the ongoing NHL lockout, so the league and the players' association are going to try something different in an attempt to save the season that is slipping away.
A crew of six owners will meet with a handful of players on Tuesday in New York - one day before the league's board of governors meeting - without Commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr. Bettman proposed the meeting on Wednesday when talks broke off following two days of negotiations with federal mediators, and it wasn't agreed to until Sunday.
Originally the thought was no one other than owners and players would be in attendance, but each side will have staff and counsel there. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly will likely participate for the NHL, along with union special counsel Steve Fehr.
Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) will take part in the talks for the league, Daly said.
The six players who will attend the meeting hadn't been announced as of Sunday.
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) - Lindsey Vonn completed a sweep of World Cup races at Lake Louise for the second straight year.
Vonn won Sunday's super-G in a time of 1 minute, 22.82 seconds. She also won two downhill races over the weekend for the hat trick.
American teammate Julia Mancuso was second in the super-G in 1:23.25, while Anna Fenninger of Austria was third in 1:23.27.
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - Ted Ligety of the United States easily captured his second straight World Cup giant slalom race with a flawless and fast final run.
Ligety finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.59 seconds Sunday, holding off top rival Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 1.76 seconds. Davide Simoncelli of Italy was third.