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Published: Thursday, 10/6/2011

Harvest Prep ineligible for OHSAA tournaments

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS -- Ohio's sanctioning body for high school sports has banned Canal Winchester Harvest Prep from its tournaments in football, girls basketball, and boys basketball for the next two academic years for playing ineligible players.

Among other sanctions, the Ohio High School Athletic Association also ruled that none of the school's sports teams could play in OHSAA postseason events in 2011-12.

Harvest Prep must also forfeit tournament games in boys basketball from a year ago along with three football games from last season.

The school's boys team lost 63-48 to Berlin Hiland in the Division IV state final last season and finished the season 22-5. They must surrender the runner-up trophy. The girls won the state title, beating Fort Loramie 51-31. The Warriors finished the season 27-1.

The Rev. Gary Johnston, the school's superintendent, says the school has agreed with the violations and jointly signed an agreement on penalties. He says Harvest Prep is proud of its coaches, athletes, and administrators and will remain compliant with OHSAA regulations.

The school is permitted to play regular-season games.

Golf

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Tiger Woods has his first major endorsement since his downfall two years ago, announcing a deal with Rolex to be one of its ambassadors.

Woods had lost five major endorsements in the two years since he was exposed for serial adultery and eventually divorced. He previously had a watch deal with Tag Heuer, which dropped him two months ago.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it is believed to be longer than five years.

■ SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Woods offered Joe LaCava the job as his caddie, and it wasn't a difficult decision for him.

"Why? Because he's Tiger Woods," LaCava said, offering very little by way of elaboration. "Enough said. It's a no-brainer, isn't it? That's my thought. It's Tiger Woods."

LaCava is among the top caddies on the PGA Tour, having spent most of his 25 years with Fred Couples, a former Masters champion and No. 1 player in the world who was the biggest draw during the peak of his career.

So big crowds will be nothing new for LaCava.

He just never imagined working for three players this year, the last one Woods.

Couples was playing less and urged LaCava to work for Dustin Johnson, regarded as the top young American talent. Johnson, who already has five wins and played in the final group at three majors, was runner-up at the British Open and won The Barclays. By then, however, Woods had fired Steve Williams and was looking for a replacement.

LaCava told him he was interested.

"When you say was it a hard decision, it was hard in the fact Dustin was great to me," LaCava said. "Was it hard to tell him I was leaving to go to work for Tiger? Yes. Was it hard to go to work for Tiger? No."

College football

AUSTIN -- Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who lost his starting job after two games and then had season-ending shoulder surgery, plans to transfer.

Gilbert has been given an unconditional release from his scholarship to find another school.

Gilbert, a former high school national player of the year, came off the bench as a freshman to replace injured Colt McCoy in the 2010 BCS championship game that ended with a loss to Alabama.

He started every game in the 2010 season when Texas fell to 5-7 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1997.

Gilbert won a training camp battle to keep the job this season but was pulled for Case McCoy and David Ash midway through a 17-16 win over BYU in the second game.

Auto racing

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup teams completed testing at repaved and reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway.

Thirty-five teams hit the mile oval on the second day of the test in preparation for the Kobalt Tools 500 on Nov. 13, the ninth event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

"As we ran the track, it got a lot better with rubber," said Carl Edwards, tied with Kevin Harvick for the Chase lead. "As treacherous as this place was in the Goodyear tire test, as tough as it was to drive, it got better the whole day. I think we have a lot to look forward to once the track gets more rubber on it."

The new configuration also features variable banking, a longer dogleg, and improved pit road.

College basketball

NEW YORK -- St. John's coach Steve Lavin will undergo surgery today to treat prostate cancer.

The 47-year-old Lavin, who is starting his second season with the Red Storm, announced in April that he had been diagnosed in September.

He is expected to resume his coaching responsibilities. Practice starts Oct. 14, and the Red Storm's first game is Nov. 7 against William&Mary in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.



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