Fired WMU coach goes to Beckman’s Illini staff


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois coach Tim Beckman, who previously coached at Toledo, returned to his Mid-American Conference past and hired Bill Cubit as the new offensive coordinator.

Cubit was fired last year as coach at Western Michigan after a 4-8 season. He replaces Chris Beatty and Bill Gonzales, who were co-coordinators last season and whose offense was last in the Big Ten in both points per game (16.7) and total offense (296.7 yards a game).

Beatty was fired earlier this month while Gonzales will stay at Illinois as wide receivers coach.

The Illinis finished 2-10 season including a win over Western Michigan.

■ COLUMBUS — Former Ohio State receiver Verlon Reed will play football next season at the University of Findlay.

Because he is transferring from Division I to Division II, Reed will be eligible to play immediately. The 6-foot, 205-pound Columbus native played three seasons at OSU.

As a redshirt sophomore last year, Reed caught one pass for 13 yards in seven games. He began the previous year as a starter but suffered a a season-ending knee injury that October.

■ SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood announced he is entering the NFL draft, deciding against returning for a final year of eligibility.

The 6-0, 215-pound senior, who did not play as a freshman, was second on the team this past season with 742 yards rushing on 114 carries. He sat out the first two games of the season after being suspended for violating team rules.

He rushed for 2,447 yards on 450 carries in three seasons, finishing seventh on Notre Dame's all-time list.

■ LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska linebacker Sean Fisher has announced his plan to enroll in medical school next fall rather than petition the NCAA for a sixth season.

Fisher broke his leg in practice in 2010 and missed the entire season. He could have asked the NCAA for eligibility in 2013.

He started five of 14 games this past season, and his 48 tackles ranked ninth on the team. He carries a 4.0 grade-point average.

■ FORT WORTH, Texas — Former Texas Christan quarterback Casey Pachall has completed substance abuse rehabilitation and returned to the team.

Pachall, a junior, threw for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns in the first four games last season. He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and on Oct. 9 the school said Pachall was leaving TCU for treatment.

■ AUSTIN, Texas — Two Texas players suspended before the Alamo Bowl amid a sexual assault allegation have rejoined the team.

Coach Mack Brown said quarterback Case McCoy and linebacker Jordan Hicks are back.

McCoy and Hicks were suspended a day before the bowll. A police report says a 21-year-old woman told investigators she had been drinking alcohol and was assaulted after inviting two men to her San Antonio hotel room.

Lawyers for the players said police told them the case would no longer be pursued. Police have said the investigation continues.


OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, 51, received a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2016 season.

The A’s became the first team in history to win a division or pennant after trailing by five games with less than 10 to play.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two years after discovering she had a rare form of ovarian cancer, Olympic champion gymnast Shannon Miller is expecting her second child.

Miller is due this summer. She and husband John Falconetti also have a 3-year-old son, Rocco.

The most decorated gymnast in U.S. history was hoping to get pregnant again when doctors discovered a germ cell malignancy, a form of ovarian cancer, in late 2010.

Germ cell malignancies are not the same as what most people think of as ovarian cancer, generally occurring in teenagers and women under 30. But the consequences can be just as dire. The ovary with the tumor was removed in January 2011, and Miller then had nine weeks of chemotherapy.