HAGERMAN GROUP AWARDED VALPO TRACK PROJECT: The Hagerman Group has been awarded the design-build track and field project for Valparaiso, the firm announced this week.
The installation of an eight-lane track as well as javelin, long jump and pole vault runways, along with the construction of storage building, are included in the project. The track will be placed next to the existing football field. The project, valued at $ 1.4 million, is scheduled to run from March to July.
GOODELL TALKS ABOUT ADDING PLAYOFF TEAMS: If Commissioner Roger Goodell gets his way, change could be coming to the NFL.
Adding playoff teams. Monitoring instant replay from league headquarters. Possibly creating a set of guidelines to prevent locker-room bullying.
Short on details or precise timetables, and acknowledging he'll need approval from team owners for action, Goodell painted the picture of an ever-evolving league during his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference, held Friday in a theater in midtown Manhattan.
Goodell said "there's a lot of benefits" to increasing the postseason field from 12 to 14 clubs.
"We think we can make the league more competitive. We think we can make the matchups more competitive toward the end of the season. There will be more excitement, more memorable moments for our fans. And that's something that attracts us," Goodell said.
MICKELSON MAKES IT TO WEEKEND AT PHOENIX OPEN: Phil Mickelson made it to the weekend in the Phoenix Open. Another popular left-hander and a fellow former Arizona State player set the pace.
A week after withdrawing from Torrey Pines because of back pain, Mickelson shot a 4-under 67 in his afternoon round Friday at cool and breezy TPC Scottsdale. The defending champion was eight strokes behind leaders Bubba Watson and Matt Jones.
"I'm not totally out of it," Mickelson said. "Obviously, heading into the weekend, I'd like to be closer, but as we have seen in the past, there is that 8-, 9-, 10-, in some cases 11-under par round out there."
KELLY EXPECTS MORE DYNAMIC OFFENSE WITH MOBILE QB: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says he expects the Fighting Irish offense to be more dynamic with a mobile quarterback next season, although he cautioned the starter may not be Everett Golson.
Kelly says many people, including a lot of Irish players, are assuming Golson will start after missing last season while serving a semester-long suspension for academic impropriety. In introducing Mike Denbrock as Notre Dame's offensive coordinator and Matt LaFleur as quarterbacks coach, Kelly says he expects Malik Zaire to challenge Golson.
Kelly says he will resume play-calling next season because the Irish will be transitioning to an offense that depends more on the quarterback to be a playmaker. He says he's looking for a quarterback who can make things happen outside the pocket.
ISLAND OF DOMINICA MAKES HISTORY IN SOCHI: The tiny Caribbean island nation of Dominica will be represented in its first-ever Winter Olympics by a husband-and-wife team whose Olympic dreams have gone from fading with middle age to becoming a reality.
American-born Gary di Silvestri, 46, and his Italian-born wife, 48-year-old Angelica, are unlikely ambassadors for the country of 70,000 better known for its tropical climate and black-sand beaches than its winter sports. But when Dominican officials heard the International Olympic Committee's 2012 call for more Caribbean participants in the Winter Games, they saw two of their newer citizens as the best chance to qualify.
The di Silvestris have skied competitively in the U.S., Canada and Europe for years, but preparing Dominica and themselves for Sochi was a completely new endeavor. Everything had to be built from scratch, from the creation of a local ski association in Dominica to membership in the International Ski Federation.
Around to horn
In a field which includes seven of the nation's top 10 women's bowling teams, No. 14-ranked Valparaiso closed out the opening day of competition at the Prairie View A&M Invitational in Arlington, Texas, in seventh place. ... For the first time in Valparaiso University football history, the Crusaders will play 12 regular-season games. Valpo will kick off the season at Western Illinois at 6 p.m. Aug. 28. The Crusaders will open at home against St. Joseph's at 7 p.m. Sept. 6.