PURDUE-NOTRE DAME RIVALRY ENDS AFTER 2014: Another Notre Dame rivalry game is biting the dust.
Purdue announced on Thursday it has joined Pittsburgh and Michigan on the list of teams that usually play the Fighting Irish on an annual or near-annual basis but won't be any longer. Notre Dame's annual game against Michigan State could be the next to fall.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick didn't respond to a telephone message seeking comment, but he is expected to discuss future schedules on Friday. Senior associate athletic director John Heisler said the university wouldn't comment until it is ready to release its full schedule.
Purdue said the teams, which have played annually since 1946 and 85 times overall, will meet in Indianapolis next season as part of the Shamrock Series home games the Fighting Irish play every season away from South Bend, and then not play again until 2020. Next year's night game will be played Sept. 13 at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts.
$40M SKJODT GIFT TO RENOVATE IU'S ASSEMBLY HALL: Indianapolis philanthropist Cindy Simon Skjodt has donated $40 million to Indiana University to renovate Assembly Hall.
University President Michael McRobbie announced the gift during a news conference Thursday in which he said the home court of the men's and women's basketball teams would be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall once renovations are complete as early as 2016.
IU says the improvements to the 42-year-old arena will include revenue-generating box seats, a new south entryway, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, escalators and remodeled restrooms and concession stands.
Skjodt, the daughter of late Pacers co-owner and shopping mall magnate Melvin Simon, said the pride her father would feel gave her "waves of emotion."
The gift, the largest in IU athletics history, launched a $150 million athletics capital campaign.
DURANT LEADS STREAKING THUNDER PAST BULLS: Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points, and reserve Reggie Jackson added 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.
Joakim Noah had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the banged-up Bulls, who have lost four straight and seven of eight. Taj Gibson scored 16 points, and D.J. Augustin added 15.
Chicago played without Kirk Hinrich (back tightness) and Luol Deng (sore Achilles), and Jimmy Butler left during the game with a right ankle injury.
SOX AGREE TO DEAL WITH BELISARIO: The White Sox have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario and are closing in on a $4 million, one-year deal with pitcher Scott Downs.
Chicago announced the agreement with Belisario on Thursday. The talks with Downs were revealed by a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
The 30-year-old Belisario was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 77 games with the Dodgers last season.
Downs was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 games last season for the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves.
Downs would earn $3.75 million next season, and the White Sox would hold a $4.25 million option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout.
FIGURE SKATING CHAMP BOITANO SAYS HE'S GAY: Two days after being named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi, Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano has announced he is gay.
But the 1988 gold medalist says Thursday in a statement that "being gay is just one part of who I am. ... I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations."
Boitano joins Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow as openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies. Including them is widely seen as a message from the White House to Russia about its treatment of gays and lesbians. President Barack Obama will not attend the Sochi Olympics, nor will First Lady Michelle Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.
Around the horn
The Blackhawks recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Thursday. The team reassigned goaltender Kent Simpson to the IceHogs.