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POSTED October 22, 2012 9:12 p.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

STANFORD PICKED TO WIN PAC-12: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stanford, which has reached the Final Four in each of the past five seasons, is an overwhelming favorite to repeat as Pac-12 champion.

Stanford received the maximum of 11 first-place votes in a poll of Pac-12 coaches. California, which returns nearly everybody from a team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, got the other first-place vote and came in second.

UCLA was chosen third, followed by Southern California, Arizona State, Oregon State, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Arizona.

The Cardinal bring a 79-game home winning streak into the season as well as a 78-game winning streak against conference teams.

FOOTBALL

GOODELL: NFL COULD DROP PRO BOWL: NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will consider dropping the Pro Bowl if the level of play doesn't improve, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday night.

The league still would select a Pro Bowl team through voting by players, coaches and fans, because it is an honor, but "just not play the game," he said.

The Pro Bowl will take place in January, a week before the Super Bowl, after the players lobbied to keep it, promising to upgrade their performances. Goodell and others were disappointed in the quality of last year's Pro Bowl, won 59-41 by the AFC and missing any semblance of hard hitting.

NFL TO RUN CAREER PROGRAM AT STANFORD: STANFORD  (AP) — Condoleezza Rice will be a keynote speaker when the NFL holds its career transition program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business this week.

Forty former players are expected to attend the four-day event that begins Friday.

Rice, the former Secretary of State, is a professor of political science at Stanford. She says, "As an educator, I look forward to working with the NFL to help these players find their footing in their new careers so they can have a lasting impact in their communities."

The program began in 2006 and more than 700 NFL players have taken part.

BASEBALL

 

PADRES TO MOVE IN PORTION OF PETCO'S FENCES: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The vast outfield at Petco Park will no longer be a place where long fly balls go to die.

The San Diego Padres said Monday that work will begin this week to bring in the fences in right field and left-center, and to move the visitor's bullpen from right-field foul territory to behind the home bullpen beyond the fence in left-center.

From the right-field porch to the right-center gap, the fence will be moved in from 402 feet to 391 feet and lowered to match the rest of the outfield wall. The out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall will be relocated to a new spot above right field as part of seating modifications.

In left-center, the fence will be moved in from 402 feet to 390 feet to allow for the visiting team's bullpen to be relocated, mostly for safety issues.

The dimensions will remain the same down the left-field line (336 feet), right-field line (322) and straightaway center (396).

CYCLING

TOUR DE FRANCE VACATES TITLES: GENEVA (AP) — Seven lines of blanks. From 1999 to 2005. There will be no Tour de France winner in the record book for those years.

Once the toast of the Champs-Elysees, Lance Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven Tour titles Monday and banned for life for doping.

As far as the Tour is concerned, his victories never happened. He was never on the top step of the podium. The winner's yellow jersey was never on his back.

The decision by the International Cycling Union marked an end to the saga that brought down the most decorated rider in Tour history and exposed widespread cheating in the sport.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," said Pat McQuaid, president of the governing body. "Make no mistake, it's a catastrophe for him, and he has to face up to that."

OAKLEY JOINS LIST OF SPONSORS TO DROP ARMSTRONG: NEW YORK (AP) — Oakley is the latest sponsor to drop Lance Armstrong, after cycling's governing body stripped him of his Tour de France titles and banned him for life following doping allegations.

BASKETBALL

NBA GMS PICK HEAT, LEBRON TO REPEAT IN POLL: NEW YORK (AP) — NBA general managers are predicting the Miami Heat to repeat as NBA champions and LeBron James to win another MVP award.

The GMs gave high marks to the Los Angeles Lakers' moves and picked them to win the Western Conference, but the Heat got 70 percent of the votes to win the 2013 championship.

Those were among the results of the annual NBA.com GM Survey, released Monday. All 30 executives were polled and could not vote for their own teams or players. Responders voted the Hornets' Anthony Davis as the likely Rookie of the Year and the Spurs' Gregg Popovich as the league's best coach.

Full results of the more than 50 questions are available on NBA.com.

 

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