Antelope Valley Press

Pac-12 promotes Teresa Gould to replace George Kliavkoff as conference commission­er


SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 has promoted Teresa Gould to commission­er as the conference tries to navigate a murky future.

Gould will succeed George Kliavkoff on March 1 after he was relieved of duties on Friday. She becomes the first female commission­er of an Autonomy Five conference.

“Teresa’s deep knowledge of collegiate athletics and unwavering commitment to student-athletes makes her uniquely qualified to help guide the Pac-12 Conference during this period of unpreceden­ted change in college sports,” Washington State University President and Pac12 Board of Directors chair Kirk Schulz said in a statement on Monday. “As the first female commission­er of an Autonomy Five conference, Teresa will be able to bring new perspectiv­es and fresh ideas to the table as the industry works to find its way through this shifting landscape.”

Gould was hired by the Pac-12 in 2018 and served as deputy commission­er, overseeing all sports, championsh­ip events and other duties.

She takes over a conference that’s down to two members after a mass exodus last year.

UCLA and Southern California announced in 2022 a move from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten and eight more schools followed suit in a tumultuous summer after Kliavkoff couldn’t reach a new media rights deal that remaining members believed would keep them competitiv­e with Power Five conference peers.

Washington State and Oregon State are the only remaining longterm members of the Pac-12, and currently the only members of the conference’s board of directors.

The Pacific Northwest schools plan to keep the conference up and running with only two schools for at least another year, or maybe two, as they try to rebuild the league.

Gould served as the interim athletics director at UC Davis from 2015-16 and also worked at California as deputy athletic director.

Nets fire coach Jacque Vaughn with team in 11th place at the All-Star break

Jacque Vaughn’s strong work guiding the Brooklyn Nets earned him a contract extension at last season’s All-Star break.

Just a year later, the Nets fired Vaughn after a 50-point loss in his final game, their worst since moving to Brooklyn.

The Nets announced Vaughn’s departure Monday and said an interim coach would be named soon.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the team going forward,” general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “Jacque has represente­d this organizati­on with exemplary character and class for the past eight years. The consistent positivity and passion he poured into our team daily will remain with the players and staff he interacted with throughout his tenure.”

The Nets dropped five of their last six games before the break to fall to 21-33, putting them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Their 136-86 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday was their worst defeat since leaving New Jersey in 2012 and the sec

ond-worst in franchise history, and leading scorer Mikal Bridges seemed particular­ly frustrated in his postgame comments.

Vaughn finished 71-68 with the Nets, guiding them into the playoffs on two separate stints.

Vaughn replaced the fired Steve Nash on Nov. 1, 2022, and quickly led the Nets from a poor start toward the top of the East. Brooklyn went 12-1 that December and 4332 the rest of the season, making the playoffs despite trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during the season.

Washington Nationals are no longer for sale, principal owner Mark Lerner says

WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals are no longer for sale, ending a search for a new owner after the team was on the market for nearly two years.

Principal owner Mark Lerner told The Washington Post on Monday during spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida, that his family “has determined that we are not going to sell the team.” A Nationals spokespers­on confirmed the Post’s report.

The Lerner family, which has owned the team since buying it from MLB in 2006, began exploring a potential sale in April 2022. Mark Lerner assumed control from his father, Ted, in 2018, and Ted Lerner died in February 2023 at age 97.

The Lerners keeping the team comes weeks after businessma­n David Rubenstein reached an agreement to buy the nearby Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion. The sale is subject to a full vote of MLB ownership and must receive 75% approval.

As part of the deal to move the Montreal Expos to Washington in 2005, the Orioles own the Nationals’ local television rights — an issue that is still being litigated in court.

The Nationals have finished in last place in the NL East each of the past four seasons since winning the World Series in 2019, the organizati­on’s first championsh­ip.

ECU baseball player appears in game with prosthetic leg after boating accident

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina sophomore Parker Byrd appeared in Friday’s season-opening win against Rider with a prosthetic leg after having part of his right leg amputated following a 2022 boating accident.

The school said Byrd is believed to be the first NCAA Division I baseball player to play in a game with a prosthetic leg. Athletic spokesman Malcolm Gray said the Byrd family researched for any other examples. NCAA spokesman Greg Johnson said the organizati­on doesn’t track that type of record.

Byrd, an in-state product from Laurinburg, walked to the plate in the eighth inning to a loud ovation from the home crowd. He took a first-pitch strike then drew four straight balls to reach base. The Pirates then had freshman Jason Janesko come on as a pinch runner.

“Chill bumps, man,” Byrd said in his postgame interview with reporters. “It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

Pirates coach Cliff Godwin told WCTI-TV based in New Bern that it was “one of the proudest moments I have ever had as a coach.”

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