Beane meets with Murray ahead of star’s big decision
Representatives of the A’s, reportedly led by Billy Beane, met Sunday with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, a day before the Oklahoma quarterback’s deadline to enter the NFL draft, a person with direct knowledge of the session said.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was not made public. Major League Baseball reportedly sent someone from its marketing group as part of the group that met with Murray in Dallas in an attempt to sway the two-sport star toward baseball.
Drafted last June in the first round as the ninth overall pick, the outfielder signed with Oakland for $4.66 million. There was an agreement between the team and Murray that he would play football this year for the Oklahoma Sooners, then skip his senior season to begin his pro baseball career.
But Murray’s NFL draft stock raised significantly after a season that saw him throw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns as well as rush for 1,001 yards and 12 TDs.
According to Dallas TV station WFAA, Murray could be asking for as much as $15 million to forgo the NFL draft. That number, however, was disputed in other reports Sunday night.
ESPN reported that the discussions included Major League Baseball waiving a rule that prevents teams from giving major league contracts to recently drafted players. Even if Murray was placed on the A’s 40-man roster he would still be sent to the minor leagues to develop.
If Murray does end up declaring for the draft by today, the A’s would still hold his rights should the quarterback have a change of heart and return to baseball. Murray would still have to return the nearly $5 million signing bonus given to him by the club last June.
STANFORD WOMEN ROLL >> With one if its more dominant performances of the season, the Stanford women’s basketball team made it clear where the real power in the Pac-12 still resides.
The No. 6 Cardinal demolished upstart Arizona 78-48, capping an impressive road sweep in the desert. A’s prospect Kyler Murray, their first pick last June, has until today to decide if he will enter the NFL draft.
Stanford started the trip with a 72-65 win at No. 19 Arizona State, and Sunday Alanna Smith scored 20 points and DiJonai Carrington added 19 to roll past a Wildcats team that had beaten two ranked teams (ASU and No. 24 Cal) in a row at home.
Smith made 4 of 6 3-pointers, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked seven shots for the Cardinal, who turned the game into a rout with a 27-0 run at the end of the first half and the start of the second.
“Everyone’s a weapon, everyone’s a threat,” Smith said. “That’s what makes it easy for us offensively because it opens the floor, it spreads it out. We’re driving in and make pitches to anybody — easy money.”
Arizona’s Aari McDonald, who entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer at 26 points per game, scored 17 but was just 6 of 22 from the field and missed all six attempts from 3-point range.
“Aari McDonald is a terrific player,” Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer said. “We tried to guard by committee and have a lot of people on her.”
Overall the Wildcats shot 26 percent, 5 of 21 on 3s, and had to pick it up in the final quarter to bring the statistic that high.
Stanford (14-1, 4-0 Pac12), meanwhile, shot 44 percent and was 13 of 31 on 3s.
The Cardinal led by as many as 38 in beating the Wildcats (13-3, 3-2) for the seventh time in a row and 32nd in their last 33 meetings. CAL WOMEN EDGED >> Kristine Anigwe scored Cal’s last 10 points in a 13-5 run
that gave the No. 24 Bears a 61-59 lead with a minute left, but No. 19 Arizona State scored the final three points of the game as the Sun Devils escaped with a 62-61 victory in Tempe, Arizona.
The Bears (10-5, 1-3 Pac12) have lost five of six since opening the season with nine straight wins.
Anigwe and Asha Thomas each missed potential winning shots before the buzzer. The teams combined to make just four of their last 21 shots. MEN’S POLL TO GET A SHAKEUP >> The teams leading the men’s AP Top 25 spent the week piling up victories or surviving close calls, most notably when top-ranked Duke posted a last-second win at No. 13 Florida State.
Things didn’t go nearly so well for teams in the second half of the poll.
In the latest sign of what could be another unpredictable March, 12 of the 15 teams outside the top 10 lost at least once and combined for 17 losses. That included five teams losing twice: No. 14 Mississippi State, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 Iowa State, No. 24 St. John’s and No. 25 TCU.
The only ranked teams outside the top 10 to avoid losses were No. 18 Kentucky, No. 19 Buffalo and No. 21 Marquette, setting the stage for some significant changes in today’s new poll.
GRIZZLIES’ ANDERSON OUT >> Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson is expected to miss at least two to four weeks because of a sprained left ankle.
Anderson hurt the ankle Saturday in a 112-108 loss at Miami. Anderson has made 38 starts this year in his first season with the Grizzlies. He is averaging 7.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 29.7 minutes.
LOEB MAKES MOVE IN DAKAR RALLY >> Sebastien Loeb capitalized on an error by Dakar Rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah to win a second straight stage and rise to second overall in Lima, Peru.
Al-Attiyah led the sixth stage from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona until about 15 kilometers from the finish when he drove into the wrong valley looking for a waypoint. Loeb, two minutes behind the Qatari, moved two minutes ahead and held on to win his third stage of this Dakar.
He passed the spot where he crashed out of the race last year, when he was lying second overall.
Al-Attiyah was second, 2:17 behind, but remained the leader with a nearly 38-minute margin.
Loeb, the nine-time world rally champion trying to win the Dakar at his fourth attempt, leapt over record seven-time champion Stephane Peterhansel.
The race ends on Thursday.
RECORD WIN FOR HIRSCHER >> Marcel Hirscher won a World Cup slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, to set a men’s record on the 52-year circuit for most wins by one skier at a single venue.
Hirscher’s ninth career victory at Adelboden was earned with a second-run charge to victory for the second straight day.
Hirscher extended his lead in the overall and slalom standings.
INJURY ENDS VEITH’S SEASON >> Two-time overall World Cup ski champion Anna Veith has ended her season after injuring a knee in training.
The Austrian ski federation says the 2014 Olympic gold medalist tore her right ACL in a giant slalom run Saturday and will undergo surgery. The 29-year-old Veith had four top-10 finishes in the World Cup this season.