Beane meets with Mur­ray ahead of star’s big de­ci­sion

The Mercury News - - Sports - Bay Area News Group Staff writer Martin Gal­lego and The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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.

Col­lege bas­ket­ball

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.

Mo­tor sports

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.

Win­ter sports

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.


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