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Baseball • J.J. Hardy thought he'd hit a home run, only to be robbed when Mike Trout made one of the most sensational grabs of the season.
On Tuesday night, Hardy caught a break.
The Baltimore shortstop won a Gold Glove, putting him among a group of nine players honored for the first time for their fielding excellence.
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, San Diego third baseman Chase Headley and Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick also were first-time selections.
The Orioles were the only team with three winners. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters were second-time choices, joining Hardy for the awards chosen by major league managers and coaches.
Trout, the Angels rookie who spent the year climbing walls to take away potential homers, was not picked. Among his best catches came against Hardy at Camden Yards in June
NCAA approves tougher sanctions
College sports • The NCAA passed a package of sweeping changes Tuesday intended to crack down hard on rule-breaking schools and coaches.
Under the new legislation, approved by the 13-member board of directors, programs that commit the most egregious infractions could face postseason bans of two to four years and fines stretching into the millions, while coaches could face suspensions of up to one year for violations committed by their staffs. The board also approved measures to expand the penalty structure from two tiers to four, create new penalty guidelines and speed up the litigation process.
The vote ends a movement that started in August 2011 during the midst of one of the most scandalous years in college sports history. NCAA President Mark Emmert was so concerned that he asked dozens of university leaders to join him at a presidential retreat in Indianapolis.
It was then that Emmert, along with school presidents and chancellors, said they were going to get tough on those who refused to play by the rules.
Now they have.
"We have sought all along to remove the 'risk-reward' analysis that has tempted people often because of the financial pressures to win at all costs to break the rules in the hopes that either they won't be caught or that the consequences won't be very harsh if they do get caught," Emmert said. "The new system the board adopted today is the result of a lot of hard work and membership input devoted to protecting the collegiate model."
Under the plan, violators found in a "serious breach of conduct" with aggravating circumstances could get those postseason bans and be forced to return millions of dollars from specific events or gross revenue generated by the sport during those years in which rules were broken.
That's exactly what happened to Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The NCAA banned the Nittany Lions' football program from postseason play until after the 2016 season and levied a $60 million fine on the school.
If a member of the coaching staff commits an egregious infraction, the head coach must prove he or she was unaware it occurred or face a suspension that ranges from 10 percent of the season to one full season.
"We expect head coaches to provide practices and training and written materials that instruct their assistant coaches how to act," said NCAA executive committee chairman Ed Ray, the Oregon State president. "If they've done that it can become mitigating evidence that they shouldn't be held accountable for what the assistant coach did. But head coaches have to have these things in place or the presumption will be that he or she didn't care enough to set standards. In that case, if the assistant goes rogue, then it's partly the head coach's fault and they need to be held accountable."
Another piece of the plan allows the NCAA to scrap its current system of major and secondary infractions for a four-level stepladder severe breach of conduct, significant breach of conduct, breach of conduct and incidental issues. The board is hoping this allows the enforcement staff to focus primarily on the most serious cases.
What if the new policies don't the stem the tide of cheating? The NCAA could make additional changes.
"We'll continue to evaluate it and if we recognize something is not working in the right area, that's a step we will rectify," NCAA director of enforcement Chris Strobel told The Associated Press on Monday.
Australian hired as new U.S. coach
Women's soccer • Tom Sermanni, who led Australia to the quarterfinals at the last two Women's World Cups, has been chosen as the new coach of the U.S. women's soccer team.
Sermanni replaces Pia Sundhage, who stepped down Sept. 1 after leading the U.S. women to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and their first World Cup final in 12 years.
NHL players expect to get escrow
Hockey • Locked-out NHL players are expected to get back last season's escrow payment on Wednesday.
Players are set to be given 7.98 percent of what they earned last year, plus interest, on the day they were to have received their second paycheck of the currently delayed season.
The escrow payments will amount to about $80,000 for every million dollars a player earned, before deductions.
London police to investigate referee
Soccer • A criminal investigation into racism in English soccer began Tuesday when police formally opened a case into claims a referee directed "inappropriate language" at two Chelsea players during a match.
Referee Mark Clattenburg is accused of abusing midfielders John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata during Sunday's 3-2 loss to Manchester United, according to the lawyer whose complaint sparked the police investigation.
From wire reports