Big East: We Wanted Boise St.

Serena Williams of the United States reacts to a line call in her match against Alize Cornet of France at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.  (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).

Serena Williams of the United States reacts to a line call in her match against Alize Cornet of France at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).

New York — The Big East Conference tried to work a deal to keep Boise State on board, but was “unwilling” to give the Broncos the deal that kept them in the Mountain West.

“We worked hard with Boise,” Big East commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press in a phone interview yesterday. “We explored a lot of different ways to keep them. No question. Ultimately, we were unwilling to do the things they wanted. Our membership was unwilling to make the deal the Mountain West made with them.”

Boise State had committed to play football in the Big East, starting in 2013. But the school announced Monday it was reversing course and staying in the Mountain West. The Mountain West recently re-worked its television contract with CBS Sports Network to allow the conference to sell packages of its games to other networks. The deal will allow teams that appear on national TV more often to make more money. Also, the league agreed to sell Boise State home games in a separate package.

The Mountain West also agreed to allow teams in its conference that play in BCS games and the equivalent when the new postseason system starts in 2014 to keep half the money. The rest of the conference will split the other half. In most leagues, all bowl money is shared equally.

That deal, added to the most recent defections from the Big East that caused even more instability in that league, caused Boise State to change course.

San Diego State, another Mountain West team currently committed to play football in the Big East in 2013, also is reconsidering.


Galaxy Signs Tottenham GK

Los Angeles — The Los Angeles Galaxy has signed Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini from English Premier League club Tottenham.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper ends a three-year stay with Tottenham, where he appeared in 37 matches after struggling to establish himself as a first-team regular.

The Galaxy says the 39-year-old Cudicini’s move to Major League Soccer has been secured “pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and work visa as well as Cudicini passing his medical examination.”

With Brad Friedel, Heurelho Gomes and, most recently, Hugo Lloris ahead of him in the pecking order at Tottenham, Cudicini had been limited to appearances in cup competitions.


S. Williams Wins at Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia — Serena Williams carried her relentless form into the New Year with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Alize Cornet yesterday at the Brisbane International, where Maria Sharapova withdrew and two other highly ranked players went out in the second round.

After the unexpected exits of No. 2 Sharapova, who pulled out with an injured right collarbone, and 2011 champion Petra Kvitova yesterday afternoon, the third-ranked Williams needed only an hour to beat the No. 44-ranked Cornet — unleashing one of her fastest ever serves — in the night match.

The 15-time major winner has lost only one of her last 34 competitive singles matches in a run that includes titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open.

Williams will next meet the winner of Wednesday’s match between fellow American Sloane Stephens and Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson.


Randall Wins on Tour de Ski

Val Mustair, Switzerland — Kikkan Randall of the United States and Finn Haagen Krogh of Norway won cross-country races yesterday at the Tour de Ski.

Randall finished more than 50 meters ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway. Another Norwegian, Heidi Weng, was third.

In the men’s race, Haagen Krogh was followed by Italy’s Federico Pellegrino and Canada’s Len Valjas at the third stage of the Tour de Ski. Valjas is the first Canadian cross-country skier to reach the men’s podium this season.

Americans Out of Parallel Slalom

Munich — Felix Neureuther of Germany rode the support of the home crowd yesterday to win a World Cup parallel slalom.

None of the three Americans — Ted Ligety, former Lyme resident Mikaela Shiffrin and Julia Mancuso — made it past the quarterfinals at Olympic Park.

Neureuther edged Marcel Hirscher of Austria, winning both heats of the final race. Third place went to Alexis Pinturault of France, who beat Andre Myhrer of Sweden.

Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia upset overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia to win the women’s race, her second straight World Cup victory. She also won a slalom in Semmering, Austria, last week. Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria was third, beating Tanja Poutiainen of Finland.

The winners earned 100 points each in the slalom standings.

Sports Media

ESPN’s Storm Returns From Fiery Accident

Pasadena, Calif. (ap) — Hannah Storm was back on the air yesterday, hosting the Rose Parade telecast three weeks after a propane gas grill accident left the ESPN anchor with first- and second-degree burns to her face, hands, chest and neck.

Storm lost roughly half her hair in the accident Dec. 11 outside her home in Connecticut. She wore extensions for the ABC telecast and her left hand was bandaged.

Storm’s eyebrows and eyelashes were burned off. A makeup artist drew on eyebrows for the telecast.

This was the fifth time Storm has hosted the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. She says it was a familiar and comforting setting to make her return.

Storm says she hopes to turn her ordeal into an opportunity to talk about how to safely operate propane gas grills.