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Sources: NCAA Reviews Allegations vs. Miami

Ted Ligety, of the United States, speeds down the hill on his way to win an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan.12, 2013.  (AP Photo/Schinichiro Tanaka)

Ted Ligety, of the United States, speeds down the hill on his way to win an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan.12, 2013. (AP Photo/Schinichiro Tanaka)

Coral Gables, Fla. — The nearly 2-year-old NCAA investigation into Miami’s compliance practices may be nearing an end.

Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press yesterday that the NCAA is scheduling meetings to discuss specific allegations with individuals who are believed to have committed violations found during the inquiry. Some meetings will take place tomorrow, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor Miami authorized them to reveal the developments publicly.

The reviewing of specific findings is a sign that the investigation phase is ending, meaning Miami may finally receive its notice of allegations letter in the coming days. Typically, schools review at least one draft of the notice before it formally arrives.

The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami’s statement throughout the investigation has been that it is cooperating and not commenting further.

Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden told the AP that he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA’s findings.

“We just want to receive the notice,” Golden said. “The day we do that is the day we take a big step forward. I don’t think there’s any question that will be a release. And the good thing there is we don’t anticipate any shock or any surprise.”

Miami’s receipt of the notice of allegations is simply the end of one phase of the process.

Up next would be the sanctions phase, when the actual penalties against the Hurricanes would be handed down. Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA’s findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions — which operates separately from the NCAA’s investigative arm.

If the notice of allegations is, in fact, looming, that means Miami may find out its punishment by perhaps May or June.

Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami’s football team has missed three postseason games — two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game — in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.

Brian Kelly Set
To Return to Notre Dame

South Bend, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will be back for a fourth season after leading the Fighting Irish to the national title game this past season.

Kelly issued a statement yesterday that after interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles, he will remain as coach of the Irish.

Kelly said he has had thoughts about coaching in the NFL, but after much reflection and conversations with those closest to him, he decided to stay with the Irish.

Kelly led the Irish to a 12-1 record this past season and has an overall record of 28-11 in three seasons with Notre Dame.

Skiing

Ligety Shines

Adelboden, Switzerland — Ted Ligety is writing himself into World Cup skiing history in what is fast becoming his career-best season.

Victory yesterdayat the Adelboden giant slalom — one of the oldest and most traditional venues on tour — had the 28-year-old United States racer reflecting on his career achievements and the company he’s keeping in the record books.

First, there was satisfaction in taming the snow-covered, Swiss cow pastures where the winner’s list since the inaugural week of World Cup racing in 1967 reads like an Alpine who’s who.

“It’s the only classic GS I haven’t won, so it’s nice to get it,” said Ligety, whose name is inscribed along with Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba and Hermann Maier.

His 15th career World Cup win, all in his best discipline, also tied him with Tomba for career wins in World Cup giant slaloms.

“He was one of my childhood heroes,” Ligety said of the flamboyant Italian great, whose four titles in the season-long GS standings from 1987-95 could be matched by the American this year. “I grew up watching World Cup ski racing and following it. It’s cool to be able to have your name part of that history.”

Ligety, who grew up in Park City, Utah, notched a fourth World Cup win in a season for the first time. The behind-the-scenes story of his third race win, at the Italian venue Alta Badia last month, is the subject of a TV broadcast today.

Ligety has posted four wins, when he followed his 3-for-3 start to the 2010-11 GS campaign with a gold medal at the last world championships in Garmisch, Germany.

Still, Ligety insisted yesterday: “It would be hard to argue this isn’t my best season in GS.”

Horse Racing

Stevens Rides
1st Winner in Comeback

Arcadia, Calif. — Gary Stevens won the first race at Santa Anita yesterday, giving the Hall of Fame jockey his first winner in North America since 2005, when he began a seven-year retirement that ended last week.

Stevens rode 5-1 shot Branding to a 2½-length victory in his third race since beginning his comeback on Jan. 6. It was the 4,889th win of Stevens’ career that includes three Kentucky Derbys and eight Breeders’ Cup races.

Stevens’ career includes two Preakness Stakes victories, three Belmont Stakes wins and more than $221 million in purse earnings.