NCAA

Former Cal linebacker re-signs with Bills on two-year deal

Former Cal linebacker re-signs with Bills on two-year deal

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Journeyman linebacker Lorenzo Alexander's breakout season with the Buffalo Bills has paid off.

The 10-year-veteran was rewarded for leading Buffalo with 12 1/2 sacks by agreeing to a two-year, $9 million contract to re-sign with the Bills on Saturday.

The team announced the agreement, and a person with direct knowledge of the contract revealed its details to The Associated Press. The person said $4.1 million of the contract is guaranteed, and spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the Bills did not disclosed the contract's length and value.

That's a considerable increase in pay for the 33-year-old Alexander, who was supposed to play a backup and special teams role in signing a one-year $885,000 deal with the Bills last spring.

Instead, Alexander won a starting job in training camp and more than doubled the nine career sacks he had in his first nine NFL seasons split over three teams.

He became Buffalo's first player to register a sack in each of the first five games of a season since sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982. Alexander finished the year being voted a second-team All Pro, and earned his second Pro Bowl selection.

Alexander then capped his year by being named the Pro Bowl's defensive MVP after his late interception helped seal the AFC's 20-13 victory.

Alexander credited his career resurgence on the additional time he had rehabilitating a foot injury that hampered his performance over the previous three seasons in Arizona and Oakland.

The test now for Alexander is finding his niche in what will be a revamped defense under new coach Sean McDermott, who was hired in January following Rex Ryan's dismissal. McDermott is Carolina's former defensive coordinator and intends to introduce a four-lineman, three-linebacker formation after the Bills mostly played in a 3-4 scheme under Ryan.

Alexander spent his first six seasons in Washington, where he established a reputation for being a key special teams player.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.