Buckeyes’ football coach gets $100,000 pay increase

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Buckeyes football coach John Cooper, in charge of the biggest athletic money-maker at Ohio State, now makes more money than any other coach at the school.
Cooper, who is paid a base salary of $163,000, had his salary raised on Friday by Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger. The move came after Jim O’Brien was hired as head men’s basketball coach with a package reportedly totaling $650,000 a year.
“I think everything is in perspective,” Geiger said.
The Columbus Dispatch in a story on Tuesday quoted sources it did not identify as saying Cooper now will make around $675,000 this year, $100,000 more than what he made a year ago when Ohio State went 11-1, grabbed a share of the Big Ten title and won the Rose Bowl.
Cooper receives $270,000 a year for radio and television contacts; that portion of his salary was unchanged. But he received more of the money Ohio State receives in its exclusivity contract with Nike.
By comparison, Gophers football coach Glen Mason signed a six-year contract with Minnesota on Dec. 14 for $500,000 plus incentives each year.
Dallas picks up Fitzgerald
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald, who was passed over in the NFL draft, has signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys recently lost three linebackers to free agency.
Fitzgerald said about 10 teams called him on Monday, and he immediately narrowed the field to three: the Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets.
Starbird signs with ABL
SEATTLE (AP) — Stanford star Kate Starbird is going home. She signed a 3-year contract with the Seattle Reign of the American Basketball League on Tuesday.
Starbird, a two-time All America and winner of the Naismith Award as the nation’s top college women’s player, will be the Reign’s regional draft pick in the first round of the ABL draft May 5.
Starbird is a native of Tacoma, where she starred in high school ball.
Starbird said she still marvels that “they’re paying us to play, to do what we love to do.”
The WNBA, a competing women’s league, signed Starbird’s Stanford teammate, Jamila Wideman.
Rugby team loses sponsor
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A leading Australian bank has had enough of the behavior in a schoolboy rugby league it sponsored for 17 years.
The Commonwealth Bank ended its association with the nationwide tournament after a brawl involving 22 players in a match in Brisbane last Wednesday.
The fighting, which also involved players being kicked and kneed, involved students at Camp Hill High and Clairvaux MacKillop College. The brawl was featured on national television and in newspaper headlines.
More than 50 of those who have played in the Commonwealth Bank Cup competition have gone on to play international rugby league for Australia.
The bank said it would continue to back sports — but would concentrate on less violent cricket and netball.