Hill-MacDonald gets WNBA job

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Gophers women’s basketball coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was named on Tuesday first head coach of the Cleveland Rockers of the WNBA, a women’s professional basketball league.
Hill-MacDonald, who resigned as the Gophers coach under pressure in March, will get a three-year contract to coach the Rockers, who will begin play this summer.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Hill-MacDonald said. “It’s a part of history because it’s the inaugural year for the league, and it’s another step beyond college.”
Hill-MacDonald led the Gophers to their only NCAA tournament appearance in 1994, when they had an 18-11 record. But the team has struggled since then. During seven seasons with the Gophers, her record was 66-126 overall, 32-88 in the Big Ten. Plagued by injuries last season, her team had a 4-24 record.
UCLA forced to forfeit title
LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA was ordered to forfeit its 1995 women’s softball NCAA championship on Tuesday and was barred from this year’s national softball tournament.
The NCAA committee of infractions also limited UCLA’s softball scholarships for the next two years.
The sanctions mean that the entire athletics program will be put on probation for three years. This probation only affects softball, but all other sports, including basketball and football, will be closely monitored during that period.
The violations involved listing some softball players as multisport athletes receiving soccer scholarships, although they did not compete in soccer. The senior associate director of athletics was involved in arranging a soccer tryout for one of those softball players, but not until after the soccer season was finished, the NCAA reported.
UCLA officials have 15 days to appeal.
“NCAA rules violations concerning institutional control, financial aid and ethical conduct” were involved in granting scholarships above the NCAA limits for the softball program in 1993-94 and 1994-95, the NCAA said.
Further violations by the UCLA athletics program will be considered repeat violations if they occur in a five-year period following the Feb. 1, 1997, infractions committee hearing concerning the softball matter, the NCAA added.
The committee chairman, law professor David Swank of the University of Oklahoma, said that UCLA in 1996 removed the senior associate director from the athletics department.
UCLA must return the 1995 softball trophy, and that year’s championship will be considered vacant, Swank said. No effort will be made to reclaim individual awards such as championship rings, the NCAA said, but competition records of individuals involved in the scholarship switch will be invalidated.