National Sports Digest
OKLAHOMA CITY ó Oklahoma State will turn to another coach with Kentucky ties to restore postseason success to its basketball program.
Massachusetts coach Travis Ford, a former Wildcats guard, agreed Wednesday to coach the Cowboys. He will replace Sean Sutton, who resigned under pressure April 1 after leading the Cowboys to first-round NIT losses in his only two full seasons as head coach.
The 38-year-old Ford led UMass to a 25-11 record this season.
CHARLOTTE ó The Meineke Bowl is keeping its coveted Saturday date.Bowl officials said Wednesday that this year’s game will be played at 1 p.m. Dec. 27. ESPN will televise the game.
The bowl is played at Bank of America Stadium and pits a team from the ACC against a Big East school. Wake Forest beat Connecticut 24-10 last year.
– ATLANTA ó Georgia State is ready for some football.
The downtown Atlanta university called a news conference Thursday and was expected to announce it will start a football team in 2010. The Panthers will play in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA.
CHARLOTTE ó The Carolina Panthers have claimed tight end Chad Upshaw off waivers from Denver.
The move on Wednesday reunites Upshaw with the Panthers, where he spent training camp last year before being one of the team’s final cuts. The 6-foot-4 Upshaw then spent last season on the Broncos’ practice squad. Upshaw has not played in a regular-season NFL game.- LOS ANGELES ó Edward P. Roski Jr., a part owner of the Kings and Lakers who has spent several years trying to lure an NFL team to the Los Angeles area, has scheduled a news conference at Staples Center to make a “major announcement” concerning the league and L.A.
Today, Roski will unveil his latest concept for a stadium, some 20 miles east of Los Angeles.
CHARLESTON, S.C.ó Maria Sharapova shut out American Bethanie Mattek 6-0, 6-0 in less than an hour Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Family Circle Cup.
The second-seeded Russian star, coming off her first clay-court title last week at Amelie Island, is looking for her fourth tournament victory of the year.