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NLL alters rules

The National Lacrosse League has announced five rule changes for the 2012 season. One that might affect the tempo of play is that teams will have eight seconds to get the ball over the half-court line. The old rule was 10 seconds.

If a player is called for a major penalty, his team will be short-handed for either five minutes or until the opposing team scores three power-play goals. Under the old rule, the major penalty expired after two power-play goals.

In addition, when an official blows his whistle to indicate loss of possession, the player possessing the ball must drop it immediately. He may be called for delay of game if he throws, retains or rolls the ball away.

Goaltenders will wear slightly slimmer equipment, and the rule about changing on the fly has been slightly altered so that players will have to keep two feet in the box in front of the bench instead of the previous one.


Neinas taking over

Needing someone strong and savvy to mend the Big 12, the league has turned to a former Big Eight commissioner who also helped usher in the era of college football as big business.

Chuck Neinas, who is known across the college landscape as a smart consensus builder, will take over the Big 12 as interim commissioner on Oct. 3. The Big 12 dumped former commissioner Dan Beebe on Thursday in a mutual agreement after the conference nearly fell apart for the second time in 15 months.

The 79-year-old Neinas said he is going to the Big 12 to work, not just sit around until his successor is picked. He is not going to be considered a candidate for the permanent job.

"I am not a caretaker. My mission is to bring the conference closer together and move forward and make progress in all areas," Neinas told The Associated Press on Friday, adding he expects to be on the job six months or longer.

Neinas was Big Eight commissioner from 1971 to 1980.


Marathon fills up

Registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon is closed, and organizers say the new system is a success.

More than 20,000 entrants have signed up through a rolling admission that was weighted according to their qualification times. The new system was created after the 2011 race filled up in just eight hours, and many would-be runners were left out. The previous record for the race filling up was more than two months.

The Boston Athletic Association changed the first-come, first-served system it had always used to allow those with the better times to register first. Nearly 15,000 runners have been notified that they're in, and more than 5,000 more will hear next week.

The 116th edition of the world's oldest annual 26.2-mile run is April 16.


Bribery charge disputed

LONDON -- Denying corruption claims in the "strongest possible terms," amateur boxing's governing body set up a special committee Friday to investigate allegations of attempts to fix results at the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Amateur Boxing Association said a five-man panel will look into claims made in a BBC television program that $9 million has been paid by Azerbaijan to ensure the former Soviet republic wins two gold medals at the games.

Bribes were allegedly paid to the World Series of Boxing, a subsidiary of AIBA.

From News Staff and wire service reports