College notebook: VCU, coveted basketball coach Smart agree to extension
Shaka Smart and VCU agreed in principle to an extension that will keep Smart as the men's basketball coach through 2023.
Athletic director Ed McLaughlin said the details still are being finalized.
Smart's record is 111-37 in four years, the sixth-most wins in the country over that stretch.
With openings at places such as UCLA, Southern Cal and Minnesota, McLaughlin said VCU wanted a new deal to be proactive in the face of certain interest from other schools.
• East Carolina will join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East as an all-sports member, instead of just for football as originally planned.
East Carolina had already been set to join Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida and the rest of the Big East football schools in 2014. But with the recent split of the football and basketball schools, the football side is giving up the name Big East and needed to add more members for all sports.
• Two programs in the Football Championship Subdivision are moving up to Football Bowl Subdivision. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State announced their athletic programs are leaving the Southern Conference to join the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. Idaho also announced that it has accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt in football only next year.
• Quarterback Matt Barkley was solid but definitely imperfect on Southern California's pro day.
Barkley completed 56-of-62 passes in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams.
• Notre Dame lost two more members from its 2012 recruiting class with the announcement that receivers Davonte' Neal and Justin Ferguson have left the team. Coach Brian Kelly also said running back Amir Carlisle is out for the rest of spring practice after undergoing surgery Tuesday for a broken right collarbone, and defensive end Chase Hounshell will miss the 2013 season with the same shoulder injury that kept him out last season.
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in the conversation over greatest basketball players of all time, said that he wants to be considered for the UCLA job.
• Oklahoma forward Amath M'Baye, 23, said he is giving up his senior season and will enter the NBA Draft. He averaged 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season.
• Memphis men's basketball coach Josh Pastner agreed to terms on a contract extension. Pastner owns a 106-34 record and has led Memphis to three NCAA Tournaments in four seasons.
• Robert Morris junior forward Artemis Spanou was named to the NetScouts Basketball Women's All-America Third Team. Spanou led the nation in rebounding and double-doubles in 2012-13, with an average of 15.5 boards and 26 double-doubles in 29 games.