COLLEGES

Colby receives Alfond Foundation gift providing benefits to athletics programs

Colby College President William D. Adams announced Thursday a $2 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to create and endow the Harold Alfond Director of Athletics position at the college and to provide support for varsity athletic programs.

“Harold Alfond’s generous support over the years, particularly his support of Colby’s student-athletes, has made it possible for our students to train and compete in some of the finest facilities available at any liberal arts college in the country,” Adams said.

Colby’s current athletic director, Marcella Zalot, has been named the first Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. The endowment of the athletic director position frees funds that will be used to augment other programs in the athletics department.

FOOTBALL: A study analyzing hiring practices for coaching vacancies is giving its highest grade ever to NCAA programs while cautioning that things still must improve. The report released by the Black Coaches and Administrators awarded an overall A grade to 20 of the 34 schools that had an opening for a head coach last offseason.

SOCCER

MLS: The expansion Vancouver Whitecaps made U.S. defender Jay DeMerit their first Major League Soccer signing.

DeMerit’s contract with England’s Watford FC expired before the World Cup. He started all four games for the U.S. at the World Cup and has made 23 appearances for the national team.

The Kansas City Wizards are changing their name and logo just before moving into their new stadium. The club announced the name has been changed to Sporting Kansas City.

MISCELLANEOUS

IN OTHER NEWS: Basketball Hall of Famers Jody Conradt and Bob Hurley Sr. and former Purdue coach Gene Keady received the Lapchick Character Awards at Madison Square Garden. Conradt led the Texas women’s team to an undefeated national championship and three Final Fours in 31 years. Hurley turned St. Anthony, a small parochial high school in Jersey City, N.J., into one of the most successful programs in the country. Keady won six Big Ten titles and made 17 NCAA tournament appearances at Purdue. … University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp said the school currently has no plans for self-imposed sanctions on the football program amid an NCAA investigation into agent-related benefits and academic misconduct. … Pop Warner, the nation’s oldest and largest youth football organization, is requiring a note from a doctor before letting anyone who’s suffered a head injury back on the field. The organization also announced the creation of a medical advisory board to weigh in on concussions. … Federal prosecutors have charged five former University of Kansas employees with conspiring to steal more than $2 million in tickets to athletic events. Among those charged was Charlette Blubaugh, the former associate athletic director in charge of the ticket office. … Lotus will join Honda and Chevrolet as an engine manufacturer when the IndyCar series unveils its new car design in 2012, IndyCar announced.