Tom Linette, who was assistant to former Northwestern Lehigh head football coach Bob Mitchell for all 28 years of his tenure, was approved as Mitchell's replacement at the Northwestern Lehigh School District school board meeting on Wednesday night.

Mitchell stepped down following the team's final game of the season in the Eastern Conference playoffs last month.

Linette will be introduced this afternoon at a press conference. THE TIMES NEWS will have full coverage in Friday's edition.

Russian billionaire close to becoming owner of NBA Nets

A Russian billionaire has moved a step closer to becoming the NBA's first non-North American owner.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings and the company that owns the Nets announced they had completed their agreement to create a partnership that would own the NBA team and develop the Atlantic Yards project in New York.

The agreement provides for the sale of 80 percent of the struggling Nets and 45 percent of a new Nets arena to Prokhorov's Onexim, subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

Cincinnati hires Jones as head football coach

Cincinnati went right back to Central Michigan for its next coach.

Butch Jones was hired to replace Brian Kelly, who came from Central Michigan three years ago and built the Bearcats program into national prominence before leaving for Notre Dame last week. Now, it's up to one of his former assistants to keep it there.

The fourth-ranked Bearcats (12-0) won their second straight Big East title, finished third in the BCS rankings and earned a chance to play Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Kansas will pay Mangino $3 million

Former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino will be paid $3 million as part of a settlement both sides signed last week.

The university announced the payout and said the settlement will be paid by Dec. 24 through private funds raised by the athletics department, with no taxpayer money involved.