COLUMBIA -- The University of South Carolina will receive more than $50 million from its new nine-year contract to make ISP Sports and Learfield Communications the multimedia and advertising rights holder for Gamecock athletics.
The school's Board of Trustees gave its backing Friday and sent the agreement to the state procurement office. The contract should become official Feb. 15 after the protest period ends for other companies that bid, but did not win.
The athletic department's rights holder helps develop opportunities for sponsorships on things like live radio play-by-play and call-in shows, advertising in official publications and the department's Web site.
The new deal will replace a five-year contract with ISP/Learfield that runs out in June and is expected to net $11 million. The nine-year agreement runs through June 30, 2017.
• NFL -- The 97.5 million viewers who saw the New York Giants' last-minute win over the New England Patriots made it the most-watched Super Bowl ever and second biggest event in American television history.
Only the "MASH" series finale in 1983, with 106 million viewers, was seen by more people, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. Sunday's game eclipsed the previous Super Bowl record of 94.08 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996.
This year's game had almost all the ingredients Fox could have hoped for: a tight contest with a thrilling finish involving a team that was attempting to make history as the NFL's first unbeaten team since 1972.
But the Giants ended New England's bid for perfection, 17-14. Throughout the game, the teams were never separated by more than a touchdown.
• Jailed quarterback Michael Vick can keep all but $3.75 million of the nearly $20 million in bonus money he received from the Atlanta Falcons following a ruling by a federal judge.
The Falcons sought to recover the bonuses after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation. The bonuses were paid from 2004-07.
A special master ruled in October the Falcons were entitled to recover the bonuses. The Falcons argued Vick used proceeds from a contract he signed in 2004 to finance his illicit activities.
But U.S. District Judge David Doty of Minneapolis ruled that recovery of most of the bonus money by the Falcons would violate the NFL collective bargaining agreement. The agreement does not allow roster bonus money to be forfeited once it's been earned, the judge wrote.
• TRACK AND FIELD -- Maurice Greene sprang a little surprise -- he's retiring.
The former Olympic and world champion cited nagging injuries for his decision, making the announcement halfway around the globe and not long after the Super Bowl had ended in Glendale, Ariz.
Traveling in China inspecting Olympic facilities with a group of contenders for Olympic gold, the 33-year-old Greene said injuries forced him to retire. Coaching and business interests in the U.S. will now be his focus.
Greene, a native of Kansas, was the dominant sprinter of the late 1990s and into the new century. He set a world record for the 100 meters in 1999 and won the same sprint at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
He also won world championship 100 titles in 1997, 1999 and 2001. At Seville, Spain, in '99, he also won the 200 and 400-meter relay golds in a rare triple.
• COLLEGE ATHLETICS -- Utah State athletic director Randy Spetman, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel with about a dozen years of collegiate athletic administrative experience, was named to take over the troubled program at Florida State.
Spetman, 55, will replace interim athletic director Bill Proctor, who took over several weeks ago after the school bought out the final 13 months of Dave Hart Jr.'s contract.
• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Tennessee will retire All-American Ernie Grunfeld's No. 22 jersey when the Volunteers host Kentucky on March 2.
Grunfeld was drafted 11th overall in 1977 by the Milwaukee Bucks as the Vols' all-time career scorer with 2,249 points. He is now second behind Allan Houston, who scored 2,801 points at Tennessee from 1989-93.