WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: WIAA considering different criteria for private school classification
STEVENS POINT - Wisconsin school officials will be asked next month to consider different criteria for assigning public and private high schools to the various divisions for state tournaments.
Right now, public and private school enrollments are considered equally in divisional assignments. A number of coaches have long felt that private schools have an advantage, because they draw from larger areas than the public schools. Some say it's why private schools have won so many state titles since their private school association merged with the WIAA in 2000. On April 16th, WIAA members will be asked their annual meeting to consider a multiplier of 1.65 for non-public school enrollments, in comparison to a factor of one for public schools.
____________________The Green Bay Packers will continue to see safety M.D. Jennings -- in a Chicago Bears' uniform at least twice a year. The Bears announced this afternoon that they signed Jennings to a one-year contract, after the Packers decided not to make a qualifying offer to try and keep the three-year veteran. Jennings was a restricted free agent who started last season alongside safety Morgan Burnett. Had the Packers offered a $1.4 million tender, they could have matched any offer Jennings would have received. But the lack of a tender made him a full free agent. Also today, the Chicago Tribune said the Bears were interested in Packers' free agent outside linebacker Mike Neal. The Bears released veteran defensive end Julius Peppers last night, and they signed free agent end Lamarr Houston from Oakland. If the Bears sign Neal, he could reportedly return to defensive end -- where he spent his first three seasons before moving to outside linebacker a year ago. Neal had his best year at that spot with five sacks and 46 tackles. ____________________
Packers' defensive lineman Johnny Jolly says he's been cleared to begin strength exercises, after fusion surgery two months ago on his C-5 and C-6 vertebrae. The 31-year-old Jolly is an unrestricted free agent. His agent recently said Jolly should be ready to go when training camps begin in July.____________________
Former Wisconsin Badgers' safety Chris Maragos is about to join his third NFL team. According to media reports, the Racine native signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles today worth four-million dollars, a million of which is guaranteed. The 27-year-old Maragos won a Super Bowl ring with Seattle last month, although he has played mainly on special teams during his four seasons in the NFL. He had a dozen tackles and a fumble recovery in 16 games last year for the Seahawks. Maragos spent three years with Seattle, after playing for San Francisco in his rookie year.
Milwaukee Brewers' left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will probably open the regular season on the disabled list. That's what manager Ron Roenicke said today, as the veteran Gorzelanny continues to recover from a shoulder operation during the off-season. He's currently making long tosses as part of his rehab. But Roenicke said there's not enough time for Gorzelanny to throw enough bullpen sessions and exhibition appearances before the regular season begins in just over two and a half weeks. Gorzelanny said the big problem right now is regaining his strength.
The postseason begins tonight for the UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee women's basketball teams. Both will compete in the quarter-finals of the Horizon League Tournament. Top-seeded Green Bay hosts No. 9 Valparaiso. UWM, with the No. 7 seed, opens at No. 2 Wright State. That's where the Milwaukee men won their Horizon League tournament title last night, earning their first NCAA berth in eight seasons. The Green Bay women are 20-8, winning 12 of its last 13 games. Sophomore Kaili Lukan leads the Phoenix in scoring with almost eleven and a half points a game. Valpo is 6-24, after beating Detroit in a tournament play-in game on Monday night. Four Crusaders average more than ten points a game, led by Charae Richardson at eleven-point-six. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is entering the Horizon League tourney with an 8-21 mark. The Panthers are coming off a 13-point loss to Oakland last Saturday. They'll play a Wright State team that's 23-8, after winning six of its last seven.