The five power conferences want more flexibility in providing financial support to athletes. Now NCAA president Mark Emmert and the leaders of those leagues must convince schools with fewer resources that giving them greater autonomy is in the best interest of college athletics.

NCAA leaders are exploring ways to alter their governing structure, which would allow the colleges that can afford it to pay for certain expenses currently prohibited. That includes offering a stipend for the costs of attending school not covered by scholarships.

Emmert said members are "cautiously optimistic" an acceptable plan can be devised.

There are 340 schools in Division I, and only 120 of them are in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Just 65 will be in the five power conferences -- Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12.

  • Boise State hired former quarterback and offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to be its next football coach. Harsin, 37, was Arkansas State's coach for one season, but he grew up in Boise. "We're coming home," said Harsin, who'll replace Chris Petersen. He's the third straight Red Hawks coach to leave after one year, following Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn. Arkansas State (7-5) will play Ball State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 5 in Mobile, Ala. Petersen left last week to take over at Washington.


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  • Mack Brown's itinerary seems like that of a coach intent on keeping his job. The Texas coach spent the past two days recruiting in Florida. He's scheduled to attend a news conference Thursday in San Antonio to promote the Alamo Bowl along with Oregon's Mark Helfrich. The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that Brown has had discussions with school officials about resigning but that nothing has been finalized.

  • Auburn's Malzahn was named Home Depot Coach of the Year, and Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.

  • Pittsburgh senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top college lineman.

  • Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyler Russell will miss the Liberty Bowl after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Bulldogs play Rice on Dec. 31 in Memphis, Tenn.

    MLS

    New England goalkeeper Matt Reis retired after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for Los Angeles. Reis, who spent the past 11 seasons with the Revolution, is a four-time MLS All-Star. He starred at UCLA before playing for the Galaxy from 1998-2002.

  • Seattle traded midfielder Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA for forward Tristan Bowen. Seattle also acquired Chivas' No. 2 allocation ranking. Chivas will receive Seattle's No. 13 allocation ranking.

    Tennis

    Michael Chang will join Kei Nishikori's coaching staff as an adviser. Dante Bottini will remain full-time coach. Nishikori, ranked No. 17. has been training with Chang for the last two weeks in California.

    Winter sports

    Mapping out her Olympics preparation after a three-race test, Lindsey Vonn will skip this weekend's World Cup stop at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and is planning to return to the circuit in a downhill Dec. 21 at Val d'Isere, France. The American returned to competition at Lake Louise, Alberta, last week -- 10 months after tearing ligaments in her right knee. She placed 40th in Friday's downhill, 11th in Saturday's downhill and fifth in Sunday's super-G.