GRIZZLIES MOVES: The Utah Grizzlies have re-signed captain Travis Rycroft and new veteran Scott Burt to contracts for the 2007-08 season.

Rycroft enters his fourth professional season and third with Utah. He was named the Grizzlies' team captain on Dec. 29, 2006, and put up nine goals and 17 assists during the 2006-07 season. He leads Utah in games played the past two seasons with 142.

Burt joins Utah after seven seasons with the Idaho Steelheads, where he played in 403 regular-season games and tallied 111 goals and 139 assists. Last year, as one of three captains for Idaho, he led the team to the ECHL's Kelly Cup championship. Burt is one of 15 players to have won the ECHL's top trophy twice.

FRANCIS PROMOTED: Already a Hall of Famer for his time on the ice, Ron Francis is quickly moving up the ranks in the second half of his hockey career. The Carolina Hurricanes promoted the fast-rising Francis, already the team's director of player development, to assistant general manager on Thursday. He replaces Jason Karmanos, the 33-year-old son of team owner Peter Karmanos Jr., who resigned last week because of personal reasons.

College football

NO FORFEIT NECESSARY: Michigan won't have to forfeit any football games for using an ineligible freshman player.

Michigan last month reported an administrative error involving safety Artis Chambers to the Big Ten. Chambers played in three games but wasn't eligible under the conference's freshman rules.

He will keep his athletic scholarship and can continue practicing with the team, but he will miss the rest of the season, the university said Thursday.

Athletic director Bill Martin previously said he could not talk about Chambers' case because of privacy laws. Coach Lloyd Carr has declined comment.

Sports business

ARENA TO WEAR IZOD: Izod, a clothing maker best known for its sports shirts, was awarded naming rights to the New Jersey Nets' arena at the Meadowlands on Thursday.

The Meadowlands building has been called Continental Airlines Arena for 12 years and will now be called the Izod Center, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said.

The New Jersey Devils left the 26-year-old arena and starting this season will play in a new home in Newark.


CHICAGO NOT FAVORED: Chicago isn't the front-runner for the 2016 Olympics many are making it out to be. It's not even a close second.

With two years before the vote for the 2016 host, Chicago is third or fourth on the list of favorites, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth said Thursday. Ahead of Chicago are Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"It's not a criticism, it's a reality," Ueberroth said after meeting with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. "There's no criticism of Chicago 2016. I'm not saying they're doing anything wrong. I'm telling you they're in third or fourth."