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Indianapolis OKs deal giving Pacers a boost

– The Pacers’ biggest win so far this season came Monday – off the court.

One day after breaking out of a slump by beating Oklahoma City and hours before Miami rested its star players, essentially ceding the top seed in the East, the city’s Capital Improvement Board approved a new deal that would help the Pacers stay financially competitive in one of the NBA’s smallest markets.

In exchange for providing $164 million to pay for operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse over the next 10 years, the Pacers agreed to extend a lease agreement that will keep them in Indy for up to 13 more seasons. Board members voted 8-0 in favor of the deal.

“This is a major factor helping us get on solid financial ground going forward,” Pacers president Jim Morris said Monday.


Hoosiers lose starting pitcher

Indiana junior pitcher Kyle Hart will miss the rest of this season because he needs Tommy John surgery. In six starts and nine appearances, the left-hander was 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA.


Around the NBA

Chicago signed forward signed forward Greg Smith for the remainder of the season and waived Tornike Shengelia. … Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins will sit out the season finale after being suspended for picking up his 16th technical foul of the season.

College notes

Virginia Tech’s Trevor Thompson, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, is transferring to play at Ohio State. Thompson will have three years of eligibility remaining, most likely sitting out a year to begin playing in the 2015-16 season. … Michigan State sophomore shooting guard Gary Harris is entering the NBA draft. … Kentucky’s 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein will return for his junior season. … Jabari Parker says he plans to meet with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., today before deciding whether to declare for the NBA draft or return to college for his sophomore year.


NFL notes

Cleveland signed fullback Chris Pressley, a potential lead blocker to open holes for new running back Ben Tate. … San Francisco cornerback Chris Culliver pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. …

Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is suing Nike for trademark infringement and unfair competition over its Lights Out apparel line. … DeSean Jackson reported for Washington’s voluntary offseason workout after skipping the first week to take a vacation. … Minnesota agreed to terms with free agent safety Kurt Coleman.


Columbia City AD to be honored

Columbia City athletic director Geoff Penrod is one of five administrators who will be honored with a special award by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association during a ceremony April 25 in Indianapolis.


Luers grad loses on reality TV show

Former Bishop Luers standout Kristi O’Brien was eliminated from the Golf Channel reality show “Big Break Florida.” O’Brien was beaten by Kylee Duede in the elimination challenge.


Predators cutting ties with coach

Barry Trotz, the NHL’s longest tenured head coach with one team, will not be back for a 16th season with Nashville.


200,000 tickets on sale for Cup

FIFA said nearly 200,000 tickets will be available in the last online sales phase for the World Cup in Brazil. Soccer’s international governing body said fans will be able to buy tickets for 54 of the 64 matches beginning at 6 a.m. today.


IPFWs Kartman player of the week

IPFW’s Hillary Kartman was awarded the Summit League Player of the Week the conference announced. Kartman, a Homestead graduate, recorded a .467 batting average over five games during the week of April 7.


Homestead coach plans to resign

Homestead girls and boys coach Chad Englehart has resigned to pursue other career opportunities, the school announced. Englehart coached the swim programs at Homestead for the last 17 years and coached 13 state champions.


Mastodons to open tourney with OSU

The IPFW men’s team will be host to Ohio State in the MIVA tournament opener at 7 p.m. Saturday.