Cal and Stanford may be the final obstacles to the Pac-10 settling on a two-division, 12-team setup for the 2011-12 football season, according to an ESPN.com report.
Pac-10 athletic directors weren't able to arrive at a consensus during two days of meetings last week in San Francisco, but a compromise is in the works, according to multiple sources. The university presidents are scheduled to meet next week, when they're expected to announce the plan.
The conference would like to have a north-south split of two six-team divisions, instead of a "zipper format" that would divide the conference on an east-west alignment of every rivalry.
The schools in the Northwest will sign off on a north-south split but want Stanford and Cal to be in their division instead of Colorado and Utah to ensure a foothold in recruiting-rich California.
The California schools would rather stay together, which would mean the four California schools placed in a division with the two Arizona teams.
If a compromise is reached, Cal and Stanford would be placed in the North division with Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State. The South division would be UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and new members Utah and Colorado, formerly of the Mountain West and Big 12, respectively.
Agent paid players: A former sports agent tells Sports Illustrated he paid college football players early in his career, and several of them confirm it to the magazine.
In the Oct. 18 edition, Josh Luchs said he paid more than 30 players from 1990-96, including many who didn't sign with him.
He said quarterback Ryan Leaf, the second pick in the 1998 draft who famously flopped in the pros, took more than $10,000, most of which he voluntarily paid back after signing with another agent. Leaf declined to comment on specific allegations.
Luchs told the magazine he also paid first-round picks Jamir Miller and Chris Mims. Miller, a linebacker from El Cerrito High and UCLA taken 10th by the Cardinals in 1994, declined to comment.
Luchs was suspended for a year by the NFL Players Association in 2007 over the handling of a commission check. He says he's telling his story because "I don't want my career to be defined by that suspension."
Luchs also told SI that ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper also helped Wichard recruit players, describing a 2000 meeting with Stanford defensive lineman Willie Howard in which agent Gary Wichard had arranged for Kiper to call as he talked with the player.
Kiper told SI that he "would never promote Gary or another agent to a player" and denied that the call was prearranged.
UCLA: The Bruins suspended receiver/kick returner Josh Smith and F-back Morrell Presley for the Bruins' Oct. 21 game at Oregon for violating team rules.
Coach Rick Neuheisel announced the suspensions before the start of the Bruins' bye week practices. He didn't specify the exact reason for the suspensions, citing student privacy laws.
Notre Dame: Kyle Rudolph, one of Notre Dame's best players and top NFL prospects, is finished for the season.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior tight end needs surgery after severely injuring his hamstring and his recovery could take six months.
Stanford: Tara VanDerveer's team is short-handed heading into its first practice Friday.
Sophomore forward Joslyn Tinkle is nursing a left ankle sprain that could sideline her for a couple weeks. Guards Melanie Murphy and Lindy La Rocque will be out much longer for the Cardinal, who are gearing up for another deep NCAA tournament run after losing to Connecticut in last season's NCAA title game.
Murphy is recovering from microfracture knee surgery, while La Rocque has a bone problem in a foot that has bothered her for months.
Associated Press and ESPN.com contributed to these notes.