NATIONAL

Sampson leaves Hoosiers for $750,000 buyout

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has agreed to a $750,000 buyout with the school, university spokesman Larry MacIntyre said. Assistant Dan Dakich took over the team as interim head coach.

The deal includes a provision that prevents Sampson from filing suit against the university seeking further damages.

Senior captain D.J. White, Armon Bassett, Jordan Crawford, Jamarcus Ellis, DeAndre Thomas and Brandon McGee skipped Dakich's first practice Friday afternoon. It is unknown if they will play when the 15th-ranked Hoosiers travel to Northwestern today.

Johnson up front after California qualifying gets canceled by rain

FONTANA, Calif. - Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway was rained out Friday, with the 43-car field determined by the rulebook instead of laps on the 2-mile oval.

NASCAR uses car owner points from the past season for the first five races of each year, so two-time reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, who finished second in 2007, will start from the front in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at the track formerly known as California Speedway.

Rain came and went throughout the day, with the cars never getting onto the track. Officials finally gave up after several weepers - water bubbling up from the ground and running across the track - delayed the start of practice until it began to rain again midway through the afternoon.