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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A group of Notre Dame athletes won friends at the University of Alabama long before anyone knew these schools were on course to play for the national football championship. Two dozen of them traveled from South Bend, Ind., to tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa, Ala., during fall break in 2011. They cleared lots and hauled debris a few months after the storm left more than 50 dead in the college town.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two people familiar with the deal say suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has agreed in principle to a multiyear contract extension. The people told The Associated Press about the deal Friday on condition of anonymity because it hasn't been signed and final details regarding the length of the contract and financial compensation are still being worked out.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Payton was due to begin his seventh season as the Saints' head coach in 2012 before being suspended the whole season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation. Payton signed an extension in 2011, but Goodell objected to certain language in that deal, leaving Payton's future uncertain until the deal was reached Friday.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — With an All-American on each side, South Carolina's sack-happy defense faces Michigan's formidable offensive front in the Outback Bowl. The 11th-ranked Gamecocks (10-2) topped the SEC with 40 sacks this year, including a school-record 13 by All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

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