Leading Off

Surf's up in the bay

Greg Long (pictured), a 24-year-old Californian, won first place in the Mavericks Surf Contest, the world's most perilous big wave riding contest Saturday that had competitors dropping into waves more than four stories tall.

Welcome back!

Indiana Pacers forwards Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Ike Diogu return tonight for their first appearances at Oakland's Oracle Arena in something other than Golden State gear. All three players had spent their entire careers with the Warriors, and while Diogu didn't make much of an impact in his 1½ seasons, Dunleavy and Murphy were each seen as two major pieces of the Warriors' puzzle for years to come after being handed big-money extensions in 2005 and '04, respectively.

Davenport's return impresses Serena

New mom Lindsay Davenport (pictured) is Serena Williams' "ultimate" role model. Former No. 1 Davenport, the 2000 Australian Open champion, won in Auckland, New Zealand last week for her third title in four events since giving birth last June to her first child, son Jagger. This year's defending champion -- the Australian Open starts Monday -- is impressed. "I'm speechless because she looks better than me and she's seven months out of having a baby." Williams said Saturday. "I'm convinced if I had a baby, seven months later I'd probably still be in the hospital trying to get over the pain," she added, laughing. "She is my ultimate role model. I'm really so motivated ... she's just taken it to a new level."

It's official: NCAA bans text recruiting

Division I coaches are barred from text messaging recruits. An attempt to override a ban failed Saturday at the NCAA convention. The vote by delegates was 240 to 65, with one abstention. The ban took effect Aug. 1 and was on the agenda after 30 schools asked for the override vote. Kerry Kenny, who played basketball at Lafayette College and is the incoming chairman of the NCAA student-athlete advisory committee, asked delegates to uphold the ban. He called text messaging intrusive, putting an undue burden on recruits and parents with messages coming in at all hours.