In brief: Blues owner heads group to buy Rams
NFL: St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts is heading a group seeking to buy the NFL’s Rams and keep the team in St. Louis.
On Monday, the Rams announced that the family of former owner Georgia Frontiere has hired the investment firm of Goldman Sachs to review the assets of her estate, including the NFL team. The move was seen as potentially expediting a sale of the franchise.
A spokesman for Checketts, Eric Gelfand, said Checketts first approached Frontiere’s son, Chip Rosenbloom, several months ago about buying the team. Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez, inherited 60 percent of the Rams when their mother died in January 2008. Billionaire Stan Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, owns the remaining 40 percent.
Gelfand said Checketts has put together a group consisting of St. Louisans and outside investors. He provided an e-mail from Checketts expressing confidence the group was a good fit to buy the franchise, which Forbes magazine estimates has a value of $929 million.
•Harrison ponders retirement: New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison is expected to announce this week whether he is retiring from the NFL.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection missed the last 10 games last season with a muscle tear in his right thigh. It was his fourth serious injury in the last four years of his 15-season career.
•Saints sell out: Saints fans were ready to buy tickets when the NFL team returned to New Orleans in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation – and they’re lining up again despite the national recession.
The franchise has sold out the 70,000-seat Louisiana Superdome for a fourth straight year, even as the overall cost of season tickets climbed and the metro area began hemorrhaging jobs.
•NFL won’t discipline Marshall: Brandon Marshall is free to play the entire 2009 season, providing his surgically repaired hip allows it.
Marshall learned Tuesday he won’t face disciplinary action from the NFL over his latest arrest in a domestic dispute.
•Cowboys cut Ellis: The Dallas Cowboys have released Greg Ellis, ending the linebacker’s career after 11 seasons and the eighth-most sacks in club history.
•Former Cardinal Esser dies: Clarence Esser, a member of the 1947 Chicago Cardinals championship team, died Monday of cancer in Orlando, Fla. He was 84.
GMs resist new rule on hard hits
Hockey: NHL general managers still have little interest in outlawing otherwise legal hits that result in contact to an opponent’s head.
The NHL Players’ Association, acting on behalf of its members, has been pushing for a rule that would ban blows to the head. So far, that request has been met with resistance from the 30 general managers – many of whom were longtime players in the league.
“There is no appetite for an automatic penalty,” Toronto general manager Brian Burke said following a meeting at the Stanley Cup finals in Pittsburgh.
Burke has long been a proponent of the physical side of the sport and often builds his clubs with a significant amount of brawn in the lineup.
•TV ratings increase: Television ratings for the Stanley Cup finals are off to their best start since 2002.
NBC said that Games 1 and 2 averaged a 2.8 rating and 5 share. That’s up 17 percent from last year, when the first games on the network were Games 3 and 4. Versus showed Games 1 and 2 in 2008.
Memphis pushes to keep its wins
Colleges: Memphis says it should keep the victories from the 2007-08 season which ended in the national title game after an internal investigation turned up no proof that a former men’s basketball player cheated on his SAT exam.
“Certainly, the University of Memphis should not suffer a financial penalty or vacation of records for the 2008 NCAA tournament as a result of this allegation,” according to a report detailing the school’s investigation into NCAA allegations.
The report details Memphis’ internal probe into accusations that a former player allowed a stand-in to take his SAT. The report also looked into charges of grade tampering on behalf of the player.
Most names in the report were redacted by the school because of privacy concerns, but an attorney for former Memphis star Derrick Rose has acknowledged that Rose cooperated with an investigation of similar allegations while still a student.
•Committee answers FSU: The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions responded to Florida State’s appeal of sanctions from an academic cheating scandal, but kept its answer secret and gave the school 15 days to respond.
Florida State is challenging a portion of the sanctions that would force the school to vacate as many as 14 of Bowden’s 382 career wins – just one fewer than Penn State’s Joe Paterno.
•Beverley sticks to story: Former Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley, working out with the Minnesota Timberwolves, repeated his earlier claim that somebody wrote a paper for him while he was with the Razorbacks, but he backed off comments he’d made that implicated teammates.