Deal to end NFL lockout still out of reach
Football: The NFL Players Association’s executive committee reviewed only portions of a proposed deal to end the lockout and not enough to warrant a vote Tuesday, two people familiar with the league’s labor negotiations told The Associated Press.
A full agreement in principle hadn’t been completed as of Tuesday night, and another person familiar with the talks said there was no guarantee a full document would be finished today, either.
The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the process is supposed to remain confidential.
While lawyers from both sides worked on contract language in New York with a court-appointed mediator for the second day in a row, the NFLPA’s leadership met for about nine hours at the group’s headquarters in Washington.
“Every day the last two years has been a long day,” NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith said as he left.
If the four-month lockout – the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 – is going to end this week, in time to keep the preseason completely intact, the best-case scenario is that the players OK a new contract today, and the owners do so the next day.
Player representatives from all 32 teams were expected in Washington today – when they could vote, if a settlement is ready for their consideration.
• UFL scraps Sunday games: With the NFL working to end its lockout and save the preseason, the struggling United Football League announced it would push back the start of its games from August to September.
The schedule switch is another blow – at a critical time – to the second-tier pro league that has lost more than $100 million in its two years of existence.
The UFL had hoped to gain exposure in the vacuum left by a locked-out NFL. It scheduled several early-season games on Sundays and aimed to fill TV time slots normally reserved for NFL exhibition games. But commissioner Michael Huyghue told reporters he was resigned to losing a “windfall” from the NFL.
The UFL has franchises in Omaha, Neb.; Hartford, Conn.; Norfolk, Va.; Las Vegas and Sacramento, Calif.
Leach claims book details whole career
College sports: Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said that his book is more about his career than his firing because he started writing it before he was dismissed amid accusations he mistreated a player with a concussion.
Leach said before a book signing in Lubbock, Texas, that it would have been “irresponsible” not to detail his 2009 firing from Texas Tech.
“Everyone wanted my point of view on what happened at Tech,” said Leach, who wrote “Swing Your Sword,” the title a nod to his penchant for pirate lore and its application to football.
Most of the book chronicles Leach’s life, from his upbringing and why he chose coaching over practicing law to how his coaching style developed. He takes readers to each college at which he coached, arriving at Texas Tech on page 107.
It’s another 70 pages, the book’s last two chapters, before Leach begins discussing his firing and criticizes the university.
NBA staff members set Friday session
NBA: Staff members from the NBA and players’ association will meet Friday, the first session related to collective bargaining since the lockout began July 1.
The meeting won’t include commissioner David Stern, union executive director Billy Hunter, or players or owners, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
• Emmert calls for bigger changes: NCAA president Mark Emmert says incremental changes are not good enough to maintain the integrity of college sports and the governing body needs a more aggressive approach.
In comments posted on the NCAA’s web site, Emmert says a “few new tweaks of the rules won’t get the job done.”
Emmert, formerly with the University of Washington, intends to push for bigger changes during next month’s presidential retreat.
Pistorius qualifies for championships
Track and field: Double amputee Oscar Pistorius qualified for the athletics world championships next month and could be on his way to the 2012 Olympics in London.
The South African clocked a personal best of 45.07 seconds in the 400 meters at Lignano, Italy. He needed a time of 45.25 to qualify for the worlds for the first time. The championships begin Aug. 27 in Daegu, South Korea.