NFL: Whether they are meeting in secret locations or in the middle of Times Square at rush hour, talks between NFL owners and players are a good sign.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has been saying that since the lockout began on March 12. Players, agents and lawyers familiar with the negotiating process second the notion.
Both sides met Wednesday for a second straight day in New York, with Judge Arthur Boylan joining Goodell and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith. It was the second time this week that the sides got together. Last week, they met twice near Chicago.
Also on hand were five team owners and five players. That’s a critical component for reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.
“Having meetings on a regular basis is not nearly as important as having productive talks,” said agent Ben Dogra, whose clients include Patrick Willis and Sam Bradford. “If having productive talks encompasses meeting on a regular basis, then it is a good for them to meet as often as possible.”
Both sides seem ready to do that as they await a ruling about the legality of the lockout from the federal appeals court in St. Louis. The factions aren’t due back in court until August. On Wednesday, Judge Susan Nelson moved up a hearing for the league’s motion to dismiss the players’ antitrust suit from Sept. 12 to Aug. 29 – nine days before the regular season is scheduled to begin.
“NFL owners and players continue to be engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan,” the two sides said in a joint statement.
Busch puts incident in NASCAR’s hands
Auto racing: Kyle Busch says that the $150,000 fine NASCAR levied against Richard Childress is the end of the matter for him.
Childress was fined on Monday for assaulting Busch after a NASCAR Trucks race at Kansas Speedway, the latest incident between the driver and Childress’ race teams. Busch was in Rossburg, Ohio, on Wednesday to participate in Tony Stewart’s annual charity race.
“NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary,” Busch said before the race at Eldora Speedway. “It’s pretty much the end of it. It’s not my fight.”
Clint Bowyer started on the pole and led wire-to-wire for his first victory in the charity race.
Twenty-eight drivers, including 17 from the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, competed in late-model stock cars in the 30-lap event that benefited children’s hospitals in Atlanta, Dallas, St. Louis and Charlotte, N.C.
Martin takes stage; Wiggins claims jersey
Cycling: Tony Martin of Germany won the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, and Bradley Wiggins of Britain took the overall lead.
Martin completed the 26.5-mile time trial around Grenoble, France, in 55 minutes, 27 seconds. Wiggins finished second.
Controversy hits dazzling MLS park
Soccer: The $200 million state-of-the-art soccer facility, Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., opens tonight amid controversy.
It will be one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. But its partnership with Lance Armstrong’s foundation, Livestrong, is causing some to wonder about the connection. Livestrong funds cancer research and supports cancer survivors such as Armstrong. The club has agreed to donate $7.5 million over six years to the foundation.
But two former teammates have alleged that the seven-time Tour de France winner used performance- enhancing drugs.
The MLS team that Livestrong Sporting Park will house – Sporting Kansas City – finds itself defending the new stadium’s association while featuring its innovative and high-tech features.
Montana State sells out new seats
College football: Montana State University says all of the season tickets for the expanded section of Bobcat Stadium have been sold for the upcoming football season.
MSU athletic director Peter Fields announced that all 2,250 of the new seats have been sold before the Sept. 10 home opener against UC Davis.
Rare disease claims former champion
Boxing: Two-time world super featherweight champion Genaro Hernandez has died at his home in Mission Viejo, Calif. He was 45.
Hernandez’s wife, Liliana Hernandez, says he died Tuesday of a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma that attacks muscle fibers.
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