Filed The family of Junior Seau has sued the NFL, claiming the former linebacker’s suicide was the result of brain disease caused by violent hits he sustained while playing football. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed Wednesday in California Superior Court in San Diego.

Hired The Oakland Raiders have hired Tony Sparano as an assistant head coach who will work with the offensive line. Sparano comes to the Raiders after one season as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

Decided People familiar with the decision say the New Orleans Hornets have decided to change their name to the Pelicans next season. One person says the proposed name change and color scheme of blue, gold and red is scheduled to be announced today.

Suspended North Carolina has suspended guard Leslie McDonald for three basketball games. Coach Roy Williams says McDonald “did not do what we expect of our student-athletes.”

Agreed The Edmonton Oilers and the city have agreed to resurrect a deal to build a new downtown arena. City councilors have voted to accept a cost-shared deal for a $480 million rink. After surrounding infrastructure is added in, the final bill will be $601 million.

Announced The NFL Players’ Association has announced finalists for the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for community service. They are Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys; Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears; Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers; Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings; Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Browns.

Extended Louisville Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong and the university agreed on an eight-year contract extension that will pay Strong an annual base salary of $3.7 million.

Offered The Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators say if they lose, season-ticket holders could get refunds. If the Predators fail to win 10 of their 18 games, season- ticket holders will receive credits toward future season-ticket purchases.


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