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Friday
Oct282011

'Within Striking Distance' -- NBA Labor Talks Resume Friday

(NEW YORK CITY) -- Both the NBA and its players association emerged from Thursday's negotiations very optimistic that a labor deal could be reached in the near future.

"I think we're within striking distance of getting a deal," said Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA. "Its just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether they want to do a deal."

NBA commissioner David Stern was a little more cautious in his optimism. "There are no guarantees that we'll get it done, but we're gonna give it one heck of a shot tomorrow," he said on Thursday.

The two groups will reconvene on Friday at 10:30 a.m. They met for seven-and-a-half hours on Thursday after a marathon 15-hour session on Wednesday.

The first two weeks of the 2011-12 NBA season have already been cancelled. If a deal is not completed soon, more will be in danger. The season was to start November 1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

NCAA Approves Student-Athlete Stipend

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The NCAA's Division I board of directors has approved new reforms, including one that will give student athletes a $2000 cost-of-attendance stipend as part of their scholarship.

NCAA president Mark Emmert says the stipend is not considered to be "paying" student athletes, just helping them with the cost of living while at school.

Academic reforms were a major part of the reform package. Schools that fail to meet NCAA standards will be disqualified from postseason play. That includes football bowl games.

The NCAA also raised the GPA requirements for incoming freshman from 2.0 to 2.3.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

Cardinals Beat Rangers 10-9 in Extras, Force Game 7

Rob Carr/Getty Images

(ST. LOUIS) - -  In perhaps one of the most exciting World Series games in history, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers 10-9 Thursday night, courtesy of a walk-off home run by St. Louis third baseman David Freese in the bottom of the 11th inning, forcing a seventh game in the Fall Classic.

The Cardinals were down to their last strike in the game twice, once in the ninth inning and again in the tenth.  In the ninth inning it was David Freese who tied the game with a two-run triple to make it 7-7. 

Josh Hamilton hit a 2-run homer for the Rangers in the top of the tenth to put Texas up 9-7.  But the Cardinals refused to give up -- Lance Berkman hit an RBI single in the 10th, ultimately setting the stage for Freese's heroics.

“It’s unreal, it’s awesome to be a part of with this team,” said the Game 6 hero.

"I understand it's not over till you get that last out," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I was just sitting there praying we got that last out. We didn't get it."

Game 7 will be Friday night.  This will be the first Game 7 since the 2002 World Series, when the Angels captured the championship over the Giants.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

Billy Kennedy of Texas A&M Diagnosed With Parkinson's

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(COLLEGE STATION, Texas) -- Texas A&M men's basketball coach Billy Kennedy announced Thursday that he would be leaving the team to undergo treatment for early-stage Parkinson's disease.

"I am heeding the advice of my doctors and addressing the disease and its symptoms," Kennedy said in a statement. "We have begun a long-term treatment plan and recovery. My doctors are encouraged and are telling me I will be able to come back soon."

Assistant coach Glynn Cyprien will lead the team until further notice.

Texas A&M was selected as one of the favorites to win the Big 12 in the preseason poll by league coaches.  The team opens its season Nov. 9 against Liberty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Pat Summitt: 'I'm Not Ready to Retire'

G Fiume/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) --  Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt made her first public appearance Thursday since revealing her dementia diagnosis in August.

Summitt has coached the team for 37 seasons and has a record of 1071-199, the most wins in Division I women's basketball history. 

"It's been amazing all across the country," Summitt said of the support she's received since news broke of her diagnosis. "It's been incredible.  Hopefully it will help other people out with dementia and we're all about doing the right things," said Summitt.

"I may be old as dirt but I'm not ready to retire," the 59-year-old Summitt said at Southeastern Conference media day.

"She's at every basketball practice, she's heavily recruiting, she's involved in absolutely everything we do.  She's still our head coach and doing a heck of a job," said assistant coach Holly Warlick when asked if this was still Summitt's team.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

The NFL Heads to Canada This Weekend

Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- The Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins will face off in Toronto on Sunday.  The Bills will be playing a regular season game in Toronto for the fourth straight season and are still searching for their first win in the Great White North.  The Chicago Bears won last year's game there against Buffalo 22-19.

"Last year when we started off like we did, we didn't give fans anything to cheer about," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told reporters this week.  "To go out, to get them excited right away, to make the plays, to get the ball in the end zone, giving them something to cheer about is how you get them into it."

Bills running back Fred Jackson would like to see a bigger turnout from Buffalo fans.

"The last three times we've been up there, we've had the smaller crowd," Jackson said. "Hopefully with the start we've gotten off to this season, that changes."

The Bills are 4-2 on the season.  The Redskins, losers of two straight, are 3-3.  The game will be played at Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays play their home games.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Broncos Quarterback Tebow Eager To Improve

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was instrumental in leading his team to a comeback win over the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, but he knows there is plenty of room for improvement.  Tebow was ineffective for most of the Miami game before coming alive in the fourth quarter.

"Every game I've started we've fallen behind and we've had to come back," Tebow told reporters this week. "Thankfully we've been in a position to come back and compete there at the end, but if we start faster, I think that's going to be a lot easier on us."

The Broncos, 2-4 on the season, host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.  The Lions are 5-2 this year but have lost two straight and could be without quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is nursing an ankle injury.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

NBA Labor Talks To Continue After 15 Hour Meeting

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA owners and locked-out players are meeting again Thursday after completing a marathon 15 hour session that started on Wednesday and appeared to bring about some progress in the labor talks.

"I think it's too early still in the negotiations to express confidence that we're at a deal," NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver told reporters early Thursday morning after the talks ended.  "There's no question, though, that we did make progress on some significant issues."

Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players' association, said it is still possible to have a full 82 game schedule -- if a new labor deal is reached soon.  Commissioner David Stern has already canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, which was scheduled to start November 1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Asante Samuel Criticizes Eagles Front Office

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- During the NFL's trade deadline, the Philadelphia Eagles tried to see what they could get in a trade for Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. Apparently, that didn't sit too well with Samuel.

"Couple people upstairs might not want me, but who cares. They've probably never played football," Samuel said on Wednesday. "It's a business and they run it like a business and they're going to do what they need to do. They're playing with a lot of money, playing fantasy football, doing their thing."

Samuel was referring to the free agent splurge the team made over the off-season in which they acquired numerous players, including the singing of free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and trading for fellow cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals. Samuel's name has been the subject of trade rumors even since the Eagles acquired the two other cornerbacks.

Despite his criticism, Samuel later backed off of his comments and claims there is no longer any problem between he and the Eagles' front office.

Since 2006, Samuel's 37 interceptions lead the NFL. He is in the fourth year of a six-year, $57 million contract he signed with Philadelphia in 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Report: Sale of Atlanta Hawks In Jeopardy

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- According to ESPN.com, the potential sale of the Atlanta Hawks may not happen, due to financial concerns for the ownership group.

California developer and pizza chain owner Alex Meruelo is attempting to purchase the team from current Hawks ownership, led by Michael Gearon Jr. and Bruce Levenson. But apparently there is growing concern from the Hawks ownership group that Meruelo may not have the proper financial means to acquire a majority stake in the team and still be able to run the Hawks in a proper fashion. If a deal is not reached, Gearon Jr. and Levenson may be forced to keep the team for an additional year.

Meruelo had agreed to purchase a majority stake of the team back in August, but a 75 percent vote from the NBA's Board Of Governors is still required. It's believed that the current NBA lockout may have something to do with the stall of the sale, but the lockout didn't keep the sale of Philadelphia 76ers to Joshua Harris from occurring.

If Meruelo does indeed gain majority ownership of the team, he would become the first Hispanic majority owner of an NBA franchise -- and responsible for any financial losses. While Meruelo would have the majority ownership of the team, Gearon Jr. and Levenson will then retain minority stakes in the team.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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