Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief
October 20, 2012, 3:51 am
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NHL

NEW YORK (AP) The NHL wiped out the third week of the regular season as the lockout dragged on, leaving no more wiggle room if the league hopes to play a full 82-game schedule.

A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league canceled 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched - 11 percent of the season.

In its third lockout since 1994, the NHL is sticking to its most recent proposal that stated a full 82-game-per-team schedule could be played if the season begins by Nov. 2. The league says a deal must be reached with the union by next Thursday for that to happen.

Two weeks ago, the league called off 82 games from Oct. 11-24.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed predecessor Paul Tagliabue to hear the appeals of four players suspended in the Saints' bounty scandal.

Goodell said he notified Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, as well as the players' union, that Tagliabue would be the hearing officer to ``decide the appeals and bring the matter to a prompt and fair conclusion.''

The union and the four players had asked Goodell to recuse himself, contending he could not fairly rule. Their second set of appeals will be heard Oct. 30.

Tagliabue was NFL commissioner from 1989-2006 and is a lawyer.

CYCLING

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) - Cycling's governing body says it will respond Monday to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report on Lance Armstrong.

The UCI received USADA's report last week and has until the end of the month to decide whether to ratify the agency's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles or appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

USADA banned Armstrong for life and said he should be stripped of his tour titles because of his involvement in the ``most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.''

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney have been selected comeback players of the year.

Posey returned from a broken leg to win the NL batting title this season, hitting .336 with a career-high 24 homers and 103 RBIs while leading the Giants to the NL West title. Posey played in only 45 games in 2011 after being injured in a violent collision at home plate on May 25.

A first-time All-Star, Rodney had 48 saves in his first year with the Rays. He was 2-2 with a 0.60 ERA, a record for a reliever with at least 50 innings. Rodney struggled with a back injury in 2011 and lost his role as the Angels' closer, finishing with three saves.

NBA

DALLAS (AP) - Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee and the 11-time All-Star isn't expected to return for about six weeks.

Dallas opens the regular season in 11 days at the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 34-year-old Nowitzki has experienced swelling in the knee most of the preseason, twice having it drained since training camp started Sept. 29. The knee didn't improve after rest, ice and light conditioning work, leading to the decision to have surgery.

The 2011 NBA finals MVP played just one preseason game - the opener in his native Germany.

Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in 14 seasons.

TENNIS

MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal plans to play at the Mexican Open in February, although the fourth-ranked Spaniard expects to return before the Australian Open.

The clay-court Mexican Open is scheduled for Feb. 25-March 2.

The 11-time Grand Slam winner is focused on returning in time for an exhibition at the end of the year in Abu Dhabi as part of his preparations for the Australian Open in January.

Nadal has been sidelined with a left knee injury since a second-round loss at Wimbledon in June. He has said it's unlikely he'll play for Spain in the Davis Cup final in the Czech Republic next month.

AUTO RACING

PARIS (AP) - Formula One postponed the inaugural Grand Prix of America in New Jersey until 2014 because organizers ``didn't quite know what they were doing.''

The race originally was scheduled for June 16 next year, subject to confirmation. The street circuit course takes in a spectacular backdrop along the Hudson River and through the towns of Weehawken and West New York.

``The event is not going to happen'' in 2013 as planned, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said.

The 3.2-mile circuit at Port Imperial goes along the Hudson and the steep cliffs of the Palisades, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state senior hit a 67-yard field goal to tie the mark for the second-longest field goal in a high school game.

Central Valley High's Austin Rehkow drilled the kick, with distance to spare, to tie a game with Shadle Park High at 55 as regulation expired Thursday night. Central Valley, in the Spokane suburbs, went on to beat Shadle Park 62-55 in overtime.

According to The National Federation of High Schools Record Book, Rehkow's kick tied the mark for the second-longest high school field goal. The record is 68 yards, set by Dirk Borgognone of Reno, Nev., in 1985. The NFL record is 63 yards.