Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief
December 8, 2012, 4:15 am

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he is out of ideas on how to get negotiations back on track to save the hockey season.

Talks fell apart Thursday night amid back-and-forth accusations, and the fallout was still being felt a day later. The two sides had no contact with each other on the 83rd day of the owners' lockout of players.

The players' most recent proposal was turned down quickly on Thursday by the NHL, which wanted a yes or no answer on three specific conditions the league said were non-negotiable. When the union tried to bargain the points, the meeting ended abruptly, leaving talks in limbo.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Butch Jones agreed to become Tennessee's fourth football coach in six seasons, ending a tumultuous couple of days for both parties.

Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach. He went 27-13 in three seasons at Central Michigan and was 23-14 at Cincinnati the last three years. He now faces the task of rebuilding a former SEC power that has posted three consecutive losing seasons.

During the 19-day search to replace Derek Dooley, who was fired Nov. 18 after going 15-21 in his three-year tenure, the Volunteers also spoke with ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden, and Louisville coach Charlie Strong.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A lawyer for former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky said his client has gotten his fighting spirit back after his child abuse conviction and sentencing and hopes prison officials will find a way to house him under less restrictive conditions.

Karl Rominger said after spending several hours with Sandusky at Greene State Prison in southwestern Pennsylvania that Sandusky's outlook has improved since he was sentenced two months ago. He said they discussed pending post-sentencing motions and plans for an appeal.

Sandusky, a former assistant to head football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus. He's serving a 30- to 60-year sentence.

NFL

WASHINGTON (AP) - The New York Jets and their quarterback controversy have turned into Washington's political football.

In August, President Barack Obama questioned the Jets' decision to acquire Tim Tebow when they had quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had led the team to the playoffs two years in a row. Then this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a swipe at Republicans in the midst of tough fiscal cliff negotiations, comparing them to the Jets and their quarterback uncertainty.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Reid said the Jets have three quarterbacks - Sanchez, Tebow and Greg McElroy. Reid then said Republicans can't decide on their leader either.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball's average salary increased 3.8 percent this year to a record $3.2 million. According to final figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise was the steepest since 2007.

The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.

The Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million, rising after consecutive declines from a peak of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009.

The Dodgers boosted their average from 13th to second at $5.55 million. At $684,940, Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins at $594,722.

BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - USA Basketball is expanding its reach into youth basketball, partnering with iHoops, the joint initiative formed by the NBA and NCAA to improve programs for young players.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said the move is ``an opportunity to make a big impact'' on the development of young players and will help his organization find elite players who could eventually play for U.S. national teams.

iHoops was formed in 2009 and Colangelo said he always believed it would be a part of USA Basketball because his organization has the leadership and business components in place to make it successful. He said specific plans will be announced in early 2013.

SPORTS BETTING

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA have filed legal papers calling New Jersey's effort to allow sports gambling an ``unlawful scheme'' and a ``blatant violation'' of federal law.

The leagues sued Gov. Chris Christie in August after he announced plans to allow gambling on pro and college games at casinos and racetracks. New Jersey's legislature passed a sports betting law earlier in the year. In the brief, the leagues reject New Jersey's argument that a 1992 federal law restricting sports gambling to a handful of states is unconstitutional.

The NCAA has already pulled some events from New Jersey over the dispute.