Friday's Sports in Brief

Friday's Sports in Brief
December 29, 2012, 6:17 am
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Saints and suspended coach Sean Payton will indeed be together again next season as the bounty scandal fades into history and the team's bid to win a second Super Bowl resumes.

Payton has agreed in principle to a multiyear contract extension, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The people told The Associated Press about the deal Friday night on condition of anonymity because it hasn't been signed and final details regarding the length of the contract and financial compensation are still being worked out.

``Very happy it is official,'' Brees said in an email to the AP. ``Never had any doubts.''

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - New York Jets coach Rex Ryan opened his news conference by denouncing a published report that said he would welcome being fired if owner Woody Johnson doesn't make significant personnel and coaching changes to the offense.

``There was a report that was untrue,'' Ryan said. ``The fact is, and it's simple: This is the only team that I want to coach. Period. This is my team. These are my players. I don't want to coach somebody else's players. This is the team I want to coach.''

With the Jets (6-9) out of the playoffs for the second straight season, Ryan's job status has become somewhat tenuous in his fourth year. But Ryan said he was ``mad as a hornet'' when he read the Daily News story, and immediately called Johnson to deny it.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew had surgery on his left foot and will be out at least until May.

The Jaguars (2-13) placed Jones-Drew on injured reserve two days before the season finale at Tennessee.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL is set to get back to the bargaining table with the locked-out players' association after a new contract offer from the league broke the ice between the sides.

Those talks are scheduled to take place Sunday in New York, nearly one month after negotiations broke down and pushed the sides further apart.

Without fanfare, the NHL said that it made a new proposal to the union on Thursday in an effort to end the lockout and save the delayed hockey season.

The players' association was still reviewing the document, which was several hundred pages in length, on Friday night and planned to speak to the NHL by telephone on Saturday, and then get together with the league on Sunday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas has sent home backup quarterback Case McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks on the eve of the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio for violating team rules, a person with knowledge of the suspensions told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the school wasn't releasing the names of the suspended players. The person said the players violated curfew.

Coach Mack Brown addressed the situation during a previously schedule news conference Friday and referred to a KENS-TV report that police were investigating two unidentified Texas players in an alleged sexual assault at a San Antonio hotel.

HOUSTON (AP) - D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a 34-31 comeback victory over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Cody Journell kicked a 22-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime to help Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, and Beau Blankenship scored four touchdowns to set an Independence Bowl in Ohio's 45-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

HOUSTON (AP) - Minnesota's Troy Stoudermire broke the NCAA record for career kickoff return yards on the opening kickoff against Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Stoudermire returned the kickoff 26 yards to bring his career total to 3,530 yards, surpassing the 3,517 yards Houston's Tyron Carrier amassed in a career that ended in 2011

RENO, Nevada (AP) - Nevada coach Chris Ault is retiring after 28 seasons leading the Wolf Pack and changing the way teams play offense.

Ault is the winningest coach in school history with a record of 233-109-1. He raised the program from Division II to I-AA and eventually helped it become a winner I-A.

The 66-year-old Ault won 10 conference championships and took the Wolf Pack to postseason play 16 times, including 10 bowl games in 12 FBS seasons.

One of Ault's most famous contributions came late in his career, when he invented the Pistol offense in 2005. The scheme now employed by hundreds of teams at every level of football puts the quarterback in a short shot-gun formation with a running back lined up directly behind him.

BASEBALL

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina returned to baseball after serving 7 1/2 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch.

Before taking the field in his native Venezuela to play for the Lions of Caracas, Urbina described himself as ``more mature'' and said he was ``very excited to play baseball again.''

The 38-year-old pitcher was released from prison Sunday after serving roughly half of his 14-year sentence for attempted murder during a dispute over a gun on Oct. 16, 2005.

TENNIS

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Just when Rafael Nadal had recovered from a knee injury, a stomach virus has delayed his return to tennis by a couple of months.

Nadal announced he will miss next month's Australian Open and probably won't play again until the end of February. The Spaniard said he needs time to recover from the virus that already prevented him from coming back this week at Abu Dhabi.

Nadal has been sidelined since June with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the London Olympics and U.S. Open. He had planned to rejoin the ATP tour at the Qatar Open in Doha next month before the Jan. 14-27 Australian Open, but pulled out of both.

SKIING

SEMMERING, Austria (AP) - Anna Fenninger of Austria had two near-perfect runs to win a World Cup giant slalom, while Tina Maze of Slovenia finished second to extend her lead in the overall standings.

In difficult conditions because of snowfall, Fenninger posted the fastest time in both runs on the Panorama course and finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 13.09 seconds to beat Maze by 1.10. Tessa Worley of France, who was second after the opening run, was third.

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin, who won her first World Cup race last week, was eighth for the best GS result in her career. She's now 10th in the overall standings.