Three days and 30 hours' worth of talks ended on a nasty note in NBA labor negotiations. And only one thing seemed fairly certain: more games were likely to be cut. Possibly even the season.
Players insist that's the outcome owners wanted all along _ "preordained," as union executive director Billy Hunter said.
After 30 hours of negotiations before a federal mediator, the sides remained divided over two main issues _ the division of revenues and the structure of the salary cap system.
Without a deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern, who missed Thursday's session with the flu, almost certainly will decide more games must be dropped.
The season was supposed to begin Nov. 1, but all games through Nov. 14 _ 100 in total _ already have been scrapped, costing players about $170 million in salaries.
Stern said previously that games through Christmas were in jeopardy without a deal this week. Silver said the labor committee would speak with Stern on Friday about the future schedule, though no further cancellations are expected yet.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Four and a half months after taking the job, Luke Fickell finally has a contract.
Ohio State is paying its interim head coach $775,000 for guiding the football program through a season of suspensions, NCAA investigations and looming penalties.
The contract, released by the university, makes it very clear that Fickell is not guaranteed a job after the agreement ends Jan. 31, 2012.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who did not immediately return a call requesting comment, has said that Fickell will be a candidate for the permanent job but that the school will do a nationwide search to find its next head coach. Rumors of potential candidates have been circulating ever since 10-year coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The WBC has returned the light heavyweight championship to Bernard Hopkins after declaring his bout with Chad Dawson a technical draw.
Hopkins was stopped for the first time in his career Saturday night in bizarre fashion when Dawson lifted him and tossed him to the canvas late in the second round, leaving the 46-year-old champion with a dislocated joint in his shoulder. Dawson claimed the WBC light heavyweight title from Hopkins on a second-round TKO in Los Angeles.
The WBC reviewed video of the fight and unanimously declared that the action reflects a clear intentional lifting the body followed with a push by Dawson to Hopkins that made him fall on his left side with part of his body out of the ropes.
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Boston's David Ortiz has won this year's Roberto Clemente award, given annually to a major league player who gives back through community service and excels on the field.
Ortiz is the second straight Red Sox player to win the honor, announced before Game 2 of the World Series. Pitcher Tim Wakefield won last year.
Clemente was a Hall of Fame right fielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while trying to deliver food and relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) _ NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to leaders of a congressional committee outlining the league's plans for collecting and saving blood samples of players in hopes of eventually testing for human growth hormone.
In the letter to California Rep. Darrell Issa and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Control, Goodell said specimens would not be analyzed and players would not be subject to disciplinary proceedings until remaining issues about the testing regimen are resolved. Until that time, blood samples would be stored.
The NFL and the players agreed to begin blood testing for HGH as part of their new collective bargaining agreement reached in late July _ but only if the union agreed to the methods, which it has yet to do.
BOSTON (AP) _ Liverpool owner John Henry, who also owns baseball's Boston Red Sox, denied that foreign owners in the English Premier League want to end the relegation and promotion system.
Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers' Association, said this week that some of the American and Asian owners of Premier League teams have been talking about scrapping the system that sends the bottom three teams to the second-tier League Championship.
But Henry told The Associated Press it was not discussed.
Half of the Premier League's 20 teams are foreign-owned. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United and Sunderland are owned by Americans, while Blackburn is under Indian ownership and Queens Park Rangers has Malaysian backers.
PARIS (AP) _ American cyclist Floyd Landis and one of his former coaches went on trial in absentia over allegations they spearheaded a plot to hack into an anti-doping laboratory's computers.
French court officials say Landis _ who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping _ and former manager Arnie Baker never replied to a summons for the Paris trial.
They are among five defendants on trial following a sweeping French probe into alleged hacking based on claims from the Chatenay-Malabry anti-doping lab over intrusions into its computer system.