Headlines from around the world in sports
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, file photo, New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham poses for pictures in New York. An arbitrator has sided with the Saints in ruling that Graham can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag designation. The ruling Wednesday, July 2, 2014, by Stephen Burbank is setback for Graham, agent Jimmy Sexton and the NFL Players Association, who'd filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Nets reach deal with Hollins to become coach
NEW YORK – The Brooklyn Nets reached an agreement in principle yesterday with Lionel Hollins to become their coach, moving quickly after the departure of Jason Kidd.
The deal with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach comes just two days after they made a trade with Milwaukee to allow Kidd out of his contract so the Bucks could hire him.
The Nets then met with Hollins on Monday night and again Tuesday before agreeing to the deal. Terms were not disclosed.
Hollins led Memphis to 56 victories and the 2013 Western Conference finals before he and the Grizzlies parted ways. The Nets considered him last year after firing P.J. Carlesimo before hiring Kidd.
Arbitrator rules Saints’ Graham is a tight end
NEW ORLEANS – An arbitrator sided with the New Orleans Saints in ruling that Jimmy Graham can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag designation.
The ruling yesterday by Stephen Burbank is a setback for Graham, agent Jimmy Sexton and the NFL Players Association, who’d filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag. Graham’s case is being closely watched around the league because it could set a precedent for negotiations involving players who fill diverse roles in their team’s offensive or defensive schemes. For example, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 defensive scheme could argue their right to receive the higher defensive end tag.
NFL franchise tags, which allow teams to keep one prized free agent, were set this year at $7 million for tight ends and $12.3 million for receivers.
Graham has skipped Saints offseason practices while holding out for a new, long-term contract. A favorable ruling would have further enhanced negotiating leverage for Graham, who last season led the Saints with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Bills LB Alonso has torn left knee ligament
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Bills starting linebacker Kiko Alonso tore a ligament in his left knee and is expected to miss the entire season.
Alonso will be scheduled to have surgery, General Manager Doug Whaley said in a statement released by the team yesterday, a day after Alonso was hurt while working out in Oregon.
The injury to Alonso is a significant blow to the Bills before they even open training camp on July 20.
Alonso was an NFL defensive rookie of the year contender last season after being drafted in the second round out of Oregon. He led Buffalo with 159 tackles and two fumble recoveries and tied for the team lead with four interceptions while barely missing a snap in playing all 16 games.
Smith signs $13 million deal with Padres
SAN DIEGO – Outfielder Seth Smith signed a $13 million contract extension through 2016 after being told by ownership that it is committed to winning.
The deal was announced before yesterday’s game against Cincinnati. It had been in the works since before General Manager Josh Byrnes was fired on June 22 and it came together in the last few days.
Smith is making $4.5 million this year. He was obtained in an offseason trade with Oakland.
FIFA asks magazine for proof of match-fixing
RIO DE JANEIRO – FIFA asked a German magazine to provide details of all its conversations with convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal to prove its claim that a World Cup game could have been fixed.
FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said in a statement read out at a daily briefing in Rio de Janeiro yesterday that the allegations “put the integrity of FIFA World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation.”
Der Spiegel reported that Perumal correctly predicted before the game that Cameroon would lose, 4-0, to Croatia and have a player sent off in the first half.
Mutschke said FIFA has monitored all 56 World Cup games so far and has “no indication of any match manipulation on the betting market.”
Perumal denied that he predicted details of the game.
FIFA to consider allowing 4th sub in extra time
RIO DE JANEIRO – FIFA’s coaching advisers want to let teams use a fourth substitute in extra time at the next World Cup.
Gerard Houllier, member of FIFA’s technical study group, said “that’s an idea that we will put” to soccer’s rules-making panel, which has previously rejected it.
Houllier, a former France coach, says: “It’s a good idea. Only in extra time. Maybe if someone is injured, why not?”
The former France coach said changing the rules could see fewer players struggle with muscle cramps in high-intensity matches.
Up to three replacements are allowed, even when knockout matches go to 30 extra minutes after scores are level in regulation time.
Houllier said substitutes have brought “fresh legs and attitude” at this World Cup. The 29 goals scored by substitutes is a World Cup record.