In brief


Reps for NBA owners, players
to meet in bid to end lockout

With one round of cancellations behind them and more significant ones looming without a new labor deal soon, representatives for NBA players and owners will meet today and perhaps Wednesday for talks aimed at ending the lockout.

The union canceled a regional meeting with players today in Miami so its negotiators can meet with league officials in New York instead, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity.

Both sides said after meeting last week they hoped to talk again this week, but scheduling conflicts threatened to make that difficult. Union executive director Billy Hunter was supposed to travel to Miami on Monday to brief players today, and some members of both bargaining teams will be unavailable from Wednesday evening through Friday evening because of the Jewish holiday.

It’s unclear who will take part in the talks, though the expectation is it will again be small groups. The bargaining session comes just days after the league postponed training camps and canceled all 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9 through Oct. 15.

Also: The Italian team Virtus Bologna said its top offer to Kobe Bryant is a one-year contract worth $5 million.

With NBA players locked out, Virtus hopes the Los Angeles Lakers star agrees to a deal before he arrives in Italy this week for a tour arranged by one of his sponsors.

“An Italian brand well known around the world” is prepared to provide cash for the deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press, indicating the unidentified company is not Bologna’s main sponsor, Canadian Solar.

The person said the other offers include a two-month deal worth nearly $2 million, a one-month contract for $1.3 million or $900,000 for only one game.


SEC welcomes Texas A&M, has
no plans to add 14th school

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive welcomed Texas A&M as the 13th member of the league and said he doesn’t expect to add another team before the Aggies begin play next season.

The SEC announced Sunday that Texas A&M would leave the Big 12 to join the conference in July and will compete in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year. The Aggies are the first newcomers since South Carolina and Arkansas joined the conference in 1992.

SEC presidents and chancellors voted unanimously for the move on Sept. 6, but the announcement was delayed because of the possibility of legal action from Baylor and other members.

Slive said the fear of legal action was quelled when Oklahoma decided it would stay in the Big 12 and keep the remaining nine teams together. The SEC decided then to move ahead with A&M’s admission into the conference.

Also: New Mexico’s athletic director said the football team’s bad record, a lack of fan support and off-the-field events led to the firing of coach Mike Locksley.

Paul Krebs said at a news conference that he told Locksley on Sunday about his decision because he didn’t “see any good ending to this story.”

The Lobos are 0-4 this season. They were 2-26 under Locksley.

The fifth NHL Winter Classic will have the New York Rangers playing the Flyers on Jan. 2 at Philadelphia’s 45,000-seat Citizens Bank Park.

The game will not be held on its traditional Jan. 1 date because it conflicted with the final week of the NFL’s regular season.

Dan Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, will race this weekend at Kentucky Speedway as a warmup for his bid to win $5 million in the IndyCar season finale.

Wheldon will drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in both Sunday’s race at Kentucky and the Oct. 16 finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He will replace Alex Tagliani at Kentucky.

Wheldon is the only driver participating in IndyCar’s season-ending promotion, the GoDaddy Challenge.

The wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth crashed during practice for an exhibition race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

A track spokesman said Katie Kenseth was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released. Kenseth, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion, posted on Twitter that his wife suffered “a broken scapula and some bumps and bruises.”

The UNLV women’s golf team carded a 21-over par 313 to place 16th at the 18-team Dick McGuire/Branch Law Firm Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Rebels finished at 52-over 928, 41 shots behind tournament winner Baylor.

Mayko Chwen Wang shot even-par 73 in the final round to pace UNLV by tying for 26th at 7-over 226.

UNLV setter Stephanie Thelen was named Mountain West Conference volleyball player of the week after leading the Rebels to sweeps of UNR and San Diego State. Thelen, a sophomore from Atlanta, totaled 61 assists, 11 digs, 10 blocks and five kills.

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