NFL scolds Jets but says they didn’t touch female reporter
The NFL chastised the New York Jets on Friday for unprofessional conduct but found no evidence that a female TV reporter was "bumped, touched, brushed against or otherwise subjected to any physical contact" by any member of the team or coaching staff.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said while the "conduct of the Jets clearly should have been better," team owner Woody Johnson and his staff acted promptly to correct the situation that arose last weekend when TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz said she felt uncomfortable in the team’s locker room.
Goodell said that, as a result of the incident, the league will implement a training program for all 32 teams on proper conduct in the workplace and that the program would be underwritten by Johnson, who personally apologized to Sainz. The NFL came to its conclusion after interviewing 17 people who were present — including Sainz — when she visited practice on assignment for her Mexican TV network.
Also: Players for four NFL teams have taken a key step in their looming fight with the league over pay — a fight that might include a lockout next year.
Carl Francis, a spokesman for the NFL Players Association, said Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans and Philadelphia have voted unanimously to decertify the union. He said union leaders were still collecting voting cards from other teams.
Decertification would strip the union of its collective bargaining rights on behalf of the players, so the move might seem counter-intuitive. But because antitrust laws exempt NFL owners from being sued by unions that are negotiating collective bargaining agreements, decertification would in essence eliminate the union and allow players to sue the NFL in the event of a lockout — giving them potential leverage in their dispute with the owners.
The average ticket prices for NFL games increased 4.5 percent this year to $76.47, up from a 3.9 percent hike last season, according to the Team Marketing Report.
The New York Giants and Jets had the steepest increases after moving into the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Jets nonpremium tickets went up 31.8 percent to $114.64 on average, and Giants tickets rose 26 percent to $111.69.
New England’s prices stayed flat, but it still had the highest average cost — $117.84. Twenty-one of the 32 teams kept their average ticket cost the same or lowered it.
Michael Vick will start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, his first start since Dec. 31, 2006. Kevin Kolb will miss the game because of a concussion he sustained in a season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Cleveland quarterback Jake Delhomme did not practice for the third straight day because of an ankle injury, increasing the likelihood that backup Seneca Wallace will start the Browns’ home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NCAA rejected the appeal of Georgia star receiver A.J. Green, letting stand a four-game suspension he received for selling an Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 to a person deemed to be an agent. Green missed the team’s first two games and will miss today’s home game against No. 12 Arkansas and next week’s at Mississippi State. He already agreed to repay the $1,000 to charity.
Fish wins, leads U.S. to 1-1 tie with Colombia in Davis Cup
The United States and Colombia are tied 1-1 after the first day of their Davis Cup playoff match in Bogota, Colombia. Mardy Fish defeated Alejandro Falla 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead, but Sam Querrey lost to Santiago Giraldo, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5.
After a doubles match today, the competition will conclude Sunday with reverse singles, with the winner getting a spot in the World Group.
Also: Welterweight Freddy Hernandez (29-1, 20 knockouts) stopped Mike Anchondo (30-3) with a fourth-round technical knockout on a boxing card at Buffalo Bill’s.
In the co-feature, Luis Franco (7-0) scored a unanimous decision over Wilton Hilario (12-2-1) in an eight-round super featherweight bout.
Penn State announced it will upgrade the men’s and women’s club hockey teams to Division I status, starting in the 2012-13 season. The school will receive an $88 million donation — the largest private gift in Penn State history — to fund a new multipurpose arena and help upgrade the men’s program.
Cory McClenathan led the Top Fuel field during the first day of qualifying in the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Concord, N.C., piloting his dragster to a pass of 3.831 seconds at a track-record 321.12 mph. Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also led their divisions in the second of six events in the Countdown to the Championship.
England’s John Parry shot a 5-under-par 67 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg. He is at 8-under 136.