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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
NEW YORK ó NBA owners have their priorities, and playing games isnít first on that list.
Instead, the league is looking beyond this month ó and maybe beyond this season, if thatís what it takes ó to implement an extreme financial makeover after years of sizeable losses. The goal, in the words of Spurs owner Peter Holt, ěan opportunity to make a few bucks.î
Owners are determined to reshape the league by creating a system like the NFL or NHL, where spending is capped and small-market teams truly can compete with the big boys. But reforming the NHLís financial structure required a lengthy lockout, wiping out the entire 2004-05 season. And the NFL is making money, not losing it.
After NBA labor talks broke down Thursday night, Holt was asked if owners might be willing to sit out a year to get the changes they crave.
ěThe competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we donít want to lose the season, I donít think the NHL did either. It ended up happening,î said Holt, chairman of the ownersí labor relations committee. ěThere are certain things that we feel we must have.î
SERIES GRIDLOCK
ARLINGTON, Tex. ó The Rangers and their NFL neighbors, the Cowboys, were doing all they could to spread the word to people with tickets on Sunday ó leave early. Like, now.
The Cowboys kicked off at 3:15 p.m. Sunday against, of all teams, the St. Louis Rams at their stadium, just a few blocks from the Rangers’ ballpark. The Rangers and Cardinals began Game 4 of their series at 7:05 p.m.
Because of the proximity of the venues, each team uses the others’ parking lots. They couldnít this time, and were expecting a traffic nightmare of roughly 80,000 football fans leaving around the time 50,000 baseball fans arrived.
BROOKS STATUE
BALTIMORE ó A statue of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson has been unveiled outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Robinson and his wife Connie joined hundreds of fans at a ceremony Saturday to unveil the 9-foot-tall bronze statue on the plaza between Washington Boulevard and Russell Street.
SOCCER ON TV
ZURICH ó FIFA cashed in on a $1.2 billion bonanza from United States broadcasters, striking World Cup deals with Fox, Telemundo and Spanish language radio.
Fox won the English-language U.S. television rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, outbidding incumbent ESPN and NBC for soccer’s showpiece tournament.
Fox agreed to pay around $425 million for the two-tournament package.
BROKEN NECK
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Louisville coach Charlie Strong says cornerback Anthony Conner broke his neck when his head hit the knee of Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu last week but he isn’t paralyzed.
Conner was carted off the field after going down on the first play of the second quarter, and team officials said a few minutes later that the senior was conscious with feeling in his extremities.

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