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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
CONCORD ó NASCAR has issued four-week suspensions to the crew chiefs and car chiefs for Martin Truex Jr., David Reutimann and Bobby Labonte.
Chad Johnson, Rodney Childers and Frank Kerr also were fined $50,000 each, and the drivers docked 25 points apiece. The penalties are from illegal windshields discovered during Friday inspection at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR says they did not have the appropriate thickness.
Also suspended were car chiefs Steve Channing, Raymond Fox and Anthony Lunders.
The windshields were never used in competition.
The teams say they will not appeal the penalties.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
BATON ROUGE, La. ó LSU star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, leading rusher Spencer Ware and defensive back Tharold Simon returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since being suspended a week ago for violating the team’s drug policy.
The three were barred from Tiger Stadium for No. 1 LSU’s 45-10 victory over Auburn last weekend, but coach Les Miles said they should be on the field when the unbeaten Tigers visit second-ranked Alabama on Nov. 5 in what has become one of the most anticipated games of the college football season.
ATHLETESí PAY
INDIANAPOLIS ó More than 300 major college football and men’s basketball players are telling the NCAA and college presidents they want a cut of ever-increasing TV sports revenue to fatten scholarships and cover all the costs of getting a degree, with athletes picking up still more grant money when they graduate.
The players from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA have signed a petition asking the NCAA to “realize its mission to educate and protect us with integrity.” The National College Players Association, an athletes’ advocacy group, provided The Associated Press with copies of the document. Players started sending the petition to the NCAA last week.
NBA
NEW YORK ó The NBA players’ association, not Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, proposed the elimination of the salary cap during negotiations aimed at ending months of labor strife, a league official said Tuesday.
NBA senior vice president Mike Bass said union executive director Billy Hunter made “several misstatements” during an hour-long podcast with ESPN.com on Monday. Among them was the revelation of the salary cap plan, which Bass said was actually an exception to the cap, not the elimination of it.
NHL
RALEIGH ó Jason Spezza beat Cam Ward between the pads on the second round of the shootout, giving the Senators a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Ottawa led 2-0 with five minutes to play before late goals from Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner forced extra play.
The win, Ottawaís third straight, stopped the Senators’ seven-game losing streak in Raleigh. Cam Ward had 26 saves for the Hurricanes. Skinner has four goals and 10 points.
Jackets 4, Red Wings 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó James Wisniewski made his long-awaited Columbus debut after serving an eight-game suspension, and rookie Ryan Johansen scored his first career goal and added an assist to give the Blue Jackets their first win of the season, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings.
R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist, rookie John Moore scored his first NHL goal and Derek MacKenzie had one into an empty net for Columbus, which entered as the only winless club at 0-7-1, the worst start in team history.
Penguins 3, Islanders 0
UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó Pascal Dupuis and Richard Park had goals, and Marc-Andre Fleury was sharp in making 33 saves in his 20th NHL shutout as the Penguins earned their fourth straight win by beating the Islanders.
Star center Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins’ depleted lineup after missing five games because of his troublesome right knee, but Pittsburgh didn’t need any offense from him to send the Islanders to their third straight loss.
Lightning 4, Sabres 3
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Mathieu Garon made 36 saves to help lift the Lightning to a sweep of their home-and-home series.

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