Wednesday's Sports In Brief


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday it's his responsibility to hear directly from New England quarterback Tom Brady in his appeal of his four-game suspension in the deflated footballs case.

Goodell said he has not had time to study a request from the players' union that he recuse himself from the appeal because he has been focused on the spring owners meetings that concluded Wednesday.

He said he would study the request when he returned to New York but added that unless there is a factor that he is unaware of he will likely hear the case.

''It's my job here to make sure we're doing everything to protect the integrity of the game, protect our policies, protect our procedures,'' Goodell said. ''We have a process that has been negotiated with the union that has been in place for decades. It's my responsibility and it's something that we've had in place for a long time.''

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The NFL could approve a team move to Los Angeles by the end of the year, with a club playing in the area by the 2016 season.

NFL vice president Eric Grubman, the league's lead man on a possible return to LA, said Wednesday the window for such applications that now begins Jan. 1 could be moved ''to very late in the (upcoming) regular season.'' The 32 team owners could vote on a team's relocation ''some weeks after that.''

The team would play in an existing stadium until a new one is built.

Grubman said there were several options, though he declined to list them beyond the Rose Bowl and LA Coliseum, which was the Raiders' home before heading back to Oakland in 1995. Anaheim, where the Rams played before leaving for St. Louis that same year, also could be a temporary home for a relocated team.



OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard says he has a sprained left knee and is unsure whether he'll be able to play against Golden State in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night.

Howard sat out Wednesday's practice at Oracle Arena. He says the injury is still causing pain in his knee and he'll listen to his body before deciding whether to play. He added that he has ''no doubt'' he'll return at some point in the series.

Howard hurt his knee in a first-quarter collision with teammate Josh Smith. He came back into the game in the second quarter but lacked his usual athleticism and eventually left with less than a minute into the fourth.

The Warriors won the opener 110-106.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said he disagreed with the NBA's decision to fine him $5,000 for violating the league's anti-flopping rules against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

The league said Wednesday that the NBA MVP exaggerated contact after his 3-pointer with 3:07 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 110-106 victory on Tuesday night. Curry made the shot and fell to the court after getting bumped by defender Terrence Jones. The shot gave Golden State a 106-97 lead.

''I watched the play over, and it was a transition play, so obviously balance is not very good in that situation. I take a little contact, get some space off. I didn't even see, whoever it was, Terrence, I didn't see him, and then when I shoot it, I see somebody coming and hit me in my arm, and when you're up in the air, it was obviously a reaction to that.

''That play happens countless times. I wasn't even looking for a foul. I just reacted to the contact that was on my arm and what have you. So I don't agree with it at all.''



LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari has signed a one-year contract extension through 2022 that will pay him a total of $54 million.

The contract was signed on May 13 and a copy was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press through an open records request. It replaces the $52.5 million, seven-year agreement he signed last June.

Calipari's latest contract extension follows Tuesday's announcement that he wasn't interested in the coaching vacancy with the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans or any other job, adding that he's happy at Kentucky.

Already one of college basketball's highest-paid coaches, Calipari will receive $7 million next season with raises of $250,000 and $500,000 the next two years, respectively, before earning $8 million each over the final four seasons. He will earn a $1.6 million longevity bonus on July 1.



LONDON (AP) - FIFA came under pressure from sponsors Adidas, Coca-Cola and Visa on Wednesday to push Qatar to deliver reforms for migrant workers as the country rapidly expands to host the 2022 World Cup.

The calls from high-profile commercial backers of soccer's flagship tournament came as Amnesty International's latest report found that Qatar is failing to make substantive changes to improve living and working conditions for low-paid laborers building its highways, hotels, stadiums and skyscrapers.

FIFA maintained that the World Cup is proving to be a ''catalyst for significant change'' to labor laws in the tiny Gulf nation, which relies on more than a million guest workers, many of them drawn from South Asian nations including India and Nepal.

But the statement from credit card company Visa is the strongest public expression of unease yet from a FIFA sponsor about the plight of workers in the tiny oil and natural gas-rich country.



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Mayor Eduardo Paes has expressed confidence in the security arrangements for next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a day after a cyclist was stabbed to death near the main venue for rowing and canoeing at South America's first games.

Paes said Wednesday that crime is a social problem and ''not an issue about the Olympics.'' He added that it is an issue about the people of Rio ''and the way we conduct our lives.''

Paes was speaking at Rio's Olympic headquarters, where top members of the International Olympic Committee began two days of meetings to examine the city's readiness to host the games.

IOC officials began their meeting as a brief labor strike has prevented work at some Olympic venues and also infrastructure projects being built for the Olympics.

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