Thursday's Sports In Brief

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit Photo:

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit


NEW YORK (AP) Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension for his role in the deflated footballs scandal.

The NFL told the players' union on Friday that Goodell will not recuse himself from what the commissioner considers his responsibility of hearing the appeal, according to several people with knowledge of the decision. Those people spoke on condition of anonymity because Goodell's decision has not been announced publicly.

The union asked Goodell to withdraw from that role because it said he lacked impartiality and that Goodell would be called as a witness.

No date has been set for the appeal.

Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season after a league-sanctioned report by attorney Ted Wells found the New England quarterback ''at least generally aware'' of a scheme to illegally deflate

MONTREAL (AP) - Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, signed a two-year contract Friday with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football league.

General manager Jim Popp called Sam's sexuality a nonissue.

''Michael Sam is a very good football player, and that's the reason we signed him,'' Popp said. ''He's an outstanding pass rusher.''

Sam came out before last year's draft. He was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams and cut in training camp. The Dallas Cowboys signed him to their practice squad but released him in October. Sam then made another unsuccessful attempt at an NFL job at this year's veterans combine.

''I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal,'' Sam said in a statement.



ATLANTA (AP) - Milwaukee Brewers reliever Will Smith was suspended on Friday for eight games for having a foreign substance on his pitching arm during a game at Atlanta.

Major League Baseball said Smith plans to appeal, so the penalty is on hold. Smith will be available for Friday night's game at the Braves.

Smith, a left-hander, was ejected for having rosin and sunscreen on his right forearm in the seventh inning of Thursday night's 10-1 loss to the Braves. He said after the game he put the substance on his forearm before warming up in the bullpen on a brisk night. He expressed regret for not wiping it off before entering the game.

Smith said he uses the substances to help him feel the ball better.

''That's it. It's the grip,'' he said. ''It's not going to spin more. You're not going to throw harder. You've got what you got.''

NEW YORK (AP) - A minor league team of the Tampa Bay Rays has canceled an ''A-Rod Juice Box'' promotion that barbed slugger Alex Rodriguez after a complaint by the New York Yankees.

The Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League had planned the giveaway to the first 500 fans Friday night. The writing on the boxes said ''100% percent juiced'' with side effects that included ''tainted records, inflated ego, omission from the Hall of Fame, and more!''

The Yankees spoke to Major League Baseball, the Rays and the FSL after learning of the promotion. Rodriguez, fourth on the career home run list, missed the 2014 season while serving a drug suspension and returned to the Yankees this year.

The Stone Crabs wiped out the event and issued an apology for the ''insensitive nature'' of the promotion, saying ''we in no way meant any ill intent or to offend anyone.''



GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Isiah Thomas said he hasn't spoken with New York Knicks President Phil Jackson since joining the Liberty as a consultant in February.

Thomas didn't reject the notion that someday he could return to the NBA. The new president of the New York Liberty was introduced Thursday after being rehired by Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan.

''Because of the perception, I haven't,'' said Thomas about talking to Jackson ''I think all of us in this building, we all share the same building, we all root for each other. We all want each other to do well. We all want each other to win.''

Thomas added, ''you never know where life will take you,'' when asked if he would entertain coming back to the league.

His last foray in the NBA wasn't too successful as president of the Knicks from 2003-08, with the team reaching the playoffs once. He coached the Knicks from 2006-08 before being fired.



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Will Power led the final practice session for the Indianapolis 500 in a session that was dominated by Chevrolet.

Power turned a fast lap at 229.020 mph in Friday's final session to put Team Penske on top of the leaderboard. He was followed by Scott Dixon, who turned a lap at 228.585, and then Tony Kanaan as Chip Ganassi Racing drivers went second and third.

Penske was also represented by Simon Pagenaud, who was fourth fastest.

Takuma Sato was fifth and the fastest Honda, though Chevrolet drivers took eight of the top 10 spots.

Penske and Ganassi both appear to be the favorites for Sunday's race and dominated the top 10. Ganassi had Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam in sixth and seventh, while Helio Castroneves was 10th for Penske.

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