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Lockout back on after ruling

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The NFL lockout is back.

The league announced the news late Friday, hours after an appeals court victory. League spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press that teams "have been told that the prior lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately."

Earlier Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the NFL's request for a temporary stay of the injunction lifting the 45-day lockout. Arguments will be heard on whether that order from a federal judge in Minnesota should be overturned altogether.

"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for a stay pending appeal," the appeals court said.

Just hours earlier, when the lockout was lifted, dozens if not hundreds of players returned to their teams to meet with coaches, work out and have a peek at playbooks.

Now team facilities, including weight rooms and meeting rooms, will be closed again.

In Tampa, players had been again welcomed to One Buc Place before the temporary stay. Players union team rep Jeff Faine said he held several conversations with offensive coaches, catching up after having not been in contact with them since the lockout was put in place in March. The club was planning to meet with players early next week to plot a course of action, but those plans are now on hold.

Before the lockout restarted, the Vikings hosted first-round draft pick and former Florida State star Christian Ponder on Friday and spent the day trying to get him up to speed.

"When it was not a lockout, they were allowed to spend time here to get (playbooks)," vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said. "Now that the lockout's back in, he'll probably be leaving here shortly."

The 2-1 decision from a panel of the 8th Circuit was issued by Judges Steven Colloton, Kermit Bye and Duane Benton. It included Bye's long dissent.

"The NFL has not persuaded me this is the type of emergency situation which justifies the grant of a temporary stay of the district court's order pending our decision on a motion for a stay itself," Bye wrote. "If we ultimately grant the motion for a stay, the NFL can easily re-establish its lockout."

Bye also said the league hadn't shown proof it would suffer irreparable harm without a lockout in place.

The ruling was the first victory for the NFL in the labor fight and came from a venue considered more conservative and favorable to businesses than the federal courts in Minnesota, where the collective bargaining system was established in the early 1990s.

Jim Quinn, the lead attorney for the players, downplayed Friday's order.

"Routine grant of stay and totally expected," he said. "The only surprise is that Judge Bye is so strongly against giving them even a tiny stay because the league obviously can't show it is necessary."

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said he does not foresee labor peace coming soon: "I do believe there is a compromise that gets a deal done," he said. "But at this point I don't think the sides are ready to discuss that. And it takes both parties."

DUERSON STUDY: The Boston University center that studies brain injuries to professional athletes says it will release the findings on former player Dave Duerson on Monday. Duerson committed suicide in February at age 50, shooting himself in the chest. He left behind a request to have his brain studied.

OBITUARY: Garland Gregory, a former 49ers offensive line star and member of the original 1946 team, died Friday. He was 92.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Lockout back on after ruling 04/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:22am]
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