UNION FIGHTING GOODELL OVER BOUNTY BANS
NEW YORK — The players union has challenged commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to suspend players who participated in the Saints' pay-for-pain scandal and wants him removed from hearing appeals.
The union filed a grievance late Thursday, one day after Goodell suspended four players who participated in bounties from 2009-11. The complaint says Goodell is prohibited from punishing players for any aspect of the case occurring before the new collective bargaining agreement was signed in August.
This week Goodell suspended Jonathan Vilma for the 2012 season and gave shorter bans to three other players over the bounty system.
SEAU CALL: A 911 call from the home of Junior Seau captures the voice of a woman horrified to find the former NFL linebacker with a gunshot wound to the chest. "My God, my boyfriend shot himself! Oh my God!" the call begins. Oceanside, Calif., police released the recording a day after the San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled the death a suicide. Seau was 43.
SENSER CASE: A family settled its wrongful death suit with former Viking Joe Senser and his wife, attorneys said. No terms were disclosed. The deal in Minneapolis came a day after Amy Senser, 45, was convicted of two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide for the Aug. 23 accident that killed Anousone Phanthavong, 38. She was driving her husband's car.
Rain cancels runs at Talladega
Rain Thursday altered NASCAR's weekend schedule at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and wiped out Friday's scheduled Nationwide series qualifying. The field was set by points for today's Aaron's 312, with Elliott Sadler starting first (Lineups, For the Record, 4C).
NHRA: Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle) led the first day of qualifying at the Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.
HOCKEY: The United States defeated France 7-2 in Helsinki, Finland, to open the world championship. Canada beat Slovakia 3-2 as Tampa Bay's Teddy Purcell had an assist. The Americans face Canada today.
TENNIS: Rafael Nadal blames the ATP for a blue clay surface at the Madrid Open. The six-time French Open champion was troubled when he practiced on it Thursday. He called the surface soft and slippery. Also, fourth-ranked Andy Murray pulled out with a back injury. … Tommy Haas upset No. 8 seed Marcos Baghdatis to reach the semifinals of the BMW Open in Munich.