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Published Jun. 21, 2012


NEW ORLEANS - Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt says evidence recently made public in the NFL's bounty investigation falsely portrays him pledging $5,000 for knocking then-Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC title game.

In a statement issued by the Saints on Wednesday, Vitt said he has never pledged money for any type of performance incentives, let alone the cash-for-hits bounty program the NFL says the Saints ran from 2009-11 under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Vitt, who has been suspended for the first six games of the season in connection with the league's investigation, said he told commissioner Roger Goodell he was willing to take a lie detector test.

Plaxico eyes Panthers: Free agent receiver Plaxico Burress, 34,said in a radio interview this week that he wants to play for the Panthers next season.

et cetera

Tennis: Five-time champion Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters are unseeded for Wimbledon for the first time in more than a decade. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic heads the men's list, and Maria Sharapova tops the women's seedings for the first time. The tournament starts Monday. ... Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals at the Eastbourne Championships in England, needing eight match points to overpower Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).

Olympics:Kristian Ipsen topped the 3-meter springboard preliminaries at the U.S. diving trials in Federal Way, Wash. Brandon native Chris Colwill was third. ... Brad Snyder qualified Sunday for the Paralympic Games and is a contender to win gold in the 100-meter freestyle. The Navy lieutenant and former St. Petersburg Northeast High swimmer was blinded by an explosion in Afghanistan last year.

Times wires