Weekend Sports In Brief
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) An iconic Nike logo of a leaping Michael Jordan that the company has used to market billions of dollars of merchandise didn’t violate the copyright of an earlier photograph of the basketball star, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The logo was based on a photograph taken by someone Nike hired. That photo was ”obviously inspired” by a 1984 photo by Jacobus Rentmeester, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. But the court in a 2-1 decision said the photos are unmistakably different in key elements.
Both show Jordan leaping with his legs extended outward toward a basketball hoop with a ball above his head.
Nike used its photo for the ”Jumpman” logo – a silhouetted image of Jordan in the leaping pose in its photograph.
Rentmeester photographed Jordan while he played at the University of North Carolina. His photograph appeared in Life Magazine in a photo essay featuring U.S. athletes competing in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
An email to a law firm representing Rentmeester wasn’t immediately returned.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Next month’s NIT games will use experimental rules that include an extended 3-point line, a wider free-throw lane and 10-minute quarters instead of 20-minute halves.
The NCAA announced the changes Tuesday.
The 3-point arc will move to roughly 22 feet, which is used by FIBA for international competition. The lane will expand from 12 feet to the NBA’s 16 feet.
Also, the shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after offensive rebounds instead of the full 30 seconds.
The NCAA says in its release that officials will review whether widened lanes ”reduce physicality and create more driving opportunities,” as well as the impact of the rule changes on ”the pace and flow of the game.”
The NIT begins March 13 and ends March 29 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
MADRID (AP) – Enrique Castro ”Quini,” the former Spain striker who played for Barcelona and thrived in a long career with Sporting Gijon, has died of a heart attack. He was 68.
Sporting said Castro collapsed while walking near his house in the northern city of Gijon.
Known as ”The Wizard,” Castro played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups with Spain.
His career was also notable for a kidnapping incident during his first year with Barcelona, when he was abducted at gunpoint after a home game, spending 25 days in captivity before being rescued by police.
Castro also survived throat cancer that required surgery in 2008.
He played for Barcelona until 1984, making 178 appearances and winning five titles with the Catalan club.
Barcelona said Castro was ”a synonym for goals” and ”one of the best strikers in Europe in his time.”
He played with Sporting from 1968 until 1980, and again after leaving Barcelona to end his career with more than 400 appearances for the club.
The Spanish league said there will be a minute of silence to honor Castro in matches on Wednesday and Thursday.
Castro was the first division’s leading scorer five times.
NEW YORK (AP) – Papa John’s is ending its recently stormy role as an official sponsor of the NFL.
Officials at the pizza chain said Tuesday that the two sides agreed to end the relationship, which became strained last year when its founder John Schnatter criticized NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players.
But the company based in Louisville, Kentucky, is not divorcing itself from the league altogether. It says instead it will focus its football marketing efforts on 22 of the league’s 32 teams and its star players.
Schnatter blamed slowing sales growth at Papa John’s on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. The company later apologized for the remarks and Schnatter stepped down as CEO at the end of last year.