Tuesday’s Sports In Brief
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) During his 95 years, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson went from fan to ”Foolish Club” member to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, enjoying every step along the way.
The NFL lost the person regarded as the league’s ”conscience” on Tuesday, when Wilson died at his home around 1:40 p.m. Bills president Russ Brandon announced Wilson’s death at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla.
His death resonated among the owners – from old to new. Wilson played an integral role in establishing the modern game, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
In 1959, Wilson founded the Bills in helping establish the upstart American Football League, whose owners were dubbed ”The Foolish Club” for having the chutzpah to challenge the NFL. Some five years later, Wilson played an influential role in the framework for the merger of the leagues.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to have surgery again following the recurrence of cancer that his wife described as aggressive and ”starting to spread.”
Doctors for the 54-year-old former Buffalo Bills star are leaning toward surgery Thursday or perhaps April 1 at a New York City hospital, brother Dan Kelly told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Kelly’s doctors in Buffalo said March 14 the cancer was found to have returned when Kelly had follow-up tests after surgery last June to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw.
NEW YORK (AP) – Baseball players and management hope to reach a new drug agreement this week that would increase initial penalties for muscle-building steroids and decrease suspensions for some positive tests caused by unintentional use, people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
For future suspensions, the deal also would eliminate the loophole allowing Alex Rodriguez to earn almost $4 million during his season-long ban, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in recent days because talks are ongoing.
The sides hope to reach an agreement by Sunday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers open the U.S. portion of the major league schedule at the San Diego Padres.
NEW YORK (AP) – Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers have knocked Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees off baseball’s payroll perch, part of an offseason spending spree that has the average salary approaching $4 million for the first time.
The Dodgers are ending the Yankees’ 15-year streak as baseball’s biggest spenders and as of Tuesday had a projected payroll of $235 million, according to study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press.
New York, which last failed to top the payroll rankings in 1998, was a distant second at $203 million. After that, it was another huge gap to Philadelphia at $180 million, followed by Boston at $163 million and Detroit at $162 million.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Navy football player Will McKamey, who has been hospitalized since collapsing at practice three days ago, has died while in a coma. He was 19.
The academy says the freshman running back from Knoxville, Tenn., died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore on Tuesday with his family by his side.
”We are all so very heartbroken by the death of Midshipman Will McKamey,” Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Mike Miller said in a statement. ”This is devastating news for his family, his classmates, his teammates and the entire Naval Academy family. We offer our deepest condolences to Will’s family, friends and shipmates in the wake of this tragedy.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Athletic director Gene Smith will receive a bonus of more than $18,000 – one week of his base salary – for Ohio State’s Logan Stieber winning the 141-pound weight class at the NCAA wrestling championships.
Smith signed a new contract this year that pays him a bonus for ”exceptional athletic achievements,” including Final Four and Bowl Championship Series appearances or titles won by individuals in any of 20 sports.
Stieber, a redshirt junior, won his third consecutive NCAA title on Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
As one of the highest-paid athletic directors in the nation, Smith has a base salary of $940,484. He could earn more than $1.5 million a year in salary and bonuses under the pact that runs through June 2020.
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Even with his surgically repaired back still nowhere near perfect, defending champion Andy Murray continued his roll at Key Biscayne. He needed only 73 minutes to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1 and set up a Wednesday quarterfinal with Novak Djokovic – their first meeting since Murray won the Wimbledon final last summer.
He’ll need to keep it that way against Djokovic, who eased past Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-5.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal topped 14th-seeded Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2. Nadal has dropped a total of nine games in six sets so far in this tournament.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is taking its men’s basketball tournament from Tobacco Road to the bright lights of New York.
A person familiar with the situation said Tuesday the league has completed a two-year deal to bring the tournament to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center starting in 2017.
The Atlantic 10 was scheduled to play its tournament there through 2017, but will move in exchange for playing an ACC/A-10 doubleheader at Barclays during the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The A-10 tournament will then return to Barclays for three years starting in 2019.
Florida coach Billy Donovan got a raise even before his team’s record-setting run through the Southeastern Conference.
Donovan signed a three-year contract extension last month that raised his average salary to $3.7 million over the final six years of the deal, which runs through the 2018-19 season.
The extension, agreed to in June, paid Donovan a $250,000 longevity bonus before March 1 and increased his base salary nearly $100,000 a season. With the bonus, Donovan will earn $3.9 million this season. He will make $3.681 million each of the next five years.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) – Oscar Pistorius will probably testify at his trial later this week, a defense attorney said Tuesday after prosecutors rested their case against the double-amputee runner who is accused of murder in his girlfriend’s death.
In a rare public comment, Pistorius said he was going through ”a tough time” as the case advanced.
”We’ve got a lot ahead of us,” he told reporters after the court adjourned.
Defense lawyer Brian Webber said Pistorius is ”likely” to take the stand to open the defense case.