NEW YORK (AP) If time spent at the bargaining table indicates progress, the NHL and the locked-out players' association finally could be on their way to making a deal to get hockey back on the ice.
A second straight day of marathon negotiations took place Wednesday, when the two sides spent more than five hours hammering away at the most contentious issues separating them. Coupled with the more than seven hours they spent negotiating on Tuesday, owners and players have been together about 13 hours and are ready to get back to it on Thursday.
Neither side tipped its hand about what was discussed or if the talks were successful, and the location of the meetings is still being kept secret.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Darrell Royal, the former Texas football coach known as much for his folksy, simplistic approach to life as for his creative wishbone offenses and two national championships, died. He was 88.
University of Texas spokesman Nick Voinis confirmed Royal's death. Royal had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.
Royal, who also starred as a defensive back and quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners, didn't have a single losing season in his 23 years as a head coach at Texas, Mississippi State and Washington. During his 20 years at Texas (1957-1976), his teams boasted a 167-47-5 record - the best mark in the nation during that period.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California says it has fired a student manager who intentionally deflated game footballs below NCAA-mandated pressure levels for the Trojans' loss to Oregon last week.
USC announced the dismissal of the unnamed student manager on its website late Wednesday night.
The school says it was reprimanded and fined by the Pac-12.
Underinflated footballs are thought to be easier to catch and throw. The Ducks had little trouble throwing or catching throughout their 62-51 win, the worst defensive performance in USC history.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck has joined the shaved squad, too.
Nearly three dozen players on the Indianapolis Colts have shaved their heads in a show of support for head coach Chuck Pagano, who is undergoing treatment for a form of leukemia.
Luck became a new member of the no-hair club Wednesday morning. Players and coaches were not available for comment because they were headed to Jacksonville, but a team spokesman confirmed that Luck will indeed look quite different when he takes off his helmet Thursday night.
``Buzzed heads and orange locks in honor of Chuck,'' team owner Jim Irsay tweeted. He also included a link to a photo showing many of the players who had gotten buzzed.
Reggie Wayne wore orange gloves against Green Bay, the ribbon color used to raise awareness for leukemia.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The NFL fined the San Diego Chargers $20,000 because a member of the equipment staff failed to immediately surrender towels when ordered to do so by a game official against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 15.
The NFL also said in a statement that after investigating the Chargers' use of towels that included an adhesive substance, it was determined that San Diego did not violate any rules.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Rex Ryan has found the positive side of being voted the most overrated coach in the NFL.
A poll of 103 players in The Sporting News had Ryan with 35 votes, beating New England's Bill Belichick, who had 16.
``My first thought was I looked and saw who was second,'' the New York Jets coach joked Wednesday. ``Hey, I finally beat Belichick. I got him. I knew it would take time, but I finally got him.''
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) - In between trade talks and early negotiations with free agents, baseball general managers considered some wide-ranging changes that include broader use of instant replay by umpires, changed roster limits for September and protective headgear for pitchers.
On the first day of the GM's annual three-day session, the Colorado Rockies hired Walt Weiss as manager Wednesday and the New York Mets announced they had reached an agreement to terminate outfielder Jason Bay's contract with one guaranteed season remaining. The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a deal to hire Mark McGwire to be their first base coach.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said he'd listen to trade offers for two-time All-Star right fielder Justin Upton but thought a swap was not likely. And Texas GM Jon Daniels said the Rangers remained interested in re-signing All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton.
NEW YORK (AP) - Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is one of five finalists for the AL MVP award in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The Detroit third baseman is joined by Texas' Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton, the New York Yankees' Robinson Cano, and Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout, who also is one of three nominees for AL Rookie of the Year.
For the first time, the BBWAA announced finalists for its awards. The winners will be revealed next week live on the MLB Network, beginning Monday with the two rookies of the year and concluding Thursday with the MVPs.
NEW YORK (AP) - San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal was suspended for 50 games because of a positive test for testosterone, with the ban set to begin at the start of next season.
Grandal made his big league debut this year. He hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games. He turns 24 on Thursday.
Oscar Robertson's jersey from the 1960 Olympics and his 1964 NBA MVP trophy are among the items available in an online basketball auction.
Memorabilia from fellow Hall of Famers David Thompson and Sam Jones also will be included in SCP's auction that begins Nov. 14.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana needs to find a long-term replacement for Danny Granger.
Team officials announced Wednesday that the one-time All-Star forward is expected to miss up to three months after receiving an injection in his left knee to treat patellar tendinosis.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was arraigned and released on bail at a brief court appearance on charges he lied about and concealed child sex abuse allegations involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier, accompanied by his wife, signed paperwork after his bail was set at $125,000, but he was not required to post any of that amount. He was ordered to forfeit his passport and be fingerprinted. He didn't enter a plea.
LONDON (AP) - In what is shaping up to be the new top rivalry in tennis, Novak Djokovic held off Andy Murray at the ATP finals.
The top-ranked Serb got the big break when he needed it late in the third set and beat Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 at the O2 Arena.
Despite the win, Djokovic still hasn't advanced to the semifinals at the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world. Tomas Berdych beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in the late Group B match, keeping all four players alive in the tournament.
On Friday, Djokovic will face Berdych, while Murray will take on Tsonga.
ROME (AP) - Barcelona lost for the first time since August, and Manchester United and Chelsea needed late goals to win in a wild night of Champions League action.
Barcelona had been unbeaten in 12 matches since the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid before falling 2-1 at Celtic, which is two points behind the Spanish power with two matches remaining.
United came back from a goal down to beat Braga 3-1 and qualify for the second round in a match that was stopped briefly because of a light outage.
Defending champion Chelsea needed a header from Victor Moses four minutes into injury time to beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Robbie Keane scored two goals and Mike Magee added another as the Los Angeles Galaxy beat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory in the teams' Western Conference semifinal series.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - The Houston Dynamo held off Sporting Kansas City after Seth Sinovic scored his first career goal in the second half, falling 1-0 on Wednesday night but advancing to the Eastern Conference finals with a 2-1 aggregate-goal result.
CHORLEY, England (AP) - Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins was recovering in hospital Wednesday after being hit by a car while riding his bike in northern England.
Team Sky said Wiggins will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation, but that ``the injuries he sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.''
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Carmen Basilio, the genial onion farmer's son who wrested the world middleweight boxing crown from Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957 and lost an equally epic, razor-edge rematch six months later, died Wednesday at age 85.
Edward Brophy, executive director of the Boxing Hall of Fame in upstate New York, said Basilio died at a Rochester hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Imitating Cam Newton's Superman celebration caused one Charlotte prep football player to be ejected from a state playoff game.
West Mecklenburg quarterback Jalan McClendon was kicked out of last Friday's 45-10 win over Hough High in the first round of the state 4AA playoffs after pretending to rip open his jersey following a touchdown run like Newton, Carolina's popular second-year quarterback.