Sports briefs for Sept. 14

Posted Sept. 14, 2012, at 6:26 p.m.

NHL, union have contact, but no talks scheduled

NEW YORK — With a lockout drawing ever closer, the NHL and the players’ union are in touch with each other after a day of internal meetings.

But no new negotiating sessions are scheduled for Friday, one day before Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he will lock out the players. This would be the NHL’s fourth work stoppage since 1992.

On Thursday night, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke to special counsel Steve Fehr, the brother of union executive director Donald Fehr. They did not, however, discuss a possible return to the bargaining table.

The contract expires at midnight EDT on Saturday. Bettman has said the season won’t start without a new deal. Training camps are to open Sept. 21, and the season is to begin Oct. 11.

“We have been clear that the collective bargaining agreement, upon its expiration, needs to have a successful agreement for us to move forward,” Bettman said Thursday. “The league is not in a position, not willing to move forward with another season under the status quo.”

The players turned out in force just a few blocks away at another midtown Manhattan hotel. Solidarity was evident, but optimism wasn’t. The last labor stoppage caused the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season, a lockout that ended only when players accepted a salary cap and a 24 percent rollback of salaries.

Spain sweeps US in singles for 2-0 Davis Cup lead

GIJON, Spain — Even without facing Rafael Nadal, the United States is on the brink of elimination by the clay-court masters from Spain.

Sam Querrey and John Isner lost their opening singles matches Friday, giving the defending champions a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup semifinals.

David Ferrer put the hosts ahead in the best-of-five series with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Querrey. Nicolas Almagro beat Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to leave Spain one point from its fourth final in five years.

Almagro overcame 25 aces from Isner, who saved three match points before hitting a forehand long.

The U.S. must win the doubles match Saturday to stay in the series, with brothers Mike and Bob Bryan facing Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. The Bryan twins are 4-0 when the U.S. has faced a 2-0 deficit, and 5-0 against Spain.

Reverse singles are Sunday. Spain is playing without injured Rafael Nadal, and the U.S. is without Andy Roddick, who retired after the U.S. Open.

High wind wipes out play in Women’s British Open

HOYLAKE, England — Play was called off for the day at the Women’s British Open on Friday because of strong wind that disrupted the second round so badly that organizers declared early scores “null and void.”

With wind gusting to 60 mph at Royal Liverpool, players struggled to keep the ball on the tees and greens. Play was suspended at 8:25 a.m. with 36 players on the course and the round was called off at 2 p.m.

“I think it’s only the right thing to do,” Norwegian star Suzann Pettersen said. “The conditions were unreasonable. … I don’t think from the players’ perspective that there was any other outcome. It wasn’t just unfair conditions. It was unplayable. ”

England’s Felicity Johnson started with a quintuple-bogey 9. American Cristie Kerr’s ball blew off the 12th tee three times. Co-leader So Yeon Ryu bogeyed her only hole, the 10th, before play was stopped.

“It would have been unfair to those competitors not to declare play null and void and cancel all scores for the round in question,” Ladies Golf Union tournament director Susan Simpson said.

“The competitors began their round in extremely adverse weather conditions and conditions subsequently worsened despite our belief that they would remain stable.”

The second round is scheduled to restart early Saturday, with conditions forecast to be more playable. Organizers said the cut will be reduced from 65 and ties to 50 and ties.

The final two rounds are set for Sunday with a two-tee start and no redraw between rounds.

Penn State trustee: No detailed review of Freeh report

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The head of Penn State’s Board of Trustees said Friday the board isn’t planning a detailed review of the school’s internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

Former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh led the school’s investigation. He and his team of investigators concluded that the late football coach Joe Paterno and three school officials concealed allegations against Sandusky, Paterno’s assistant and onetime heir apparent, conclusions Paterno’s family and the officials deny.

Trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz said the board is focused on implementing changes recommended by Freeh, which is hopes to do by the end of next year, but it did not plan a detailed review of the report itself. She said that would take its course in upcoming trials or other legal channels.

Peetz was responding to a question from the crowd at a trustees meeting, and a few critical audience members chuckled. It was the first time public comment was allowed at a board meeting.

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