NHL players: Bettman can’t restore defenseman’s ban
NEW YORK — The National Hockey League’s players union on Friday urged a U.S. court not to grant Commissioner Gary Bettman broad power to override arbitrators when deciding how severely to discipline players for improper on-ice conduct.
Citing a recent appeals court ruling against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the NHL Players Association said Bettman should not be allowed to restore a 20-game suspension of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman for hitting a linesman, after an arbitrator cut the ban to 10 games.
The NHL had sued to revive the longer suspension on June 8, contending that the arbitrator reviewing the matter under the league’s collective bargaining agreement was not “neutral,” and ignored substantial evidence justifying the original ban.
But in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the NHLPA said Wideman’s 10-game ban should stand.
Citing the April 25 court ruling restoring Brady’s four-game suspension from the National Football League for deflating footballs, the union said federal courts have only “narrowly circumscribed” authority to review labor arbitration decisions.
Spurrier returns to Gators as ambassador, consultant
University of Florida football legend Steve Spurrier is returning to the school as ambassador and consultant for the entire athletic department, the school announced Friday.
Spurrier won the Gators’ first Heisman Trophy (1966) as a standout quarterback and also led the university to its first national title (1996). A statue of him in the Heisman pose stands outside the football stadium.
Spurrier’s exact duties have yet to be released. The 71-year-old stepped down as South Carolina’s football coach during the middle of last season and said he was not retiring.
Spurrier had a 122-27-1 record in 12 seasons as Florida coach.
Marlins acquire Cashner in seven-player trade
The Miami Marlins acquired right-hander starters Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade, the teams announced Friday.
The Marlins also will get Double-A right-handed reliever Tayron Guerrero from the Padres, who will receive injured reliever Carter Capps, right-hander Jarred Cosart and two of Miami’s top prospects — first baseman Josh Naylor and right-hander Luis Castillo.
The Marlins (55-47) were seeking rotation depth in their push for the postseason. Miami entered Friday tied for the second wild-card spot in the National League.
Cashner, 29, is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 30 walks over 79 1/3 innings in 16 starts this season.
Rea, 26, is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with 76 strikeouts and 44 walks over 99 1/3 innings.
League reinstates Dolphins’ Jordan
The NFL has reinstated Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan on a conditional basis following his yearlong suspension for violations of the substance-abuse policy.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell notified Jordan that he can join the Dolphins at training camp, which opened Friday. Jordan, 26, can become eligible for Week 1 of the regular season after a follow-up meeting with the NFL.
Jordan, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, had been suspended indefinitely since April 2015 without pay following multiple violations of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. He has been suspended three times during his NFL career.
The league said prior to the start of the regular season Jordan will meet with the NFL to review his progress. Based on his compliance and engagement with his program and resources, he will be permitted to participate in all regular-season activities beginning in Week 1. He will be evaluated later in the season for full reinstatement.
Raiders’ Smith enters treatment center
Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith, who is serving a one-year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, has entered a treatment center, multiple media outlets reported.
Although it is not yet known what Smith is being treated for, this news comes a few days after a Periscope video showed an unidentified man and woman having a conversation about a hand-rolled cigarette.
This is not Smith’s first visit to a treatment center. He was in rehab in 2013 after two DUI arrests.