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Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 4:00 pm

Players’ offer won’t break ice for NHL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL and the players’ association are further apart than ever before.

Union executive director Donald Fehr began the first of his two news conferences Thursday night by proclaiming he believed the sides had agreements on such issues as actual dollars, and then returned moments later to reveal the NHL rejected everything his side offered.

Hot-button topics such as the “make-whole” provision on existing contracts not only weren’t settled, but are no longer being offered by the league. Forget that owners were willing to pay up to $300 million to cover the costs, and Commissioner Gary Bettman countered by saying the entire concept is off the table — along with everything else the league offered during the previous two days of talks.

When the NHL agreed to increase its make-whole offer of deferred payments from $211 million to $300 million it was part of a proposed package that required the union to agree on three nonnegotiable points. Instead, the players’ association accepted the raise in funds, but then made counterproposals on the issues the league stated had no wiggle room.

That ended Thursday’s long-awaited meeting after just an hour.

“I am disappointed beyond belief,” Bettman said.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL Utah State player upgraded

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Hospital officials say a Utah State basketball player who collapsed at practice has been moved out of the intensive care unit and upgraded to fair condition.

Intermountain Medical Center spokesman Jason Carlton says Danny Berger remains at the Salt Lake City-area hospital.

The 22-year-old Berger collapsed on the court during a practice Tuesday in Logan.

PRO GOLF Australian Open caddies fight

SYDNEY (AP) — Golf officials are investigating a fight between two caddies near the practice chipping area at The Lakes before the first round of the Australian Open.

PGA Tour of Australasia officials said Friday that Grant Buchanan and Matt Kelly had to be separated after coming to blows as their players prepared for the opening round. Buchanan is James Nitties’ caddie, and Kelly works for Marc Leishman. 

The caddies could face disciplinary action.

Leishman had a 2-under 70 on Thursday, leaving him four strokes behind leader John Senden. Nitties shot 77. 

PRO FOOTBALL Jets still fighting injuries

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller sat out practice for the second straight day with a sprained left ankle, leaving his status for the team’s game at Jacksonville on Sunday uncertain.

Backup quarterback Tim Tebow was limited for the second straight day Thursday with two broken ribs, and might not be able to play against his hometown Jaguars.  

• The Pittsburgh Steelers confirmed Ben Roethlisberger will return to the starting lineup Sunday against San Diego after missing three weeks due to injuries to his right throwing shoulder and ribs.

GENERAL Rodman owes $500K to ex-wife

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been found in contempt of court and ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, her attorney said Thursday.

Rodman was sentenced to informal probation. Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson warned Rodman could face jail time if he doesn’t pay the child support, she said.

Dennis and Michelle Rodman must still work out custody and visitation for their two pre-teen children: a son and a daughter.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL QB Wara in running for award

MADISON, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh senior quarterback Nate Wara has been announced as one of four candidates for the Gagliardi Trophy presented annually to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III.

The trophy will be presented at a banquet on Dec. 12 in Salem, Va., kicking off a series of Stagg Bowl championship events.

Wara has led UW-O to its finest season in the program’s 118-year history. The fifth-ranked Titans captured the WIAC championship for the first time in 36 years and take a 13-0 record into Saturday’s semifinal round of the D-III Championship against the University of St. Thomas (Minn.).

The Oshkosh North High graduate has completed 218-of-332 passes for 3,045 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing 170 times for 739 yards and nine scores. He has thrown only four interceptions.


Friday’s best bets

• Boys basketball: Hononegah at Rockford Jefferson, 7 p.m.; Beloit Memorial at Janesville Parker, 7:30 p.m.

• Girls basketball: Rockford Jefferson at Hononegah, 7 p.m.

• Prep wrestling: Janesville Parker at Beloit Memorial, 7 p.m.

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