Thursday's Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The best that can be said about the ongoing NHL labor negotiations is that they are still going, and will for at least a fourth straight day.
The league and the locked-out players' association got back together Thursday and accomplished enough over five-plus hours to make plans to meet again Friday.
``I am not going to discuss the negotiations or the substance of what we're talking about,'' NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday. ``I really don't think that would be helpful to the process.
``We have work to do, and my hope is that we can achieve the goal of getting a long-term, fair agreement in place as quickly as possible so we can play hockey.''
Players' association executive director Donald Fehr didn't rule out talks stretching into the weekend.
The college basketball season gets under way Friday with a game at a Europe military base, two more aboard Navy ships and another featuring a reshaped national champion playing in a new building.
No. 14 Michigan State plays Connecticut, in its first game since the retirement of coach Jim Calhoun, at Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. It's the first game between Division I teams held in Europe.
Then it's on to the decks for No. 4 Ohio State against Marquette on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C. Also, the No. 19 Ohio State women will play No. 7 Notre Dame on the air craft carrier. The Irish have reached the national championship game each of the past two seasons.
Georgetown will face No. 10 Florida on the USS Battan in Jacksonville, Fla.
No. 3 Kentucky, the defending national champion with a heralded freshman class, plays Maryland in the first college doubleheader at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - When it comes to basketball, Danny Manning has done it all.
As a player, he experienced the best there is as an NCAA champion at Kansas and an NBA All-Star with the Los Angeles Clippers. He understands the worst there is, with three serious knee injuries that forced him to find ways to stay competitive without the same athleticism and sparked an interest in coaching.
Back with his alma mater at Kansas, he started off in operations and steadily moved up the food chain until he was an assistant coach on another team that cut down the nets.
And now, he's ready to begin another endeavor - his first chance to be a head coach at Tulsa.
Hired this April by a middling Tulsa program hungry to return to the NCAA tournament, the 46-year-old Manning makes his debut Sunday when the Golden Hurricane host LSU-Shreveport.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) - With baseball awash in record revenue as the signing season starts, slugger Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke are among the top players in a relatively weak free-agent class.
It also includes outfielders B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Torii Hunter and Nick Swisher; first baseman Adam LaRoche; and pitchers Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano.
Baseball estimates revenue this year at $2.5 billion - an increase of about $500 million. National television contracts with Fox and Turner that run from 2014-21 will double the average yearly money baseball receives to about $800 million.
And perhaps the biggest evidence of baseball's wealth is franchise values - the Dodgers sold for $2 billion this year in a bankruptcy court auction and the lowly San Diego Padres were bought for $800 million.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It's not just the game balls that are deflated at Southern California this fall.
An unimpressive season reached a new, weird low late Wednesday night when No. 21 USC announced a student manager had been dismissed for underinflating several game balls before the Trojans' loss to No. 2 Oregon last weekend, earning a fine and a reprimand for the school from the Pac-12.
Coach Lane Kiffin spent time Thursday explaining why the Trojans' latest brush with questionable tactics was an isolated misdeed by an overeager student, not an indication of a somewhat sleazy culture building around a program still attempting to emerge from the clouds of heavy NCAA sanctions in 2010.
``I believe this was a very isolated incident that had nothing to do with the coaches or the players on this team,'' Kiffin said.
With two straight losses, the preseason No. 1 team is 6-3, 4-3 Pac-12 and hosts Arizona State (5-4, 3-3) on Saturday before finishing against No. 17 UCLA and No. 4 Notre Dame, hoping to earn a probable rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.
Deflating footballs is an uncommon - but not unfamiliar - bit of gamesmanship. Softer balls are thought to be a bit easier to throw and catch - and that's exactly what the Ducks did while racking up 730 yards during a 62-51 win over USC, which had the worst defensive game ever at a school.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) - Michelle Wie shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational with Angela Stanford and Candie Kung.
The 2009 tournament winner for the first of her two LPGA Tour victories, Wie birdied the first two holes at Guadalajara Country Club and opened the back nine with four straight birdies in the bogey-free round that matched her best score of the year.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the season Sunday in Japan, was a stroke back along with Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, So Yeon Ryu and Karine Icher.
Lewis has a 58-point lead over Park with two events left in the player of the year race, putting her in position to become the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Charlie Wi closed with back-to-back birdies Thursday for an 8-under 64 on the easier Palm Course at Disney for a one-shot lead over Camilo Villegas and Tommy Gainey in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
It's the eighth time Wi has had the 18-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and the third time this year. But the 40-year-old Wi has yet to win on the PGA Tour.
The top 12 players on the leaderboard all came from the Palm course, which played 1.7 shots easier than the Magnolia. Henrik Stenson and Charles Howell III were among five players who had the low round on Magnolia at 68.
LONDON (AP) - Roger Federer edged David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6 (5) to advance to the semifinals of the ATP Finals.
The two-time defending champion is looking for his seventh title at the season-ending event for the top eight players in the world. He is 2-0 at the O2 Arena, with his last group match against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday.
Del Potro beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-0, 6-4 in the other Group B match, improving his record to 1-1 and eliminating the Serb with two losses. But Del Potro still needs to beat Federer to advance.
CHORLEY, England (AP) - Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins was released from hospital on Thursday after a collision with a car, a few hours after a separate crash left his British Cycling coach with a head injury.
Wiggins, who is also the Olympic time trial champion, sustained bruises to his ribs and hands when he was hit by a car while out training on his bike.
Wiggins returned home just as Britain coach Shane Sutton was hospitalized following an accident at a nearby location in the Manchester area.
Wiggins became a national hero after giving Britain its first Tour de France title in July. He is widely expected to be knighted by the end of the year.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece's Olympic Committee says deep funding cuts in the 2013 state budget will hamstring sports federations - less than a decade after hosting the 2004 Games.
Committee officials say federations will be unable to function next year when their share of state funding will shrink to about $19 million from $44.6 million in 2012.
That represents a 75 percent cut from 2009, committee deputy chairman Sakis Vassiliadis said Thursday.
Debt-crippled Greece has approved harsh spending cuts to secure vital international bailouts.