NFL settlement approved
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The $50 million settlement between the NFL and a group of retired players over publicity rights was given preliminary approval by a federal judge who likened some of the retirees to petulant children for complaining about the money now that it has been awarded.
The settlement of the class-action lawsuit was reached last month, but some of the plaintiffs opposed the agreement, arguing it’s not good enough. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said in his order that the contentious nature of the case and the complexity and expense of further litigation “weigh heavily in favor” of final approval of the settlement, which could take place this summer.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb, a little over a week after the sixth-year veteran agreed to a two-year contract potentially worth more than $12 million. Kolb spent the past two seasons in Arizona, where injuries hampered his opportunity to prove himself as a starter.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco, the Ravens’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback, will play the part of Baltimore’s greatest quarterback, former Colts star Johnny Unitas, in an upcoming movie entitled “Unitas We Stand.”
Rays involved in minor accident
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A bus taking Tampa Bay players and staff from their hotel to Rangers Ballpark was in a minor accident that didn’t result in any injuries.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said the bus was making a left turn soon after leaving the team’s Fort Worth hotel when it was hit by another vehicle. Maddon described the impact as “innocuous” and “really little, to the point where you didn’t even know.” About a 15-minute delay ensued while the bus driver addressed the situation.
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Former Auburn defensive back Mike McNeil was sentenced to serve at least three years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery for an incident his attorney characterized as “possibly a prank.”
Lee County Circuit Judge Christopher Hughes accepted McNeil’s plea deal as his trial was set to begin. Under the deal, McNeil received a 15-year split sentence: He must serve three years, plus three years of supervised probation, and pay $2,000 in restitution. If he violates any terms, the judge could sentence him to the remainder of the 15 years.
McNeil, 24, and three teammates from the Tigers’ 2010 national championship team were charged with armed robbery and dismissed from the team in March 2011. Antonio Goodwin is serving a 15-year sentence while Dakota Mosley and Shaun Kitchens are awaiting trial.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire Ron Burkle will not be part of Sacramento’s bid to keep the Kings after all.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said a conflict of interest forced Burkle to back out. Instead, Johnson said the Southern California businessman and co-owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins will focus on the development around a proposed new downtown arena — and not the arena itself.
Burkle is part-owner of Relativity Sports, which manages some NBA players’ careers. Johnson said the conflict surfaced during a meeting with NBA Commissioner David Stern and league owners in New York last week and “it won’t slow us up.”