NEW YORK – The NFL calls a report it has offered a settlement and reduced suspension to Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma completely inaccurate.
Vilma has been suspended for the 2012 season for his role in the Saints bounty program, which he adamantly has claimed did not exist. Citing anonymous sources, ESPN.com reported the league offered Vilma an eight-game suspension if he would drop his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
No such settlement offer has been made, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday. We will continue to respect the court proceedings on this matter and have no further comment at this time.
A judge has ordered the league and Vilmas representatives to hold confidential settlement talks.
Vilma is one of four players suspended in the bounty scandal. Saints coach Sean Payton, like Vilma, was suspended for the entire season.
Norwell senior picks Illinois State
Norwell senior Josh VanMeter has committed to Illinois State, according to various media reports. The shortstop is also a standout guard on the Knights 2012 Class 3A state runner-up boys basketball team.
Calhoun to return despite hip issue
Connecticut coach Jim Calhouns hip fracture could be a factor at the start of his 41st season on the bench, but likely would not prevent him from a return to coaching, said Dr. Stephen Hunt, an orthopedic surgeon at Atlantic Sports Health at Morristown Medical Center in N.J.
Kings extend Smart’s contract
Sacramento extended coach Keith Smarts contract through the 2013-14 season. Smarts deal had been set to expire after the upcoming season. Smart starred at IU and coached the Fort Wayne Fury in the former CBA.
Cougars No. 6 in preseason poll
Saint Francis is ranked sixth in the NAIA preseason poll, which is determined by regional coaches. Saint Xavier (Ill.), the defending national champion, is ranked first. A third team from the Mid-States Football Association, Marian, is No. 3. This is the 156th consecutive NAIA poll that has Saint Francis in the top 25. Its the eighth time in nine years the Cougars begin the season in the top 10. They open at Texas College on Aug. 25. The separate poll conducted by conference coaches has Saint Francis ranked third in the Mideast League, behind Saint Xavier and Marian.
Female college ref to work NFL game
Shannon Eastin will become the first female to officiate an NFL game when she works the Green Bay at San Diego preseason match Thursday night
Around the NFL
Chicago signed receiver Rashied Davis to a one-year contract to replace the retired Devin Thomas. Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur named Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback. Dallas released veteran safety Brodney Pool. About 20 New York Jets players brawled on the sideline during a chippy practice. First-round pick Justin Blackmon, a receiver out of Oklahoma State, agreed to terms Jacksonville. Carolina coach Ron Rivera says trainers are optimistic wide receiver David Gettis, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, will be back on the practice field in about four or five days. New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas will try to rehabilitate his injured right knee rather than have surgery.
No timeline set for UM players’ return
Michigan started preseason practice without suspended players Fitz Toussaint and Frank Clark, and with coach Brady Hoke giving no hint on when either would return. Toussaint, the starting tailback, was arrested on a count of drunken driving. Clark, a defensive end, was charged with second-degree home invasion.
Penn State trustee to appeal sanctions
A Penn State trustee, Ryan McCombie, told the NCAA that he intends to appeal college sports governing bodys strict sanctions on the university for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
NHL union boss in no rush for deal
Having yet to submit a counteroffer and with less than six weeks before the NHLs collective bargaining agreement expires, NHL Players Association executive director Don Fehr says thats still sufficient time to get a deal done. For that to happen, both parties need to stay committed to negotiations and should not resort to short-circuiting the process, Fehr said, when asked about a potential lockout.
Player’s death due to natural causes
An autopsy performed on Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso did not reveal any trauma and the coroner says signs point to an apparent natural death pending results from toxicology tests. The 22-year-old Urso was pronounced dead at 1:50 a.m. Sunday at Grant Medical Center after collapsing at a downtown Columbus bar and restaurant.