Biffle is driven to stay put
Greg Biffle said Friday he is still working on a new contract to stay at Roush Fenway Racing.
Biffle, who is from Vancouver, Wash., admitted he has talked with representatives for other teams in the garage. But he said he is negotiating with Roush Fenway, the only team he has driven for since his 1998 rookie season in NASCAR’s truck series. He won the trucks title in 2000 and added a championship in the Nationwide Series — NASCAR’s second tier — in 2002.
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“My deal is definitely not done,” the 44-year-old Biffle said during a practice session at Sonoma Raceway in California. “I’m trying to negotiate an extension. Nothing has changed.”
Biffle is 15th in the standings in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR’s top level.
Biffle has maintained all year his priority is to not leave the organization. Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark tweeted the team hopes to have some news soon to announce on Biffle’s No. 16 team “but nothing to report yet.”
Blatt to coach Cavaliers
Facing a coaching field stocked with young assistants and older career retreads, the Cleveland Cavaliers instead traveled about 6,000 miles to find a 55-year-old rookie coach full of upside and potential.
The team chose David Blatt, who will become the first coach to move directly from European basketball to head an NBA coaching staff.
Blatt confirmed the hire to David Pick, a Euroleague reporter.
“It’s done,” Blatt told Pick. “Couldn’t be more excited. Can’t wait for challenge.”
ESPN reported Blatt has a three-year deal with a team option on a fourth season. The total value of the contract could reach $20 million, including incentives.
Blatt departed as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier this month after winning the Israeli League and Euroleague titles to pursue an NBA job.
Embiid has surgery on foot
Center Joel Embiid from Kansas had surgery on the stress fracture in his right foot and finds himself in a waiting game.
He waits to see how far he falls in the NBA draft Thursday and also how long it will be before he returns to the court.
Embiid, who was in the running to be taken No. 1 overall by Cleveland, had two screws inserted into the navicular bone in his foot. Estimates of how long Embiid will be out range from four months to a full season.
Big Ten boss takes the stand
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany painted a dire picture of what college sports would look like if players were paid. He said his conference likely would cease to exist and the Rose Bowl football game probably would not be played.
Delany said the idea of paying players goes against the entire college experience and he couldn’t see conference members agreeing to the concept.
Delany was on the witness stand in connection with a landmark antitrust suit brought by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and others.
Players’ lawsuit is kept alive
A $4 billion lawsuit from the players union accusing team owners of setting a secret salary cap in 2010 was kept alive by a federal appeals court as sniping between the two sides persists long after the end of the lockout.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis partially reversed a federal judge’s order that had rejected the union’s collusion claim, sending the case back to U.S. District Judge David Doty for further proceedings. The three-judge appeals court panel that heard oral arguments in January disagreed with Doty on one of the union’s two arguments for pursuing damages despite the 2011 collective-bargaining agreement that was supposed to relinquish the union’s right to sue for alleged breaches of the old CBA.
League officials called the appeals-court decision “entirely procedural in nature” and said it is “far from validating” the claims of the NFL Players Association.
• The NHL New York Rangers bought out the contract of forward Brad Richards, 34, creating salary-cap space.
Richards had six years left on the nine-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2011, and this move will remove his $6.67 million salary-cap charge. He will get about $20 million from the Rangers, to be paid over the next 12 years, and will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
• The Chicago Blackhawks will be the opponent of the Capitals when the NHL Winter Classic comes to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 1, a source said. The outdoor game is likely to be played at either RFK Stadium or Nationals Park.
• Maya Moore had 20 points and 10 rebounds, leading the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx to a 75-65 victory over visiting Washington.
• Angel McCoughtry scored 18 points to help the host Atlanta Dream beat New York 85-64 and extend its WNBA winning streak to six.
Alex Montgomery, a graduate of Lincoln High School in Tacoma, led the Liberty with 11 points.
In other WNBA games, Brittney Griner scored a career-high 28 points as host Phoenix beat Tulsa 91-80 and visiting Indiana defeated Chicago 83-75.
Seattle Times news services