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Thursday, April 28, 2011 ∫ THE ALPENA NEWS ∫ 3B

Judge denies NFL’s request to freeze lockout ruling

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The federal judge who lifted the NFL lockout dealt another blow to the league late Wednesday, denying its request to put her ruling on hold and guaranteeing more limbo for the $9 billion business. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote that the NFL “has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.” She dismissed the NFL’s argument that it is facing irreparable harm because of her decision Monday to end the 45-day lockout. “In short, the world of ‘chaos’ the NFL claims it has been thrust into — essentially the ‘free-market’ system this nation otherwise willfully operates under — is not compelled by this court’s order,” Nelson wrote. The judge acknowledged that her decision will be appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis and the NFL has promised that step. There was no immediate word from the league after Nelson’s decision. The ruling means the league has no rules in place, shelved since the collective bargaining agreement ended on March 11 and the lockout was imposed shortly afterward. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, during an earlier predraft event in New York, said he wasn’t worried about the state of confusion tarnishing the league’s image but stressed

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said Gapske. “At least we got that in. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable. I was looking at the golf schedule and last week Petoskey was supposed to have four tournaments and every one was canceled, so we’re all in the same boat. There’s not much you can do.” By this point in April the Alpena softball team usually has gotten into a rhythm offensively and defensively, but after playing its season-opening doubleheader on April 12 the Wildcats went 11 days without a game, squeezing in three contests at a tournament in Bay City between rain showers. The days in between were mostly spent inside the gym, which limits what can be done. “Obviously it’s frustrating,” said softball head coach Paul Marwede. “It’s hard to work on things

from game experience that are lacking or that you’re disappointed in. Ususally we get out and practice those things immediately.” Marwede says the Wildcats have been outside six times this spring, and even resorted to turning a work bee to clean up the fields into a full-blown practice. He says weather like this, especially cold weather, provides an easy way to develop bad habits. “When it’s cold the bat stings if you don’t hit the ball on the sweet spot. It leads to insecurity and a lack of confidence, and you might not swing as hard,” he said. The problem is if weather continues to force cancellations and postponements in May, schools are running out of open dates to reschedule. “We’re running into a problem with no dates left to schedule things,” said

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his desire to “remove” the uncertainty. “It’s one of the things I don’t think is healthy for the players, the clubs and most importantly our fans,” he said. Attorneys for the players had dismissed the NFL’s argument that it risks either violating antitrust laws by coming up with new league rules without a collective bargaining agreement in place or harming its competitive balance by allowing a potential free agency free-for-all. “If the NFL defendants are faced with a dilemma, they put themselves in that position by repeatedly imposing rules and restrictions that violate the antitrust laws,” the attorneys wrote. “Any alleged predicament is of their own making.” The solution, the players argued, is to simply implement a system that does not violate antitrust laws. Nelson agreed. “Again, the NFL argues it will suffer irreparable harm because it is now ‘forced to choose between the irreparable harm of unrestricted free agency or the irreparable harm of more treble damages lawsuits,’” Nelson wrote. “But no such Scyllaor- Charybdis choice exists here. There is no injunction in place preventing the NFL from exercising, under its hoped-for protection of the labor laws, any of its rights to negotiate terms and conditions of employment, such as free agency.”

Tippman. “In baseball and softball the Big North schedules two rain-out dates, but we’ve already used both. If the rest of the season is fine we’ll be good.” Tippman is concerned about the baseball schedule in particular because of restrictions on the number of innings a pitcher can be used. “Baseball could run into the problem with not having enough pitchers,” he said. “They can’t play four days per week.” If open dates are no longer available, Tippman said he will try to work with non-league opponents to see if those games can be canceled to allow for league games to be played. “If they’re league games we want to try to get those in,” he said. “I can see if they have no impact on a (league championship) race, then they might just

be canceled.” Tippman receives a great deal of help from athletic department secretary Leslie Reynolds during hectic times like these. “She takes care of every one of the changes, notifying officials, buses, coaches. She takes care of all the little things,” he said. Having a backlog of games can be troublesome this time of year as students’ schedules already are filled with various banquets, activities and final preparations for graduation. “You run into a lot of things like that,” Tippman said. “It’s a super busy time.” Marwede speaks for everyone when he thinks about the next month of the season. “Hopefully sooner, rather than later, this has to turn around,” he said.

youngsters of Play 60, the NFL’s youth health and fitness campaign. One intriguing twist involves Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, the only college player named as a plaintiff in the antitrust lawsuit. Nine pros, including Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, are plaintiffs, too, but Miller can’t wait to share the joy with Goodell. “I think he’s handled the situation well,” said Miller, projected to go in the top five and considered by some the most NFL-ready talent in the entire draft. “There’s no animosity between me and him. I love him. I plan on giving him a hug when I walk across the stage.” Newton is expected to walk onstage first at Radio City Music Hall, when the Carolina Panthers open the draft. Several other quarterbacks are projected to go high, although only Blaine Gabbert of Missouri and Jake Locker of Washington are likely first-rounders.

The opening round probably will be dominated by defensive players, especially linemen. From tackles Marcell Dareus of Alabama, Nick Fairley of Auburn and Corey Liuget of Illinois to ends Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson, Robert Quinn of North Carolina and Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue, there’s strong interest in the trenches. “One year it may be offensive lineman, next year it may be defensive ends, secondary,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “This year it is not as deep at the safety position as it has been in the past. All of a sudden, there are more defensive lineman than I’ve seen in a long time. You just never know.” Miller is the top linebacker and Peterson the highestrated defensive back. “I’ll be happy to play for whatever team picks me up,” said Miller, who was born and raised in Texas. “I hope it’s the Cowboys, though.”

Lemieux, Gretzky, Forsberg, Crosby — get that extra second of space because of respect. If you don’t give them that, they make you look bad.” Despite a relatively small 5-foot-11, 197-pound body, Datsyuk has been very durable during his nine-season career. This year, though, he played a career-low 56 games because of injuries after averaging 81 games the

skills Nicklas Lidstrom hasn’t seen anyone approach in the last two decades. “The only guy close was Sergei Fedorov, who could fly and stick handle at the same time, but he didn’t have the slick stops and starts with the puck and two guys on his back like Pav,” Lidstrom said. “He’s so creative with the puck and he’s so sneaky without it. “I don’t think there’s ever been anyone quite like

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previous three seasons. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said the time Datsyuk missed is the only factor that could prevent him from a Selke four-peat. “I think he’d win it hands down if he played all the games,” Babcock said. Datsyuk was productive when he played — 59 points — in the fourth year of his seven-year deal worth nearly $47 million. He was as dazzling as ever, flashing


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Calhoun, Walker defend UConn’s academic reputation HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun and star guard Kemba Walker defended the program’s academic reputation Wednesday, amid concern the national champions could lose scholarships based on academic performance. The national Academic Performance Rating is due out next month. Connecticut is in danger of losing at least one scholarship if the rating, which measures four years of results, does not meet the NCAA minimum score of 925. The school has already been docked a scholarship for NCAA recruiting violations. Last year, UConn recorded a four-year APR of 930, including an 844 for the 2008-09 season. “Eight straight years, we made the APR,” Calhoun said after being lauded by the governor and lawmakers during “Husky Day” at the state Capitol. “If because someone left early or didn’t finish, all those various things that get

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Salute to the Area’s Military Men & Women The Alpena News would like for you to honor your loved one(s) who defend the liberty of America each and everyday. This is a free appearance that The Alpena News has put together for the past 7 years. To salute your Solider in this year’s Proud To Be An American, send-in or drop-off a color photo attached with the information below by Thursday, May 5th, 2011 to: The Alpena News c/o Proud To Be An American 130 Park Place • Alpena, MI 49707

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you...when you have 16 kids leave (for the pros) in a 10year period, you are more likely to be more open to (a low APR) happening.” A low rating could be costly to Calhoun personally. His contract calls for him to donate $100,000 to a UConn scholarship fund if the program doesn’t meet the APR. He also would forfeit his postseason bonus of $87,500, earned during UConn’s run to the national title. Walker, a junior who is leaving early for the NBA, was recently quoted as saying he has only read one book cover-to-cover. He said it upsets him that the comment may have hurt the school’s reputation. “That’s just what people want,” Walker said. “They want to bring us down. Regardless of what they say, I’m still graduating in three years, so that comment means absolutely nothing. I’ve read a lot of books.”

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