GLEASON UPSET OVER RELEASE OF WILLIAMS RECORDING: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason says he never authorized a documentary film maker to release an inflammatory recording of disgraced former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Gleason, who has ALS, says he feels "deflated and disappointed" over the release of the audio, which film maker Sean Pamphilon got through access he gained through his work on a project to document the ex-player's struggle with his disease.
Gleason played for the Saints from 2000 to 2007 and maintains a strong relationship with the club, which has backed his efforts to improve the lives of those living with the debilitating symptoms of ALS.
Gleason says there was an agreement that he and his family would own the rights to any recordings made of his interaction with the Saints.
VAN GUNDY, HOWARD AGREE TO FOCUS ON TEAM'S PLAY: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — One day after Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy disclosed All-Star center Dwight Howard wanted him fired, the two agreed it was time to move forward and focus on the team's play on the court.
Van Gundy started a circus on Thursday morning when he revealed he was told by high-ranking team officials of Howard's request. Howard walked up and hugged Van Gundy during that media scrum, unaware what Van Gundy had just said. After the coach walked away, Howard was blindsided that reporters knew the truth about his firing request.
Van Gundy spoke to reporters for more than 30 minutes after practice Friday, with most of the questions focusing on his relationship with Howard. Van Gundy used the term "irrelevant" more than a dozen times.
Howard said he and Van Gundy agreed to keep everything between them.
FIU FIRES ISIAH THOMAS AFTER 3 SEASONS: MIAMI (AP) — Florida International has fired men's basketball coach Isiah Thomas, after the Hall of Fame player went 26-65 in three seasons.
Thomas took over at FIU in a surprising move in 2009, one that gave the former New York Knicks coach and president a chance to restore the reputation he tarnished through a series of embarrassments in New York.
Under Thomas, FIU never won more than 11 games in a season.
Thomas did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement released by the university, FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said the school has "decided to take the program in a different direction."
WILL ARKANSAS KEEP PETRINO AFTER SCANDAL?: FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino's fate lies in the hands of athletic director Jeff Long.
The question is whether Long will get rid of the highly successful coach, who lied about having a 25-year-old female employee with him during a weekend motorcycle accident and then admitted the two had an inappropriate relationship.
Criminal charges aren't expected to be a problem for Petrino, who was forthcoming with police after Sunday's accident.
What has him in hot water was hiding from his boss that his passenger was Jessica Dorrell, whom he hired just last week. Petrino's contract gives Long the right to suspend or fire the coach for conduct that "negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the (university's) athletics programs in any way."
DAVIS CUP: ISNER PULLS US EVEN WITH FRANCE: ROQUEBRUNE, France (AP) — John Isner defeated Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, pulling the United States even with France after Friday's opening singles in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
The Americans needed a strong performance from Isner after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat teenager Ryan Harrison 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 to give France a 1-0 lead.
Simon was called up to replace injured Gael Monfils this week. He has never beaten Isner and could not cope with the American's big serve. Simon also struggled with his own service game on the outdoor clay at Monte Carlo Country Club.
Saturday's doubles in the best-of-five series pits Bob and Mike Bryan against Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra.
NO ALL-WILLIAMS MATCHUP AFTER STOSUR WIN: CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Samantha Stosur beat Venus Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on Friday, spoiling the chance at all-Williams sister semifinal at the Family Circle Cup.
Serena Williams reached the semis when Sabine Lisicki had to withdraw with a twisted ankle.
Venus hadn't lost a set in three previous matches and had to get by the reigning U.S. Open champion to set up her first meeting with her younger sister in nearly three years. Venus Williams rallied from a set down and was up 2-1 in the third set before Stosur took control and won five of the final six games.
The win ended a long Friday for Stosur, who finished a rain-delayed third-round match before facing Venus.
Stosur will play Serena Williams on Saturday.