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Sports News Briefs
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DODGERS REACH DEAL WITH MAGIC JOHNSON GROUP: NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has announced an agreement to sell the bankrupt team for $2 billion to a group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson and former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten.

The agreement, announced Tuesday night about after five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three finalists for the auction, is to lead to a transfer of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.

Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners would become the controlling owner. The price would be easily a record for a North American sports franchise.

As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and "certain affiliates of the purchasers" would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium for $150 million.


PAYTON SEEKS PARCELLS' COUNSEL ABOUT SAINTS' PLAN: PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sean Payton has planned the New Orleans Saints' offseason program, done some work on the upcoming draft and jotted down ideas for the start of training camp.

And now, with his season-long suspension set to begin Sunday, Payton is checking to see if mentor Bill Parcells would run the team while he serves his penalty for allowing a Saints assistant coach and players to run a bounty system.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Saints were sanctioned for trying to take out specific opponents, Payton said Tuesday he will soon decide whether to appeal his suspension, something Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he can do through Monday.

Payton also said he was meeting with Parcells — who lives near the site of this week's NFL meetings — to discuss the plan for the season.

"For me to be down here, if I didn't call him or try to set up a time to see him, I'd probably get his wrath," Payton said.

Payton arrived at the league meetings about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, and talked for 18 minutes with reporters in a resort hotel's lobby. He left for a breakfast meeting and departed shortly past 10 a.m., presumably for a meeting with Parcells. Payton said he, general manager Mickey Loomis — who is facing an eight-game suspension — and team owner Tom Benson are weighing a number of scenarios.

Among them: Does Parcells want to coach?

OWNERS APPROVE SALARY CAP REDUCTIONS: PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NFL owners have ratified the agreement between the league and players' union that takes away $36 million in salary cap space from the Redskins and $10 million from the Cowboys.

Other than Dallas and Washington, no club opposed the agreement, which raised the salary cap for 2012 from about $113 million to $120.6 million. The Cowboys and Redskins have sought arbitration, which will be conducted by University of Pennsylvania professor Stephen Burbank.

Both teams were penalized for overloading contracts in the 2010 uncapped season despite league warnings not to do so. Each must take at least half the reduction this year.

The owners also approved competition committee recommendations for points of emphasis in the upcoming season, including blows to the head, horse-collar tackles and taunting.

JETS DID NOT CONSULT SANCHEZ ABOUT TEBOW: PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jets coach Rex Ryan says the team did not consult with starting quarterback Mark Sanchez before it acquired Tim Tebow.

Ryan didn't think that was unusual, telling reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that "Mark's job is to play quarterback, not be the general manager."

Ryan explained that if a current Jet "has a history" with a player, there might be discussion about adding that player to New York's roster. That was the case when the Jets drafted running back Joe McKnight, a former teammate of Sanchez at Southern Cal.

The closest interaction Sanchez has had with Tebow was when he hosted Tebow on a recruiting visit at USC.

On Monday, Sanchez said, "It's not their job to ask me either, or run it by me. That's not my job."


SERENA WILLIAMS LOSES TO WOZNIACKI AT KEY BISCAYNE: KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Serena Williams' bid for a record sixth Key Biscayne title ended Tuesday night when she lost in the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open to former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4.

Wozniacki served well and was content to keep the ball in play, using her retrieving skills to extend rallies until Williams would make a mistake. Williams hit 34 winners to 12 for Wozniacki but also committed 36 unforced errors to the Dane's 13.

Williams was playing in her first tournament since January after being sidelined by a left ankle injury.

Wozniacki, seeded fourth, advanced to the Key Biscayne semifinals for the first time, and she has a shot at her first final berth of the year. She had lost her previous three meetings against Williams.


HAMM RETIRES, SAYS BODY CAN'T HANDLE LONDON PUSH: Paul Hamm, the only U.S. man to win a world or Olympic all-around title, is retiring.

Hamm told The Associated Press on Tuesday he is abandoning his comeback for the London Olympics because his body can no longer handle the demands of training and competition. He says "your mind wants a certain outcome ... but you can't get your body to perform a certain way."

Hamm had surgery in January 2011 to repair a torn right labrum and rotator cuff.

The announcement comes four months to the day before the London Olympics start. Hamm returned in June 2010, hoping to end his career with a positive Olympic experience after a judging controversy spoiled his Olympic title in 2004 and a freak injury forced him out of Beijing.

Hamm retires with five medals from the world championships and three from the Olympics, including all-around titles at the 2003 worlds and 2004 Summer Games.


SF BOARD APPROVES PLAN TO HOST AMERICA'S CUP RACE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement to host the America's Cup sailing competition, which will take place in San Francisco Bay this year and next.

Mayor Ed Lee's office says the board on Tuesday unanimously approved the plan for San Francisco to host the sport's premier racing event.

The agreement finalizes the venues for the 34th America's Cup and calls for $20 million in pier and waterfront improvements in San Francisco.

Event organizers say America's Cup races will take place in San Francisco Bay in August and October of this year and September next year.

It will mark the first time the competition will be held in Bay Area, where it's expected to draw more than one million spectators.