Overnight Sports Briefs: Murphy discusses NFL negotiationsWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ president Mark Murphy says the NFL’s latest offer to its players’ union was not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. And despite the move to decertify the union, the owners want to resume negotiations before April sixth. That’s when a federal court hearing will be held on an anti-trust lawsuit filed by 10 players.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ president Mark Murphy says the NFL’s latest offer to its players’ union was not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. And despite the move to decertify the union, the owners want to resume negotiations before April sixth. That’s when a federal court hearing will be held on an anti-trust lawsuit filed by 10 players.
Murphy is a member of the owners’ negotiating committee. He said the NFL’s offer was not a full collective bargaining agreement – but rather, it served as a basis for future talks. The union technically cannot resume talks since it doesn’t exist – but attorneys in the anti-trust suit can negotiate on their behalf. Meanwhile, league owners will consider several rule changes next week at their annual meetings in New Orleans. Among other things, they’ll decide whether kick-offs should be moved up from the 30-yard-line to the 35-yard-line – and whether scoring plays should be reviewed from the booth instead of allowing for coaches’ challenges.
University of Wisconsin men’s hockey defenseman Jake Gardiner says he’ll forego his senior year at Madison to turn pro. Gardiner has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. He’ll start playing this week with the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate. Gardiner says he’s well-rounded and ready for the pros. He was drafted in 2008 by the Anaheim Ducks, and they traded away his rights to Toronto last month. Gardiner had career-highs of 10 goals and 41 points for Wisconsin this past season. He’s the 12th Wisconsin underclassman to turn pro since Mike Eaves became the head coach in 2002. Seven of the first 11 are now playing in the NHL.
A number of pundits believe that Marquette and Wisconsin will both lose their first-round NCAA games – but President Obama is not among them. He discussed his bracket with ESPN – and he has the fourth-seeded Badgers defeating Belmont tomorrow night, and Marquette advancing over Xavier on Friday. But Obama does not believe either team from Wisconsin will survive past the weekend. He’s got Marquette losing to Syracuse in the second round, and Wisconsin falling to Kansas State.