No owner for Coyotes — Greg Jamison has missed his deadline to buy the Phoenix Coyotes before a lease agreement with the City of Glendale expires. The former CEO of the San Jose Sharks had until midnight Thursday to buy the team from the NHL under the terms of the lease agreement with Glendale, but was unable to get the money or investors he needed in time to hit the deadline. “We will not be able to complete our purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes today in time to meet our deadline with the city of Glendale," Jamison said in a statement. “However, our journey to purchase the Coyotes will continue."
Union head blasts NFL — So much for labor peace in the NFL. Less than 18 months after the league and players ended a lockout by signing a 10-year collective bargaining agreement, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Domonique Foxworth used a Super Bowl news conference to lay out a series of complaints about safety issues Thursday. Smith began by threatening to file a grievance if the NFL refuses to institute a system to verify the credentials of all medical personnel on the 32 teams. He mentioned three amendments the NFLPA wants to make to the new CBA, including the appointment of “a neutral chief safety officer who can hear appeals about acceptable levels of medical care." He called the NFL’s lockout of its officials at the start of this season “one of the most deliberate disregards of player safety that I think has occurred in the National Football League since our inception."
Changes for Rooney Rule? — Several black former NFL head coaches say the league needs to rethink its Rooney Rule for promoting minority hiring after 15 top vacancies — eight head coaching jobs and seven general manager positions — were all filled by white candidates since the regular season ended a month ago. “I know the concept is good and something we need to do," said Tony Dungy, who was with the Indianapolis Colts during the 2006 season when he became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. “Obviously, it’s not working the way it should." Before the rule went into effect in 2003, the NFL had had only six minority head coaches in more than 80 years. Since it has been in place, 12 have been hired. But none were hired this year to replace the two black coaches who were fired — Romeo Crennel in Kansas City and Lovie Smith in Chicago — and the one fired black GM, Rod Graves in Arizona.
Wade, Paul are captains — Dwyane Wade will captain the Eastern Conference and Chris Paul will lead the West when All-Star Saturday becomes a team event for the first time. The conferences will play for $500,000 in charity in Houston on Feb. 16. The winning conference gets $350,000 for its charities, with $150,000 going to the loser’s. The All-Star Saturday events consist of the slam dunk contest, 3-point contest, the Shooting Stars, and the Skills Challenge.
Rasmussen admits to doping — Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen has admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs from 1998 to 2010 in the latest doping scandal to hit the sport since Lance Armstrong’s confession this month. Rasmussen says he took testosterone and growth hormones and had blood transfusions in an effort to boost his performance. He says he will quit the sport immediately and cooperate with anti-doping agencies. Rasmussen led the 2007 Tour de France until he was kicked off for lying about his whereabouts when he missed pre-race doping tests. He later admitted that he had lied and was banned from cycling for two years.
— From wire reports