Thursday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 2:36 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 3:01 AM

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL told its teams that any player contract they enter into with Aaron Hernandez before charges against him are resolved won't be approved without a hearing by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said the hearing would be to decide if the former New England Patriots tight end should be suspended or face other action before a resolution of the charges is reached. It said no player contract with Hernandez would take effect before a hearing.

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and weapons counts in the shooting death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was cut by the Patriots after the arrest.

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — A former rookie linebacker for the Cleveland Browns pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in New Jersey.

Ausar Walcott is accused of punching Derek Jones in the side of the head outside The Palace Gentlemen's Club in Passaic early Sunday. A prosecutor says Jones is in a medically-induced coma at a New York hospital, where he's listed in critical condition.

The 23-year-old Walcott is being represented by a public defender while he attempts to hire an attorney. He is being held on $500,000 bail. The case will now go to a grand jury.

Walcott, who played in college at Virginia, was signed on May 13 but was released Wednesday.

BASEBALL

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Boston Red Sox fan who was harassed and stabbed through the neck by a New York Yankees fan at a restaurant in 2010 has been awarded $4.3 million by a jury.

The jury in New Haven reached the verdict in favor of Monte Freire and against the restaurant, U.S.S. Chowder Pot III, in Branford, attorneys for both sides said. Bartenders ignored warnings that the Yankees fan was harassing fellow patrons and trying to start a fight and continued to serve him.

Freire, 45, suffered life-altering injuries, including a brain injury, a stroke, impaired speech and vision and severe scarring, Pothin said. The Yankees fan, John Mayor, was convicted of assault and is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

TENNIS

LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams would be happy to take on Andy Murray on a tennis court after the Olympic champion said he would fancy a match against the 16-time Grand Slam winner. But just for fun.

After being challenged by a fan on Twitter to take on Williams, Murray said in his column for BBC Sport that such a matchup could create interest among tennis fans.

Williams joked about the idea after beating Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round of the grass-court tournament. "He wants to play me? Is he sure? That would be fun," she said.

There have been several high profile matches between stars from the men and women's game. The most famous was held in 1973, with Billie Jean King humbling Bobby Riggs in straight sets.

NHL

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A lease agreement between a prospective owner of the Phoenix Coyotes and the City of Glendale is still in doubt with a vote less than a week away.

The NHL, which has operated the Coyotes the past four seasons, has agreed to sell the franchise to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, but the deal is contingent upon completing a lease agreement with the city for Jobing.com Arena.

The league has pushed Glendale to make a decision by next week and three councilmembers stepped forward to force a vote Tuesday despite concerns that the city did not have enough time to do due diligence on the deal.

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Messier is leaving the New York Rangers after being passed over to replace fired head coach John Tortorella.

Messier, who had been a special assistant to Rangers general manager Glen Sather, announced in a statement that he is resigning in order to "expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center." The Kingsbridge National Ice Center, proposed for the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, would be the largest ice sports facility in the world.

However, he added that the Rangers' choice to hire veteran coach Alain Vigneault to be the new head coach wasn't a factor in his departure from the team.

SOCCER

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Authorities confirmed the death of a protester the day after tens of thousands took to the streets and clashed with police as Brazil played Uruguay in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

Police said about 20 people were reported injured and about 30 were arrested.

The host city awoke to scenes of destruction: store windows destroyed, houses vandalized, a truck burned and several cars at a dealership showroom set on fire.

The protester was identified as 21-year-old Douglas Henrique Oliveira. Officials said he died of head injuries after falling from an overpass during demonstrations near Mineirao Stadium.

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