National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Ward crafted reputation as wheelman before death

PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (AP) Kevin Ward Jr. was crafting a reputation as a wheelman, the kind of driver who could race vehicles on any track without fear.

He'd sit up on his seat, floor it, and zip his way through a maze of cars straight toward the front of the pack.

For points. For fun. Often for little money.

"He would go to tracks that a lot of other drivers wouldn't go to," Chuck Miller, the race director and president for the Empire Super Sprints circuit, said Monday. "If we had co-sanctioned races with other organizations where we really weren't giving points or anything, but it was a deal where you wanted to see how you stacked up against the other competition, the Wards were willing to go and do that and see where they were at."

Ward began racing go-karts in 1998 at age 4. In 2010, he moved on to sprint cars and was Empire Super Sprint racing rookie of the year in 2012. The 20-year-old raced mostly on dirt tracks a few hours from his home in Port Leyden, a village of 700 in northern New York.

Ward was killed Saturday night about 140 miles away at a clay track in Canandaigua. NASCAR champion Tony Stewart was the big name in the field, racing with the young guys while he was in the area for a Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen the next day.

Ward and Stewart tangled, and Ward hit the wall. Ward walked on the track apparently to confront Stewart, and was struck when Stewart's vehicle seemed to fishtail.

On Monday, several cars were parked in front of the Ward home in Port Leyden. A police officer stood across the street, politely asking reporters not to park on the road's shoulder.

Helen McHale has lived across the street for 30 years and remembers hearing the noise when Ward raced go-carts. Kevin Ward Sr. runs a successful painting business, and locals thought his son might make it big in the racing world.

"His dad goes to every race," she said. "He's a good kid, polite, big smile, and they're a good family."

Stewart and Ward shared a love of racing sprint cars: high-powered, winged cars built for running on short oval or circular dirt and paved tracks. Drivers have to hit the gas to turn, not necessarily use the wheel.

After the crash, Ward was standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car on the dimly lit track. According to video and witness accounts, Ward was struck by the right rear tire and hurtled through the air.

Authorities questioned the 43-year-old Stewart once on Saturday night and went to Watkins Glen to talk to him again Sunday. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that investigators don't have any evidence at this point to support criminal intent. Povero said Monday there were no plans "at this time" to talk to Stewart again.

"At this time, there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behavior or conduct, or that any probable cause of a criminal act, in this investigation," he said.

Povero said the autopsy was completed Monday and found Ward died of blunt force trauma.

Stewart said Sunday "there aren't words" to describe his sadness over Ward's death.

Stewart hasn't announced whether he'll drive in this weekend's NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway, but his short track "hobby" is on hold. He won't appear Saturday in a race in Warsaw, Indiana.

"It is still an emotional time for all involved, Tony included. He is grieving, and grief doesn't have a timetable," spokesman Mike Arning said Monday.

Canandaigua Speedway promoter Jeremie Corcoran said the track has canceled Wednesday's event to give "my family, staff, fans, and racing teams time to grieve and process all that has occurred."

Driver Matt Tanner, a friend of Ward's, was a few cars back from the collision. Ward had been a good friend for years, a member of a small, tight group of drivers who traveled to various races around New York state, parts of Canada and Pennsylvania.

"I saw his car sitting there and when the ambulances pulled up I realized what was happening," Tanner said.

He hasn't watched the video and doesn't plan to.

"Your emotions are running so high. Stewart's known for being competitive, and Kevin was just as competitive," said Tanner.

So competitive that he'd take his life into his own hands by stepping into traffic in a black firesuit on a dark track?

No one will know for sure why Ward made the treacherous decision to stalk Stewart.

But perhaps he was inspired by Stewart himself. Known for his volcanic temper, Stewart is among the drivers who made highlight reels by tossing helmets at windshields or throwing punches at competitors. The action captivates fans and is part of NASCAR's allure - and inspires the next generation to mimic the bumping and brawling of their heroes.

What better way for a young driver to make a name for himself than being the one that stood up to Smoke?

Driver Cory Sparks, a fellow driver in Saturday's race, said he and Ward became friends five years ago. He said Ward was aggressive and competitive and that the two men had "had our feuds" but that he was proud to call him a friend.

"I don't want Kevin Ward to be remembered as a victim in a Tony Stewart accident," he said. "He definitely had a future in this sport. He was a very aggressive driver. He was one hell of wheel man."

Doug Elkins is a former race announcer who now writes about the sport. He had known Ward and his father for several years. Elkins said he expected rules prohibiting drivers from getting out of their cars during races will be better enforced around the country.

He hadn't heard of any bad blood between Stewart and Ward.

"Anyone would want to beat him, Elkins said, "he's Tony Stewart."

Memorial services will be held Wednesday at the Trainor Funeral Home in Boonville, New York. The funeral is Thursday.

Orioles 3B Machado leaves with right knee sprain

BALTIMORE (AP) Orioles third baseman Manny Machado sprained his right knee taking a swing Monday night against the New York Yankees and needed help to get off the field.

Batting in the third inning, Machado twisted his knee while hitting a broken-bat grounder to shortstop. He dropped in a heap in the batter's box and gripped his knee in obvious pain as Derek Jeter made the throw to first base.

After a check by head trainer Richie Bancells, Machado limped off the field on the shoulders of Bancells and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.

An examination determined the injury to be a right knee sprain. The Orioles said Machado would be examined again on Tuesday.

Earlier in the game, Machado doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Chris Davis took Machado's place in the lineup and hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

Machado missed the first month of the season while recovering from surgery on his left knee.

NCAA seeks clarification in O'Bannon ruling

The NCAA wants clarification on two points in a California judge's ruling in the landmark Ed O'Bannon case.

The governing body wrote in a brief to the U.S. District Court on Monday that schools want to know which recruits are covered under the ruling which opened the door to athletes receiving a small percentage of the millions of dollars they help generate.

Judge Claudia Wilken wrote it would affect only athletes who enroll after July 1, 2016, at the beginning of the next recruiting cycles.

The NCAA calls the language about the "next recruiting cycle" ambiguous. It wants the court to establish another date, Aug. 1, 2015, when scholarships can first be offered in the 2015-16 recruiting cycle.

"Under existing NCAA rules, student-athletes in the next recruiting cycle (i.e., student-athletes who would first enroll in college in Fall 2016) may receive offer letters from colleges starting on August 1, 2015. Bylaw 13.9.2.2. NCAA seeks to confirm that the existing NCAA rules can remain in force until August 1, 2015, although we understand the injunction would not permit the NCAA to adopt or enforce rules inconsistent with the injunction on or after that date," attorneys wrote in the filing, pointing out that is the first day schools can offer scholarships to players in the 2016-17 recruiting class.

On a second point, the NCAA contends, is Wilken's language regarding the "licensing or use of prospective, current, or former student-athletes" could be interpreted to apply to current players.

"This has prompted concerns among colleges and universities that the injunction might, contrary to the Court's opinion, apply immediately to current student-athletes," the attorneys wrote. "Based on the Court's opinion, the NCAA believes the language of Paragraph 1 refers to compensation only for student-athletes first enrolling after July 1, 2016. Otherwise the injunction would permit colleges and conferences to compensate current student-athletes before the NCAA's member colleges have an opportunity to consider new rules consistent with the injunction."

Attorneys wrote that they want the clarifications to ensure that there are no violations of the permanent injunction Wilken imposed, which allows players at big schools to have money generated by television contracts put into a trust fund to pay them when they leave. Wilken said the body that governs college athletics could set a cap on the money paid to athletes, as long as it allows at least $5,000 per athlete per year of competition. Individual schools could offer less money, she said, but only if they don't unlawfully conspire among themselves to set those amounts.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Sunday that the governing body would appeal "at least in part" the ruling.

"We look forward to presenting our arguments on appeal, and in the meantime we will continue to champion student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement released after Emmert's announcement.

Winning on appeal could be a major challenge given the venue in Oakland, California.

Though the NCAA has a stronger historical record in appeals courts, where a recent University of Illinois study found that it wins 71 percent of the time in both the second and third rounds of cases, this would go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Legal experts say that court has generally been a "labor-friendly" court, which could hurt the NCAA's chances of victory.

Wiggins deflects questions about trade to Wolves

TORONTO (AP) When training camp begins in October, he'll be trying to block and deflect shots in the NBA. On Monday, No.1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins was deflecting questions about precisely where he'll be playing.

Last week, Cleveland reportedly reached an agreement in principle to send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love, who will join LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to form a new "Big 3" with the Cavaliers.

That deal, which cannot be officially completed until Aug. 23, when Wiggins becomes eligible to be traded, would leave the rookie swingman playing for a rebuilding squad in the Western Conference, rather than alongside LeBron on a presumed title contender in Cleveland.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the reported deal was agreed to, Wiggins refused to be drawn in to any trade talk.

"Whatever happens is out of my control," he said. "I'm not worrying about it right now."

Surrounded by more than a dozen reporters and nine television cameras at a promotional event at his former grade school in suburban Toronto, Wiggins acknowledged that life as a first overall pick has brought him extra attention.

"There's more eyes on me, more criticizing, stuff like that," he said.

So far, at least, the glare of the spotlight hasn't been too hard to handle.

"Going to Kansas University kind of prepares you for moments like this," he said, "because at Kansas they treat the basketball players like rock stars."

After Wiggins attended Jayhawks coach Bill Self's basketball camp Sunday, Self said Wiggins told him he'd welcome the trade to Minnesota, where he could be the face of the franchise, rather than playing in the shadow of LeBron.

"Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you're guaranteed winning, for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that," Self said Sunday.

Wiggins wouldn't bite when asked Monday for a response to Self's comments.

"Anywhere, any team," he said. "I can play anywhere."

Wiggins, who set numerous freshman records during his lone season with the Jayhawks, appears to be a good fit for the Timberwolves. While his defense is already NBA-caliber, Wiggins will be able to develop his offense alongside point guard Ricky Rubio in an up-tempo system.

The reported trade would break up Cleveland's trio of Canadian youngsters, with only fourth-year forward Tristan Thompson expected to remain with the Eastern Conference's new presumed power.

Wiggins said he's kept in touch with both Bennett and Thompson as the NBA rumor mill churned this summer.

"We're all close friends," Wiggins said. "We're all from Toronto so I talk to them."

No matter where he starts his career, Toronto fans are already hoping that Wiggins might one day suit up for the Raptors. The young forward refused to say much about that, either, but didn't shoot down the idea.

"The hometown love will always be there, no matter what," Wiggins said. "I try and do good for this city and I know this city tries to do good for me."

On that front, Wiggins was asked how he'd cast a ballot in Toronto's October mayoral vote, where controversial candidate Rob Ford, an acknowledged crack user who recently returned to work following a stint in rehab, is running for re-election. Even there, however, the basketball star refused to be pinned down.

"Not too sure," Wiggins said with a chuckle.

Pirates put McCutchen on DL, dating to last week

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates have put star center fielder Andrew McCutchen on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken rib after waiting a week to see how it would heal.

The Pirates promoted right-hander Casey Sadler from Triple-A Indianapolis before Monday's game against the Detroit Tigers.

McCutchen's move was listed as Aug. 4, the day after he left a game at Arizona with pain in his side following a swing. The previous day, he was hit in the same area by a pitch from Diamondbacks reliever Randal Delgado.

The Pirates felt McCutchen was hit in retaliation for Arizona All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt sustaining a season-ending broken left hand a night earlier when hit by Pittsburgh reliever Ernesto Frieri.

McCutchen is batting .311 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs this season. The reigning NL MVP leads the playoff-contending Pirates in batting average, on-base percentage, homers and RBIs.

Massive blunt trauma caused Ward's death

Kevin Ward Jr. died of blunt force trauma when he was hit by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero says the autopsy was completed Monday. The 20-year-old driver was competing in a dirt-track race in upstate New York.

Authorities questioned Stewart on Saturday night and went to Watkins Glen to talk to him again Sunday. Povero said Monday there were no plans "at this time" to talk to him again.

There is no timetable to complete the investigation.

Povero says there is nothing in the inquiry that supports criminal conduct or probable cause. He says there was no camera in Stewart's car.

LA Kings to retire Rob Blake's No. 4 jersey

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Kings will retire Hall of Fame defenseman Rob Blake's No. 4 jersey on Jan. 17.

The Stanley Cup champions announced the honor Monday.

Blake played 14 of his 20 NHL seasons with the Kings, including six seasons as their captain. The seven-time All-Star won the franchise's first Norris Trophy in 1998 and became the club leader in games played, goals and assists by a defenseman.

The former fourth-round draft pick finished his career in San Jose in a move that irked many Kings fans. He has since returned to Los Angeles as the club's assistant general manager.

Blake will be honored before a home game against the Anaheim Ducks. He is the sixth Kings player to have his number retired.

Police looking at Lynch in assault investigation

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) Police in Bellevue, Washington, are investigating whether Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was involved in an assault and damage of personal property.

The Bellevue Police Department released a statement Monday morning saying that the alleged incident took place around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and that Lynch is alleged to have been involved. Bellevue police stated that they have not been able to verify whether Lynch was involved, but are investigating.

The incident was reported by the female victim about 12 hours after it took place at a downtown Bellevue apartment. Police say there was no domestic violence or sexual assault involved in the allegation.

Bellevue police spokesman Seth Tyler told ( http://tinyurl.com/ov6ead8 ) The Seattle Times there was no further information, adding "this is only an allegation. We haven't even verified that he was involved."

Tyler said authorities will discuss the matter with Lynch as soon as they can.

The Seahawks did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Lynch held out the first week of Seattle's training camp before returning after the team agreed to turn $1.5 million in incentives and future pay into base salary for the 2014 season. That raised his base salary for this year from $5 million to $6.5 million.

Former No. 1 overall pick Oden charged with battery

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Prosecutors in Indiana have formally charged former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden with battery for allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the face during a fight.

The free-agent center was charged Monday with felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury, misdemeanor domestic battery and misdemeanor battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

The 26-year-old was arrested at his mother's suburban home in Lawrence, Indiana, on Thursday and released later that day from jail. An affidavit says a witness told police Oden had punched the woman in the face, drawing blood.

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment with Oden's attorney.

The Portland Trail Blazers made Oden the top pick in the 2007 draft. He played for the Miami Heat last season.

McIlroy wins PGA in thrilling show on soggy turf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rory McIlroy stood over a 10-inch putt in gathering darkness to win the PGA Championship as flashes from thousands of camera lit up Valhalla like a rock concert.

Everyone wanted to capture a moment from golf's latest coronation.

In his biggest test, McIlroy played his best golf Sunday to win his second straight major and establish himself as golf's next star.

And what a stage.

The final major was pure theater with an All-Star cast - Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson all with a share of the lead on the back nine. The final two hours were filled with eagles and birdies, with tension and chaos.

McIlroy never had to sweat so much to win one of golf's biggest events. And that's what made this major so much sweeter.

"It is the most satisfying," McIlroy said. "To win it in this fashion and this style, it means a lot. It means that I know that I can do it. I know that I can come from behind. I know that I can mix it up with the best players in the world down the stretch in a major and come out on top."

The final par - the easiest shot he faced all day - gave McIlroy a 3-under 68 to outlast Mickelson by a stroke and beat the darkness that threatened to spoil this show. He became only the fourth player in the last century to win four majors at 25 or younger. The others were Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones, three of the game's greatest players.

Boy Wonder appears on his way to belonging in that group.

"I didn't think in my wildest dreams I'd have a summer like this," said McIlroy, only the seventh player to win the last two majors of the year. "I played the best golf of my life. I really gutted it out today."

He finished at 16-under 268, the lowest score to win the PGA in 13 years.

But one of the greatest shows on soggy turf came with a most peculiar ending.

Three shots behind as he stood in the 10th fairway, McIlroy got back in the game with a 3-wood from 281 yards into 7 feet for eagle. He took the outright lead when all three of his challengers eventually made bogey, and finally gave himself some breathing room. With a 9-iron from a fairway bunker to 10 feet for birdie on the 17th, he took a two-shot lead going to the par-5 closing hole.

Because of a two-hour rain delay earlier, darkness was falling quickly and it wasn't certain McIlroy would be able to finish.

McIlroy was allowed to hit his tee shot before Mickelson and Fowler had reached their drives. Both were only two shots behind, still in the game. McIlroy came within a yard of hitting in a hazard right of the fairway.

Then, the PGA of America allowed McIlroy to hit his second shot. Mickelson and Fowler had to stand to the side of the green.

"We were cool with hitting the tee shot," Fowler said. "We weren't expecting the approach shots."

Fowler had a 50-foot eagle attempt to tie for the lead. He was well off the mark, and missed the short birdie putt attempt that cost him his third straight runner-up finish in a major. Mickelson was short of the green, and his chip came within inches of dropping for an eagle that would have tied him for the lead.

Mickelson appeared upset that they had to wait to finish the hole - not standard procedure in a PGA Tour event - and he made two references in a TV interview that this is the only championship the PGA of America runs all year.

"It didn't affect the outcome of the championship at all, I don't think," Mickelson said. "It's not what we normally do. It's not a big deal either way."

Mickelson closed with a 66 and was runner-up for the ninth time in a major.

Fowler became the first player in history to finish in the top five at all four majors without winning one. He closed with a 68 and tied for third with Stenson, who fell out of a share of the lead by missing a 3-foot par putt on the 14th hole. Stenson shot a 66.

McIlroy hit his second shot into a bunker, and he had to two-putt from 35 feet for the win. He lagged the first one to tap-in range, and the major was his. McIlroy repeatedly pumped his fist before letting out a scream above the gallery that had been treated to a Sunday it won't soon forget.

McIlroy won his first two majors by eight shots at the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship. Only a month ago, McIlroy took a six-shot lead into the final round of the British Open and completed a wire-to-wire win with only a brief scare.

This was different.

"I think I showed a lot of guts out there to get the job done," he said.

It might not have been possible without a 3-wood on the par-5 10th hole. McIlroy watched Fowler make a 30-foot birdie putt ahead of him for the outright lead and knew it was time to get going. He hit his 3-wood lower than he wanted, and further to the left than he wanted, but it turned out perfect.

Once he joined the leaders with a birdie on the 13th, none of the contenders made another birdie the rest of the way until it was too late.

All that was left after an exhausting day of raw emotions was for McIlroy to summon enough energy to hoist the 27-pound Wanamaker Trophy. He crouched before the presentation, trying to collect his thoughts at the last month. Not since Woods in 2008 has anyone won three straight tournaments, and they were big ones - the British Open, a World Golf Championship and the PGA Championship. He played them in a combined 48-under par.

"He's better than everyone else right now," Mickelson said.

Lochte beats Phelps in 200 IM at US nationals

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, a couple of Olympic champions on the comeback trail, got a step closer to finding their form.

Lochte beat Phelps to win the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. national championships Sunday night, leaving Phelps winless in four races at his biggest meet since coming out of retirement.

They weren't in their usual lanes in the center of the pool. Those spots go to the fastest qualifiers.

Lochte was in lane two and Phelps was in lane six. They couldn't see each other either, with Phelps breathing toward the stands and Lochte the other way.

Still, the race came down to the two old rivals, with Phelps chasing Lochte for a change.

Lochte, the world champion, led all the way and touched in 1 minute, 56.50 seconds. He is coming off major knee surgery, and had a setback at a meet in April, all of which limited his time in the water.

"This year has been up and down, but I'm glad I got a win knowing that I really haven't done the work I wanted to," he said. "I always relied on my training, but this year I haven't done that training so my confidence was low."

Phelps, the three-time Olympic champion in the event, was saying the same thing, although he pronounced himself pleased with his time.

"That's a good spot to be," he said after finishing second in 1:56.55. "I'm a lot happier with finishing like that than having some of the sub-par performances that I've had throughout the final sessions in this meet."

Lochte's time was second-fastest in the world this year; Phelps' was third-quickest.

"If you go out in that race it's pretty painful in the end," Phelps said.

It was Lochte's first victory of the five-day meet after finishing second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 backstroke.

"I guess we can say this is kind of our off-year," Lochte said of him and Phelps. "Well, I can say that."

Four months into his comeback, Phelps came up empty. He finished second in the 100 butterfly, sixth in the 100 back and seventh in the 100 free. But those second places were enough to qualify him for the Pan Pacific Championships this month, where swimmers can compete in any events they want.

"I'd rather lose all the national championships that I swim in as long as I'm ready for the big races," he said.

Olympian Tyler Clary was third in 1:57.94.

Lochte and Clary are headed to Australia for Pan Pacs, too.

Lochte took the medals stand in glitzy green high-tops with attachable wings.

"I kind of like the wings," he said. "They're helping me out. I should have worn them all week."

Anthony Ervin won his first 50 freestyle national title in 13 years, upsetting five-time champion and training partner Nathan Adrian.

"Unexpected," Ervin said. "I still feel like I haven't let that fully sink in."

Ervin, at 33 the oldest man in the final, won the chaotic sprint in 21.55 seconds, third-quickest in the world. The 2000 Olympic champion in the event raised both tattoo-sleeved arms in triumph.

"I've been doing the no-breath since 2000," he said, smiling.

Adrian took second in 21.69, and two-time champion Cullen Jones was third in 21.83.

Simone Manuel won the women's 50 free in 24.56 to go with her second-place finish in the 100 free.

Natalie Coughlin, at 31 the oldest woman competing at nationals, finished sixth. She failed to make her record-tying fifth Pan Pacific team and as a result won't qualify for next year's world championships. That leaves Coughlin out of the two biggest international meets leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Michael McBroom won the 800 free in 7:49.66.

Melanie Margalis won the 200 individual medley in 2:10.20 to earn a berth at her first major international meet.

Swimming on the far outside in lane eight, Katy Campbell won the 1,500 freestyle in 16:17.59 after world record-holder Katie Ledecky decided not to swim on the meet's final night. Ledecky set a world record in the 400 freestyle on Saturday, giving her world marks in the 400, 800 and 1,500 at the same time.

Stewart on Ward death: 'there aren't words'

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) Tony Stewart says "there aren't words" to describe his sadness over the collision that killed Kevin Ward Jr.

In a statement released by spokesman Mike Arning, Stewart says "my thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

The three-time NASCAR champion struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. with his car on Saturday night as Ward walked toward it following contact between the two during their race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

The full text of the statement read: "There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

Stewart's team had said earlier Sunday that Stewart would be behind the wheel of his No. 14 Chevrolet when the green flag waved. Regan Smith drove Stewart's car instead.

Emmert says NCAA will appeal O'Bannon ruling

Mark Emmert said Sunday that the NCAA will appeal a ruling that opens the door for college athletes to receive some of the money they help generate in major sports.

In the NCAA president's first public comments since Friday's ruling, Emmert told ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" that college sports' largest governing body found a lot in the decision that was "admirable" and some parts they disagreed with so strongly that they could not let it go unchallenged in court.

"Yes, at least in part we will," Emmert said when asked whether the NCAA planned an appeal. "No one on our legal team or the college conferences' legal teams think this is a violation of antitrust laws and we need to get that settled in the courts."

The NCAA's decision to challenge the ruling is hardly a surprise.

Donald Remy, the organization's chief legal officer, had repeatedly said that if the NCAA lost, it would appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if needed. Many legal experts think this case could be heading that direction, though it's unclear whether the nation's highest court would take it.

"We remain confident that the NCAA has not violated the antitrust laws and intend to appeal," Remy said in a statement released following the television show. "We will also be seeking clarity from the district court on some details of its ruling.""

Joseph Farelli, an attorney with the New York-based law firm of Pitta & Giblin who specializes in labor law, said the NCAA didn't have a choice after U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Friday shot down the NCAA's argument that its model of amateurism was the only way to run college sports. Wilken wrote that football players in FBS schools and Division I men's basketball players must be allowed to receive at least $5,000 a year for rights to their names, images and likenesses, money that would be put in a trust fund and given to them when they leave school.

"I would expect them to appeal it because now you're going to have a permanent injunction that says the NCAA can't regulate what colleges do with their student-athletes," Farelli told The Associated Press. "If they don't appeal, now you have a federal court precedent."

If the NCAA allowed that decision to stand, Farelli said, it could lead to even more litigation against the NCAA on hot-button topics such as Title IX and whether there should be any cap on how much money athletes should receive.

Emmert acknowledged Sunday that Wilken's decision could lead to a fundamental shift in college sports.

Historically, the NCAA fares better in the appellate system. According to a study released last month by Illinois professor Michael LeRoy, student-athletes suing the NCAA won 49 percent of the initial cases but the NCAA won 71 percent of the appeals in both the second and third rounds.

This time could be different because of the venue.

"The problem for the NCAA is that the appeal will be in the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit is generally a labor-friendly circuit. Looking from the outside, it would likely favor O'Bannon," said Michael McCann, director of the sports and entertainment law center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "It depends on which judges get the case and we won't know that."

Emmert did applaud parts of the decision that allow the NCAA to enforce other rules and the imposition of the cap.

But by the time the payments are supposed to begin in 2016, the NCAA could be operating under new rules.

The board of directors voted Thursday to give the five richest conferences more authority to unilaterally change some of the rules, a move that paves the way for giving players enough money to defray all or most of their college expenses including those that go beyond current limit of tuition, room and board, books and fees.

"There's little debate about the need to do that," Emmert said, "and I think this move will finally allow us to get there."

NASCAR's Stewart hits, kills driver on NY track

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who was walking on a dirt track during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night.

Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said his department's investigation is not criminal and that Stewart was "fully cooperative."

Povero would not identify the driver, but said he was pronounced dead Saturday night at a hospital in Canandaigua.

A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr. walking toward Stewart's car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet.

Povero said the 42-year-old Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion and frequent competitor at local sprint car events, was questioned and released. The sheriff is asking for people who have video of the crash to contact the office so copies can be obtained for review.

"People that witnessed it were horrified," Povero said of the crash. "They were extremely shocked."

Calls to Stewart's representatives were not immediately returned, and he was scheduled to race in in NASCAR's event Sunday at Watkins Glen. There was no word on if Stewart would pull out of the race, which is critical for his championship chances.

Video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed Ward, in the No. 13 car, spin into a wall after contact with Stewart's car. The video showed Ward, wearing a black firesuit and black helmet, climb quickly from his car and briskly walk around it in what appeared to be an attempt to confront Stewart as he passed by in his own car, Stewart's familiar No. 14.

The video showed Ward to the right of Stewart's car, which seemed to kick out from the rear and hit Ward. The driver was hurtled through the air and emergency personnel quickly reached Ward as he lay on the track.

Michael Messerly, a fan who witnessed the crash, said it appeared Stewart - racing there on the eve of a race at Watkins Glen - hit a driver who was walking on the dimly lit track after they had collided on the previous lap.

He said Stewart struck the driver as he tried to speed past him.

"I didn't see (the other driver) anymore," he said. "It just seemed like he was suddenly gone."

The accident came just four days after Stewart marked the one-year anniversary of an accident in a sprint car race in Iowa, where he suffered a compound fracture to his right leg. The injury cost him the second half of the NASCAR season.

The track, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, canceled the remainder of the race within five minutes and later posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."

It said a statement on the crash would come later Sunday.

Ward's website said he began racing go-karts in 1998 at age 4, but didn't start driving sprint cars until 2010. He was Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year in 2012 and this year was his fifth season racing the Empire Super Sprints.

Stewart was involved in a July 2013 accident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park that seriously injured a 19-year-old driver. He later took responsibility for his car making contact with another and triggering the 15-car accident that left Alysha Ruggles with a compression fracture in her back.

On Saturday, ambulances, fire trucks and police arrived within minutes of the crash, Messerly said. Fans filed out in stunned silence, he said.

Stewart only returned to sprint track racing last month, almost a year after breaking his leg in the crash at an Iowa track. He didn't return to racing in any form until February when preparation for NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500 began.

He refused to stop his extracurricular racing despite the injury and was scheduled to race Sunday.

Stewart was a spectator at the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the accident, and posted on his Twitter account: "Thank you to everyone that worked so hard to get me back to where I'm at today. It's your life, live it!"

Roughly three hours after the accident in New York, Donny Schatz, a sprint car driver for Tony Stewart Racing, won the prestigious Knoxville Nationals in Iowa for an eighth time. Stewart had spent much of the earlier part of the week trackside in Iowa watching his drivers compete.

"I was just told there was an incident involving Tony. I don't know to what extent or what's happening," Schatz said.

Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion, is co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. The four-team Sprint Cup organization fields cars for Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. He's struggled a bit this year since returning, and heads into Sunday's race winless on the season and ranked 19th in the standings.

Stewart was scheduled to start 13th on Sunday at Watkins Glen International in south central New York state. He has just five races remaining to either score a win or move inside the top 16 in points to grab a valuable spot in NASCAR's championship race.

Manziel solid in debut, Browns fall to Lions 13-12

DETROIT -- Johnny Manziel showed off some of his fancy footwork, and the Cleveland rookie looked sharp with his arm too in his preseason debut, although the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions 13-12 on Saturday night.

Manziel entered the game as a backup in the middle of the second quarter, and although he couldn't take his team to the end zone, he did go 7 of 11 for 63 yards, completing one more pass than starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. Manziel also ran for 27 yards on six carries, including a 16-yard scramble in the third quarter.

Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a field goal on his only drive of the game. Star receiver Calvin Johnson didn't play.

Cleveland receiver Nate Burleson, who played in Detroit the last four seasons, also sat out this game.

Detroit's Kellen Moore threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Corey Fuller with 1:05 remaining in the game, and Giorgio Tavecchio made the long extra point to give the Lions the one-point win.

There was a buzz surrounding this preseason game because of Manziel's debut, and the former Heisman Trophy winner took the field with 7:32 remaining in the first half, drawing a few cheers but also plenty of boos from the Detroit crowd. Amid a fair number of camera flashes at Ford Field, Manziel took the snap and immediately completed a 6-yard pass toward the left sideline to Anthony Armstrong.

But the Lions stuffed the Cleveland quarterback on what looked like a read option on third down, ending that drive.

Billy Cundiff gave Cleveland a 9-6 lead with a 41-yard field goal early in the third quarter. On his next drive, Manziel dropped back on third-and-8, then took off up the middle, finding plenty of open space for a 16-yard run that was the longest by a Cleveland player on the night.

Manziel later outran the Lions to the sideline to pick up a first down on fourth-and-1, but the drive ended when Dion Lewis fumbled inside the Detroit 30.

Cundiff kicked four field goals for the Browns, and rookie Nate Freese made two for the Lions. Detroit was playing its first preseason game under new coach Jim Caldwell, and the offense did little to impress with Stafford barely playing. Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky went 12 of 23 for 89 yards.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon played while awaiting word from the NFL on his appeal of a possible suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He caught two passes for 32 yards. Hoyer went 6 of 14 for 92 yards.

Rookie tight end Eric Ebron, Detroit's first-round pick, played after missing some practice time during the week with an injury. He caught one pass.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fowler 2 shots back at PGA Championship

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Rickie Fowler is giving himself so many chances in the majors, he's bound to break through one of these days.

He has been the runner-up in the past two majors and was fifth at the Masters, so it's not shocking that Fowler is within reach of leader Rory McIlory at the PGA Championship.

But winning his first major will again require clearing the world's best player, a tall order considering McIlroy isn't letting up.

Then again neither is the 25-year-old former Oklahoma State star from California. He shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday in the third round at Valhalla and stands alone in third at 11 under, two shots behind McIlroy.

Fowler credited McIlroy's driving prowess, especially in recent weeks.

"If he continues to do that, he's not going to back up and we are definitely going to have to go out and show him that we're around," Fowler said. "If someone is going to beat him, they are going to earn it."

Fowler took advantage of soft greens to card four birdies, including one at the par-5 18th hole, to cap his cleanest round this weekend. He'll be paired with buddy Phil Mickelson in the next-to-last group Sunday as both try to deny McIlroy a third straight victory.

Fowler can feel good about earning another shot at a major victory. He has gone 27 straight holes without a bogey, steadiness that briefly put him in a five-way tie for the lead at 10 under before McIlroy broke away with three birdies down the stretch.

What pleased Fowler were tee shots and approaches that mostly landed where he wanted, leaving him with makeable par putts along with those birdies.

Fowler took full advantage of the par-5s and just missed an eagle on 18 when his putt broke left.

"I'm pleased with my round," he said. "I wouldn't exactly ask anything more out of it. Just maybe the putts that didn't go in today, they go in tomorrow."

Fowler would certainly welcome more final-round luck after falling just short in majors.

At last month's British Open, Fowler started the final round six shots behind McIlroy before shooting a 5-under 67 to tie for second with Sergio Garcia, two shots behind. That effort followed his second-place tie at the U.S. Open along with his fifth-place effort at Augusta National.

While Fowler hasn't wondered what might have been in those events, he goes through a pre-major mental checklist of where his game is. Thanks to his work with coach Butch Harmon to improve his play in the marquee events, he has posted top-five showings in all three and is poised again to go over the top.

He doesn't plan any tweaks, even with McIlroy as the target, except maybe the ending.

"I still need to stick with my game plan and what we've established on how we want to play the golf course," he said. "Maybe there's some pins down the stretch where if I need to make some birdies, I'll be able to tighten some things up and maybe try to make some things happen if I have to.

"But I'm not going to change anything. I like where my game is at right now, both physically and on the mental side with where I'm going and through my process before each shot, making sure I'm ready."

Venus Williams tops Serena, reaches Montreal final

MONTREAL -- Venus Williams defeated Serena 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 Saturday for the first win against her sister in more than five years to advance to the final of the Rogers Cup.

The 34-year-old Venus hadn't beat her 32-year-old sister in five matches going back to Dubai in 2009. Top-ranked Serena still leads the all-time series 15-11.

Unseeded Venus started with strong serving and took a 3-1 lead before Serena tied it 3-3. The younger sibling and defending champion prevailed in the tiebreaker, taking a 4-0 lead.

Venus, who dropped serve only once, served for the match at 5-3 in the third set. Venus won it with a rocket serve that Serena returned into the net.

Serena had 19 aces and nine double-faults, while Venus had six aces and two doubles-faults.

Derek Jeter passes Honus Wagner on career hit list

NEW YORK (AP) Derek Jeter has passed Honus Wagner on the career hits list with 3,431, getting an infield single in the sixth inning Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.

Jeter led off the inning with a soft grounder off Corey Kluber that shortstop Jose Ramirez charged but failed to pick up with his bare hand. Jeter tied Wagner on Friday night with a grounder that Ramirez made a nice play on but the throw went off first baseman Carlos Santana's glove as the Yankees captain crossed the base.

Jeter has said this will be his final season so moving up to fifth will be very difficult. He needs 84 hits to catch Tris Speaker at 3,515.

McIlroy leads PGA by a stroke; it seems like more

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Rory McIlroy goes to the weekend of the PGA Championship with a one-stroke lead.

It seems bigger than that.

Such is the state of McIlroy's game.

"When I'm playing like this, it's obviously very enjoyable," he said after a 4-under 67 on Friday. "I can't wait to get back out on the course again (Saturday) and do the same thing all over again."

Jason Day and Jim Furyk are right on his heels, but the Aussie acknowledged that it will be tough for anyone to beat McIlroy.

"I'm clearly not the favorite," Day said. "This whole year he's been playing great. He looks confident. He's hitting the ball longer and straighter than pretty much everyone in the field. It's going to be tough to beat him."

Here are five things to watch for in the third round of the PGA Championship:

RORY'S QUEST: Tiger Woods was the No. 1 player in the world when he won the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla for his third straight major. McIlroy isn't that far along, though he does have a small slice of history at stake if he can win the Wanamaker Trophy. McIlroy is trying to become only the seventh player to win the last two majors of the year, and the first since Padraig Harrington in 2008. Woods did it twice. It would be McIlroy's fourth major. The only other players to have won four majors before age 26 were Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Willie Anderson and Young Tom Morris.

YOUNG GUNS: Jason Day and Rickie Fowler are not yet among the best players to have never won a major. But they might be the best young players without one. And they keep giving themselves chances. Day won the Match Play Championship in February until a thumb injury derailed his year. The 26-year-old Aussie appears to be in form again after the low score of the second round, a 6-under 65 that put him in the final group. Day has been runner-up three times in a major, most recently at the U.S. Open last year. Fowler shot a 66 and was two shots behind McIlroy. He is no stranger to being in contention at the majors on the weekend. Fowler, 25, played in the final group at the last two majors and was runner-up in both. He is the first player since Woods in 2005 to finish in the top five at the first three majors of the year.

LEFTY'S SURGE: Phil Mickelson has been mired in his longest losing streak since 2003. But it looks as though he has found his game. Mickelson shot a blistering 62 in the final round at Firestone, and it has carried over to his best 36-hole start in a major since winning the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol. Mickelson opened with a 69 and eagled the final hole Friday for a 67. Lefty is looking for his first victory since capturing the 2013 British Open at Muirfield. Mickelson has several agendas this weekend, one of which includes locking up his spot on another Ryder Cup team. He already holds the record by qualifying nine times in a row, and he doesn't want captain Tom Watson to have to use a wild-card pick this time.

PART-TIME STRICKER: Steve Stricker will be an assistant captain for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But first, he has to take care of some business at the final major of the year. The 47-year-old Stricker, who became a part-time player last year to spend more time with his family, still has plenty of game. He shot 68 Friday and was four strokes off the lead heading to the weekend. He has been a top-10 finisher in the majors 11 times, most notably a runner-up finish to Vijay Singh at the 1998 PGA Championship. He would be one of the oldest major champions in golf history if he comes through at Valhalla.

TIGER'S FUTURE: Tiger Woods won't be at Valhalla this weekend - he missed the cut at a major championship for only the fourth time in his professional career - but there are plenty of questions about his future. Woods shot back-to-back rounds of 74, leaving him a whopping five shots below the cut line. Woods said his ailing back flared up again, and he conceded that he needs to get stronger. It looks like he'll have plenty of time to work on his game. Unless he plays next week at Greensboro, North Carolina - which he's never done - his season is effectively over. Woods failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, and there seems little chance he will be picked for the Ryder Cup by Watson. For Woods, the focus turns to 2015.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

LeBron tells Ohio crowd: "I love you. I'm back."

AKRON, Ohio (AP) On a night packed with emotion and inspiration, LeBron James saved the biggest moment for last.

Surrounded by family, friends and fans in a city welcoming him home, James delivered a line he's been waiting to say for four years.

"I love you," he told the crowd of nearly 25,000. "I'm back."

James then dropped the microphone and left the stage as fireworks exploded about InfoCision Stadium, illuminating the Akron sky.

James is home, and he's not leaving again.

The NBA superstar, who re-signed with Cleveland last month, said Friday night he intends to play the rest of his career with the Cavaliers, the team he returned to after winning two NBA titles in Miami.

When he signed a two-year, $41 million contract that included an option after one year, there was speculation he would one day test free agency again. The contract made Cleveland fans nervous, but they can now relax.

"I don't plan on going nowhere," James said. "I don't have the energy to do it again."

James, who returned to Northeast Ohio after four seasons with the Heat, was welcomed back with a homecoming event fit for a King.

Fans waited in line for six hours for a prime seat for the event on the University of Akron campus, not far from where the 29-year-old James bounced his first basketball.

There were tributes during the two-hour ceremony, highlighted by recording artist Skylar Grey signing her hit "I'm Coming Home," a song that became the unofficial theme of his return to Cleveland.

"It's almost like she knew I was coming home before I knew I was coming home," he said.

James was back and the city that helped raise him welcomed him with open arms. The welcome-home party coincided with James' annual "I Promise" campaign for area children sponsored by his family foundation.

"It's pretty amazing," said James, joined at his news conference by several kids. "I'm not gonna sit up here and say it's not. To know you can do things for people, give them hope, give them inspiration. It means a lot to me. I understand I'm a role model. I understand to these kids I'm more than a role model. I'm a superhero to them. I'm a father to them. I'm a brother to them, whatever the case they want me to be on that particular day."

Although he was playing for the Heat, James said his heart was always home and he realized it was time to return.

"It just hit me," he said. "Sometimes you just have a feeling. You realize what's going on and what's happening. It just hit me."

During a 15-minute interview session - his first since announcing his return to Ohio - James touched on a number of subjects, including new Cleveland coach David Blatt, the possible addition of All-Star forward Kevin Love, who is expected to join the Cavs in a trade from Minnesota later this month, and winning Cleveland's first championship since 1964 .

James won an Olympic gold medal with Love at the London Games in 2012 and he's eager to be his teammate again.

"I'm going to be very excited to have him," James said. "I don't really care about the 26 (points) and 12 (rebounds). I care about the basketball IQ. His basketball IQ is very, very high. I had an opportunity to spend 32 days with him on the 2012 Olympic team. It's funny. I always told Kevin Love, `You're very good, man.' He always thought I was blowing smoke.

"I always told him he was going to be a reason why we won the gold medal, and he played a huge role for us. So I'm looking forward to it. He's a great piece."

As for Blatt, the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach hired by Cleveland in June, James did some research on his offense and likes what he's seen.

"I watched all his clips form him coaching Maccabi and I kind of broke them down to see how I fit and obviously I can fit in every position on the floor," he said.

James is looking forward to playing with Love and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, neither of whom have played in an NBA playoff game. James knows what it takes to win a title, and he's going to have to lead the way for a team lacking postseason experience.

"I'm going to have to teach, lead and inspire those guys," he said. "But my No. 1 goal is to win the championship here. I think it would be the greatest achievement in my life as far as on the court. Hopefully it will happen. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Fans arrived before 11 a.m. to get a prime seat to see James.

"I might cry when I see him," said Rodneka Price, who drove seven hours from Muncie, Indiana.

Melissa Rumner and her son, Nick, were first in a long line which wrapped around the stadium on the University of Akron's campus.

"We had to be here to welcome him back," Rumner said as 10-year-old Nick stood by wearing one of the white No. 23 jerseys James popularized during his seven seasons with the Cavs. "We're so happy to have him back."

Nick was confident James would return to Cleveland.

"I knew he was coming back," said the red-head, who was counting down the minutes before the gates opened.

Price packed up a car of six people and drove to Ohio for the first time so she could help welcome back the four-time league MVP. She said James' poignant essay that he was returning home to try and end Cleveland's 50-year championship drought touched her.

"It all makes sense," she said, wearing a "Return Of The King" T-shirt. "He made a promise and he's going to stick to it."

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