Lockout Update: Progress Stalls, Season Now Cancelled Through Nov. 30

Lockout Update: Progress Stalls, Season Now Cancelled Through Nov. 30

So much for that "sound bargaining strategy."

After talks finally looked to be heading in a positive direction after multiple day-long meetings, commissioner David Stern announced Friday evening that the 2011-2012 season has been cancelled through November 30th. Any of the hope generated earlier this week that league might find a way to conduct a full 82-game season is now officially squashed.

Negotiations were reported to be progressing rapidly when both sides opted to table the ever-troublesome issue of basketball related income (BRI) in favor of working on "system issues"—the salary cap, its relevant exceptions, the luxury tax, etc.

Unfortunately, once all the system issues were settled, and the issue of BRI was again raised, the owners and players found themselves at the same impasse they have been unable to overcome since July 1.

As is always the case (and highly amusing) in situations such as these, the two sides offer markedly divergent stories. Stern and the owners are telling the media that, given the new system adjustments, they were willing to drop their BRI share to 47%, while Billy Hunter insists that was never the case, and that the owners still want too large a share of the BRI given what the players have already ceded under the new system adjustments.

Regardless of which story is true, it is clear that Hunter was the one to ultimately walk away from the bargaining table on Friday, after commenting earlier in the week that he was available for discussion at any time.

Given the month needed between the signing of a new CBA and the start of basketball, the owners and players now have just a few weeks before their prized Christmas Day games go the way of the first month of the season.

Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

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Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella granted a request by the attorney general's office to tack on a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors said each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in Harrisburg in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The defendants sought permission last week from Boccabella for an appeal that could delay the trial. The judge has not ruled on that request.

They argue Boccabella erred when he declined to dismiss the child-welfare charges, arguing the statute of limitations expired, the defendants did not provide direct care for children and they are charged with actions that occurred before the law was revised.

Earlier this month, the judge dismissed charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, and last year the Superior Court threw out perjury, obstruction and conspiracy charges.

The three administrators fielded a complaint in 2001 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, then retired as an assistant football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower.

They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring children to the campus and they notified his charity for children, The Second Mile.

Sandusky currently is serving a lengthy state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Last week, a new judge appointed to preside over his appeals under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act scheduled a March 24 hearing at the courthouse near State College to "present and finalize the evidentiary portion" of the hearing.

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have released their Wall of Fame ballot for 2017 and Pete Rose is on it for the first time.

Baseball’s all-time hits king joins Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christensen, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo and Rick Wise on the ballot.

The Phillies had to receive permission from commissioner Rob Manfred to include Rose on the ballot. Rose was placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame last summer. 

Rose was one of the stars on the Reds’ Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was considered key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series. 

The Phillies’ Wall of Fame ceremony will take place Aug. 12 at Citizens Bank Park. 

Fans have a voice in the voting, which is has begun on the team’s website -- www.Phillies.com. Fans can select their top three choices and the five finalists will serve as the official ballot for a special Wall of Fame selection committee.