Vikings owner reportedly considered firing Brad Childress

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was furious about being circumvented by Brad Childress when the coach put Randy Moss on waivers without telling Wilf, according to an report. Wilf considered retaining Moss and firing Childress, according to a team source.

Childress, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, put his job in jeopardy because he did not follow franchise protocol and talk to Wilf before deciding to put Moss on waivers.

Childress is under contract for three more seasons. He was asked Friday if he thought he still had Wilf's support.

"My sense doesn't make any difference," Childress said. "You'd have to speak to him on that. We've always communicated very well and I haven't seen any change on that."

Moss was claimed by the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday after four games with Minnesota. Moss was acquired by the Vikings in a midseason trade with the New England Patriots.

Wilf, who lives in New Jersey, spent much of the past week observing practices and meeting individually with Vikings players. One of the players who met with Wilf told ESPN that he sensed the owner was attempting to determine how much support remained for Childress among veteran players and wanted to remind them they could still make the playoffs.


Molinari leads HSBC Champions

Francesco Molinari built an early lead, then hung on for a two-under-par 70 and maintained his one-shot lead over world No. 1 Lee Westwood after two rounds of the HSBC Champions at Shanghai.

Westwood made a late surge, hitting driver onto the par-four 16th green to set up a birdie and will be in the final group with his Ryder Cup teammate at Sheshan International after a 70. Molinari was at nine-under 135.

Tiger Woods, bumped from his top ranking for the first time in more than five years, struggled to a 72 and was five shots behind.

Defending champion John Cook shot a two-under 69 at Harding Park in San Francisco, taking a one-stroke lead over Tom Kite (67) and Tom Lehman (68) in the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

A day after opening with seven birdies in a bogey-free 64, Cook was even through 15 holes before he eagled the par-four 16th. He followed with pars on the final two holes to get to nine-under 133.

Top-ranked Jiyai Shin of South Korea shot a seven-under 65 and shared the lead with Yukari Baba of Japan after the first round of the LPGA Tour's Mizuno Classic at Shima, Japan. American Morgan Pressel was a stroke back at six under.


Federer, Roddick advance at Swiss Indoors

Roger Federer and Andy Roddick cruised to straight-set wins, setting up a meeting in the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors at Basel, Switzerland.

Federer beat Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-2, and Roddick rode his big serve to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over David Nalbandian of Argentina.

Novak Djokovic and Serbian Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki will meet in the other semifinal.

Second-seeded Robin Soderling cruised into his first semifinal since July with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Gael Monfils at the Valencia Open in Spain. Soderling will face fourth-seeded David Ferrer. Gilles Simon takes on Marcel Granollers in the other semifinal.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters because of a shoulder injury that will keep him sidelined for at least a week.


UCLA's Smith is day to day

UCLA freshman center Joshua Smith was listed as day to day after an X-ray of his sprained right thumb was negative. Smith injured his thumb diving for a loose ball during the first half of the Bruins' 95-59 exhibition victory over Westmont on Thursday. He had nine points and four rebounds in eight minutes.

UCLA will play another exhibition Tuesday at Pauley Pavilion against Cal State Los Angeles.

— Ben Bolch

The USC men's basketball team will host Point Loma Nazarene in an exhibition game at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Galen Center. This will be USC's only exhibition game before the regular season begins Nov. 13 against UC Irvine.

The Sea Lions are winless in two exhibition games this season and return 10 players from a team that went 8-21 last season. They are led by forwards James Hancock (17 points per game) and Todd Campbell (14.0 points). USC returns two starters from a team that went 16-14 last season, when the Trojans were banned from postseason play, and the Trojans are led by forwards Nikola Vucevic (10.7 points, 9.4 rebounds) and Alex Stepheson (8.4 points, 7.2 rebounds).

— Baxter Holmes

Elliott Sadler won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in more than four years with a dominant run at Fort Worth, Texas. Sadler zipped around the high-banked 1 1/2 -mile track in 195.397 mph, nearly 2 mph better than Greg Biffle. Points leader Jimmie Johnson qualified 17th for the race Sunday.

Kyle Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race at Texas, his seventh victory in 14 starts in the truck series this season.

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton was suspended for two games under the NHL's new rule on head hits for a shot he made on St. Louis Blues forward David Perron on Thursday.

New York Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels admitted betting on baseball, a person familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press. Samuels made the admission to an investigator for Major League Baseball in the last few weeks, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia won the women's short program at the figure skating Cup of China in Beijing in her return from a fractured foot. Akiko Suzuki of Japan, last year's winner, was in second place, while 2007 world champion Miki Ando placed third. Takahiko Kozuka of Japan dominated the men's short program, beating out Brian Joubert of France.

The Big 12 Conference extended Commissioner Dan Beebe's contract for three years through June 2015. Beebe's original five-year deal was set to expire in 2012.

North Korean gymnasts will be barred from competing in the 2012 London Olympics under a two-year international suspension for age falsification.

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