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Racing’s Rick Hendrick is safe after hard jet landing

A Gulfstream jet carrying Rick Hendrick, one of NASCAR’s most successful team owners, his wife, Linda, and two pilots ran off a runway in Key West, Fla., on Monday night, but “there were no serious injuries,” Hendrick Motorsports said.

The G150 airplane was “experiencing brake issues upon landing at Key West International Airport,” the team said, adding that all four people “were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.”

Four of the leading drivers in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series drive for Hendrick: reigning champion Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin.

The incident occurred seven years after Hendrick’s 24-year-old son, Ricky, Hendrick’s brother John and two of Hendrick’s nieces, along with six others, were killed when their small plane crashed on the way to a race in Martinsville, Va.

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Jim Peltz

ETC.

Fisher says there’s no rift in players’ union

Is there dissension in the NBA players’ union?

Not according to Derek Fisher.

The president of the National Basketball Players Assn. claimed unity among players and denied a foxsports.com report in a letter emailed to about 450 NBA players.

The foxsports.com letter report suggested that Fisher was not looking out for the best interests of fellow players and had secretly negotiated with Commissioner David Stern.

“Usually I wouldn’t even dignify absurd media reports with a comment,” Fisher wrote. “My loyalty has and always will be with the players. Anyone that questions that or doubts that does not know me, my history, and what I stand for. And quite frankly, how dare anyone call that into question.”

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The NBA lockout is in its fourth month. Talks broke off last week when players and owners could not decide how to divide basketball-related income. Players want 52% of BRI while owners insist on a 50-50 split.

Mike Bresnahan

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison was fined by the NBA, three days after he made references to the locked-out league’s ongoing collective bargaining process on his Twitter account.

The NBA did not disclose the amount of the fine, or say publicly why Arison was sanctioned. Yahoo Sports reported that the fine was $500,000.

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Arison posted several tweets Friday night, including a reply to someone who referred to those involved with the lockout as “greedy … pigs.” Arison replied by saying “Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.”

That tweet was deleted a short time later.

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Jordan Taylor is in a class by himself on the Associated Press’ preseason All-America team.

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The guard from Wisconsin was the only senior on the team announced Monday. He was joined by four sophomores, including Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, a unanimous pick of the 65-member national media panel.

Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Terrence Jones of Kentucky and Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut were the other sophomores.

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As expected, the Dodgers announced that Sue Falsone had been hired as the team’s head athletic trainer, making her the first woman to hold that position with a major league baseball organization. The Dodgers believe she is the first-ever female head athletic trainer in major American professional sports.

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Stan Conte, the previous head trainer, will continue to oversee the medical department as its newly appointed senior director.

Dylan Hernandez

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A federal appeals court handed a partial victory to a Chatsworth professional sports agency consultant who was sentenced to prison for smuggling five Cuban baseball players into Florida.

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The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Gustavo “Gus” Dominguez’s conviction on charges of transporting and harboring aliens. But the three-judge panel’s decision let stand his convictions on smuggling charges.

Dominguez was sentenced to five years in prison after he was convicted in April 2007 of paying for the players to be smuggled by boat from Cuba in 2004. He was released early from his term in January, and his attorney Ben Kuehne said Monday he was thrilled with the court’s decision even though Dominguez is already free.


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