Sean Payton, Saints officials appealing suspensions

Saints Coach Sean Payton is appealing his season-long suspension from the NFL for his role in New Orleans’ bounty system. And he’s not the only one looking for a little relief from the penalties handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

General Manager Mickey Loomis, assistant coach Joe Vitt and the Saints organization each decided to appeal on Friday.

Payton will also ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his guidance on the parameters of the suspension, which runs through next year’s Super Bowl, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel did confirm that Loomis was appealing his eight-game suspension and, separately, the team would challenge its $500,000 fine and loss of second-round draft picks this year and in 2013.

Vitt, suspended for six games, is doing the same.


Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested in his Montana hometown of Great Falls on burglary and drug possession charges, police said.

The circumstances surrounding Leaf’s arrest were not immediately clear. Great Falls Police Sgt. Dean Bennett, who confirmed Leaf’s arrest, said Friday night that he had not seen a report detailing the allegations against the ex-football player.

Leaf was booked on felony charges of burglary of a residence and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, plus a first-time charge of misdemeanor theft, Cascade County Detention Center Officer Robert Rivera said.

Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters has ruptured his right Achilles and is expected to miss the season.

Davis, Ooosthizen lead Houston Open

Brian Davis and Louis Oosthuizen shared the lead at 11 under after two days of play in the rain-delayed Houston Open. The second round was suspended due to darkness at 7:36 p.m. with 70 players still on the course.

Houston resident Jeff Maggert was at 10 under, but he had eight holes left to play in his second round. Defending champion Phil Mickelson (70), J.B. Holmes (67), Tommy Gainey (67), and Greg Owen (69) finished their second rounds and were two shots behind the leaders at nine under.

John Daly shot a five-under 67 to move within two strokes of the second-round lead in the European Tour’s Sicilian Open at Sciacca.

England’s Simon Wakefield (67) and David Lynn (69), Ireland’s Peter Lawrie (72), Sweden’s Pelle Edgerg (66) and the Netherland’s Maarten Lafeber (68) shared the lead at eight under.


Julia Mancuso flew through the sun-splashed course at Winter Park, Colo., conquering the soft snow to defend her super-G title at U.S. championships and extend her record to 14 natinal titles. Dustin Cook of Canada won the super-G.


Defending champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won the world figure skating pairs title for the fourth time Friday at Nice, France, despite a soaring performance by second-place Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia.


Top-ranked Novak Djokovic advanced to his first final since winning the Australian Open by beating Juan Monaco, 6-0, 7-6 (5), at the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla.

Djokovic’s opponent Sunday will be 2009 champion Andy Murray, who advanced with a walkover when Rafael Nadal withdrew hours before their semifinal because of a left knee injury.


Michael Phelps posted the best in-season time of his career in the 400 individual medley, holding off Tyler Clary’s late charge at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Phelps finished in 4 minutes 12.51 seconds and possibly opening the door to swim the event at the London Olympics. Clary’s time was 4:13.01.

Ryan Lochte, Phelps’ biggest rival, led through the first three turns of the 200 backstroke but his final split of 31.80 dropped him to fourth.

Allison Schmitt won the women’s 200 freestyle.


Grant Hill underwent what the Phoenix Suns labeled a “successful procedure” to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He could return before the end of the regular season if his rehabiliation goes well.

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