Friday's Sports In BriefBy The Associated Press , Associated Press
Feb. 16, 2013 3:55 AM ET
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius wept in court as prosecutors said they'll pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him in the killing of his model girlfriend, meaning the man who once inspired the world could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Pistorius' family and London-based management issued a statement disputing the murder charge he now faces for the slaying of Reeva Steenkamp. The athlete himself initially appeared solemn and collected in his first court appearance, but later sobbed loud enough for his cries to be heard over the more than 100 spectators gathered for the hearing.
The double-amputee athlete's arrest stunned South Africa, which awoke the morning of Valentine's Day to hear that Steenkamp had been shot to death at Pistorius' home in a gated community.
NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell was paid $29.49 million by NFL owners in 2011, nearly triple his compensation from the previous year.
According to the league's most recent tax return, most of Goodell's pay comes in the form of a $22.3 million bonus. His base pay was $3.1 million. The NFL was scheduled to file the return Friday.
While the league declined comment on specifics, it must, by law, make the return available upon request. In 2011, Goodell helped the league reach a new 10-year labor deal and work out lucrative TV contracts.
Goodell earned $11.6 million in 2010.
Goodell's compensation was first reported by Sports Business Journal.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State's bill for legal fees, consultants and other costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal stands at more than $27.6 million.
An updated figure as of November 2012 was provided this week on a university website. It includes a $13 million price tag for board of trustees communications and the internal investigation into the scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Freeh's findings released last summer were the subject of renewed scrutiny earlier this week after Joe Paterno's family released an extensive response conducted by its own experts. The late coach's family said the report was flawed and said Freeh made unfounded accusations that Paterno acted to cover up allegations against Sandusky.
Sandusky is serving a prison term for 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys.
HOUSTON (AP) — Sure, LeBron James has been on an amazing roll, but what about what Wilt Chamberlain did in 1962? Now fans can study both in one place like never before.
The NBA has put its entire statistical history online, launching a website that allows fans to review box scores, shot charts, game logs and newer data that has changed the way players are rated.
Previously available only to teams and league personnel, and only recently to media, it's there for everyone at NBA.com/stats.
The site features every box score for every game played since the league's original season in 1946-47. It highlights noted games such as Chamberlain's record 100-point outing in 1962, when he averaged more than 50 points for the season, and Kobe Bryant's 81-point outburst in 2006.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Serena Williams returned to the top of women's tennis, overcoming a series of potentially career-ending injuries since 2010 to become the oldest woman to hold the No. 1 ranking.
The 31-year-old rallied from 4-1 down in the third set to beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open. She needed to reach the semifinals to replace Victoria Azarenka at No. 1 when the new rankings come out next week.
Williams held up one finger after clinching the match with an ace and wiped away tears as she addressed the cheering crowd.
The previous oldest No. 1 was Chris Evert, who held the top ranking in 1985 just before her 31st birthday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Two days of talks between the NHL and international hockey officials wrapped up with signs that the league will wind up sending its players to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel met for about 2½ hours after a 90-minute get-together Thursday night. No new talks were scheduled, but the sides are expected to meet again.
NHL players have participated in the past four Winter Games, and the league is weighing whether it gets enough return on its overall investment, which requires North American hockey to shut down its season for over two weeks to take part.
The union and the NHL appear in sync on the Olympics now that the labor dispute is over.
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA aims to approve tougher sanctions for racist abuse at soccer matches when its 209 member nations meet at the FIFA Congress in May.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter led a meeting of its Strategic Committee, which included UEFA President Michel Platini, and discussed combatting racism and match-fixing.
Blatter has previously said point deductions and relegation punishments are needed as disciplinary options to help deal with discrimination at matches.
When FIFA judged abuse cases against Hungary and Bulgaria last month, both countries were ordered to play their next home World Cup qualifier in an empty stadium and pay fines.
The FIFA Congress will meet May 31.