Trump in next round
Donald Trump has been chosen to advance to the next round of bidding to purchase the Buffalo Bills, a person familiar with the sale selection process told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person said Trump was informed of the decision by Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the sale of the team for late owner Ralph Wilson's estate. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale is being conducted privately. The decision comes after prospective groups were asked to submit non-binding bids by Tuesday. It's unclear which other bidders have been chosen to advance. NHL Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula submitted a bid and are expected to advance to the next round. A Toronto group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi was expected to submit a bid, but it's not clear if the group had. The deadline Tuesday was regarded as a soft one, meaning other interested parties can still submit bids until a prospective owner is identified. The time, however, is growing shorter for outside groups to become involved. The next step is for groups who have been approved to advance to meet with both Morgan Stanley and members of the estate to obtain the franchise's financial information. Bills President Russ Brandon also is expected to make a presentation to prospective bidders. Once that is done in the coming weeks, groups will then be asked to submit formal bids. The bidding process is unsealed, meaning Wilson's estate will have the ability to ask groups to increase their bids. Although no timetable has been established by Morgan Stanley, a prospective owner is could be identified by as early as Labor Day and presented to NFL owners for approval during league meetings in early October. The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at $870 million but are expected to sell for at least $1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.
• NFL players will wear transmitters inside their shoulder pads this season to help measure stats such as how far they ran during a game. The league said Thursday that it will install real-time location systems in 17 stadiums. The receivers located throughout the venue will collect data including position, speed and distance that will be compiled into a database. Coaches, broadcasters and fans will have access to these "next-generation" stats during the game. The Zebra Technologies systems will be installed in Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington. All but two of those stadiums are hosting Thursday night games.
Steve Johnson knocked off another seeded player at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., beating ninth-seeded Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals. Johnson, the American ranked 68th, topped fifth-seeded John Isner in three sets Wednesday. Johnson will face seventh-ranked and second-seeded Milos Raonic, the Canadian who beat Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3). Karlovic had 27 aces in the third-round match. Seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson also advanced, beating Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4. In a late match, top-seeded Tomas Berdych faced Vasek Pospisil. In women's second-round play, second-seeded Ekaterina Makarova beat Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-4; fifth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova topped Hiroko Kuwata 6-3, 6-3; sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 7-5; and Vania King routed Christina McHale 6-1, 6-3.
• Two-time major champion Li Na pulled out of the U.S. Open on Thursday because of a knee injury she said has bothered her for several months. The only tennis player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title also withdrew from hard-court tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati over the next two weeks. The second-ranked Li wrote in a posting on Facebook that she has "been struggling" with her knee since March "and it is just not where I need it to be in order to play at the highest level." She also said: "My medical team has advised me that I need to take some time off to rest my knee." Li did not specify which knee, but she played with her right knee taped up at Wimbledon, her most recent tournament. The U.S. Tennis Association confirmed to The Associated Press that Li informed it that she won't play. The U.S. Open begins Aug. 25. Li won the Australian Open in January for her second major title. She also won the 2011 French Open. In May, Li lost in the first round of the French Open, beaten by a player ranked 103rd. At Wimbledon in June, Li bowed out in the third round. It's the second significant injury news in two days for tennis. On Wednesday, 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal announced he hurt his right wrist in practice and would miss hard-court events in Toronto and Cincinnati, although he holds out hope of defending his title at the U.S. Open.
• Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. The former No. 1 player said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year. She said seeking this challenge wasn't an attempt to distract herself from her personal life after golfer Rory McIlroy broke off their engagement in late May. Wozniacki said she typically runs for a half-hour at a time in training and plans to add hour-long runs to prepare for the 26.2-mile race. The 24-year-old Dane said the longest she's ever run is 10 kilometers, less than a quarter of a marathon.
Johnson takes leave
Dustin Johnson, 30, is taking a leave of absence from golf to seek help for "personal challenges," a swift end to his season that will keep him from playing the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup. In a statement Thursday from Hambric Sports Management, Johnson said his leave of absence was effective immediately. It did not indicate how long he would be out, although agent David Winkle told the PGA of America he would not be at the PGA Championship next week or the Ryder Cup at the end of September. Johnson, who tied for fourth in the U.S. Open and tied for 12th in the British Open, was No. 5 in the Ryder Cup standings and virtually certain to earn one of nine automatic spots when qualifying ends next week at the PGA Championship. As long as he stays in the top nine, he will be replaced by the next player in the standings.
Phelps enters 4 events
Michael Phelps will take on his most grueling program since coming out of retirement, entering four events at next week's U.S. national championships. The winningest athlete in Olympic history will compete in the 100-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley at the meet that begins Wednesday in Irvine, California. "I feel good," Phelps told The Associated Press on Thursday. "Just staying relaxed is the biggest thing, not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm just going out and continuing what I've been doing throughout the year -- just having fun. That's how I've been able to swim my best." The national championships, along with the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia a couple of weeks later, will determine the American team for next year's world championships. Phelps, 29, retired after the London Olympics, having won a record 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall. He had accomplished all his goals and said he had no desire to swim into his 30s. But he began plotting his comeback less than a year later, and began serious training last September. Since announcing a return to competition in April, Phelps has competed in four meets. But this will be his most daunting program yet, giving him a chance to gauge just how far he has come in a relatively short period of time. His longtime coach, Bob Bowman, said Phelps has shaken off much of the rustiness in his technique, improving his starts and turns. Conditioning is the biggest question mark, especially as he takes on more events.
Sports on 08/01/2014
Print Headline: Off the wire