The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of three players suspended in connection with the bounty investigation, calling commissioner Roger Goodell ‘‘incurably and evidently biased.’’ The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Orleans Thursday, said Goodell violated the labor agreement by showing he had determined Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove, and Scott Fujita participated in a bounty system before serving as an arbitrator at their hearing. The NFL said the action is an ‘‘improper attempt to litigate.’’ ‘‘These procedures have been in place, and have served the game and players well, for many decades,’’ NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. The lawsuit asks a judge to set aside earlier arbitration rulings and order a new arbitrator to preside over the matter. The suit comes two days after Goodell denied appeals by four players. The other player, Jonathan Vilma, has sued the NFL and Goodell separately. The lawsuits, which have been consolidated, include Vilma’s initial defamation claims against Goodell, which the commissioner denied Thursday in an expected motion to dismiss. The motion states that Vilma is barred from making such claims by the dispute resolution process outlined in the NFL’s labor agreement, which also bars lawsuits by players against the NFL. Vilma is suspended for a season, Hargrove for eight games, Smith four, and Fujita three. Vilma and Smith play for New Orleans, Hargrove is with Green Bay, and Fujita is with Cleveland . . . Former Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell has enrolled at Alabama State and is expected to play this season. Georgia coach Mark Richt dismissed Crowell last Friday after the sophomore was arrested on felony weapons charges.
Blue Jackets working on Nash trade
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson isn’t saying much about his quest to trade captain Rick Nash. But he did say ‘‘we are working very hard’’ and added that he is not facing a deadline to make a deal. Among the reported suitors are the Rangers, Detroit, San Jose, Carolina, and Philadelphia . . . The Capitals re-signed 26-year-old restricted free agent center Jay Beagle to a three-year deal worth $2.7 million and also re-signed 24-year-old restricted free agent center Mathieu Perreault to a two-year deal . . . The Flyers signed free agent forward Ruslan Fedotenko and free agent defenseman Bruno Gervais . . . The Oilers re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Devan Dubnyk to a two-year, $7 million contract and inked defenseman Jeff Petry to a two-year, $3 million deal.
Darvish, Freese emerge as All-Stars
Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are headed to the All-Star Game next week after fans voted them into the showcase game in Kansas City, Mo. Darvish is the eighth Texas player on the American League team. Freese joins four other St. Louis players on the National League side . . . Angels righthander Dan Haren is on the disabled list for the first time in his career with lower-back stiffness, something that has bothered him since spring training. Haren is 6-8 with a 4.86 ERA, and the three-time All-Star has struggled through most of his starts . . . Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon, 24, has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb that will require surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery in about six weeks . . . The Braves placed reliever Jonny Venters on the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow impingement.
NCAA links agent to hoop leagues
After an investigation, the NCAA has determined there is a link between sports agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports Agency and travel team administrators and coaches T.J. Gassnola of the New England Playaz, Matt Ramker of the Florida Rams, Desmond Eastmon of the World Wide Renegades, and Tony Edwards of the SEBL All-Stars. If the teams are allowed to participate in certified summer events, the operators may be in violation of the NCAA basketball event certification requirements . . . A federal appeals court upheld the conviction of a Kentucky woman who tried to extort millions in cash, cars, and a house from University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found that attorneys for 52-year-old Karen Sypher ‘‘advanced no arguments of merit on appeal.’’ Sypher is serving a seven-year sentence at a federal prison in Marianna, Fla. . . . In the WNBA, Kristi Toliver scored 29 points to lead the host Los Angeles Sparks past the Minnesota Lynx, 96-90 . . . Becky Hammon scored 19 points to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars past the host Indiana Fever, 88-72 . . . Usain Bolt pulled out of the July 20 Diamond League meet in Monaco because of a slight injury problem and likely won’t run again until the London Olympics. Despite the withdrawal, the 25-year-old insisted he'll be at the Games to retain the 100, 200, and 4 x 100 relay titles he won in Beijing four years ago in world-record times . . . David Beckham was suspended for one game by Major League Soccer’s disciplinary committee for kicking a ball at San Jose’s Sam Cronin late in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s loss at San Jose June 30.