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Sports briefs

Published: Monday, March 14 2011 10:31 p.m. MDT

Players' spokesman says deal wasn't close

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top spokesman for NFL players says the union and league were not very close to agreeing to a new labor deal last week.

George Atallah said in a conference call with reporters Monday: "The perception is that we were really, really close. The reality is: We really, really weren't."

Negotiations broke off Friday. The union dissolved itself and players sued the league in federal court; owners imposed a lockout.

The two main sticking points: how much money owners would get up front before dividing the rest of $9 billion in annual revenues with players, and the union's demand for full financial disclosure.

Sooners fire basketball coach Capel

NORMAN, Okla., (AP) — Oklahoma fired coach Jeff Capel on Monday after he followed a trip to the NCAA tournament's regional finals with the program's first back-to-back losing seasons since 1967.

Capel was 96-69 in five seasons in charge of the Sooners, but just 17-36 the past two after Blake Griffin entered the NBA draft early and became the No. 1 overall pick.

Athletic director Joe Castiglione said the Sooners "would be best served by a change of direction."

Top seed Wozniacki wins at Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark has opened the second week of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain in the third round.

The world's top-ranked women's player needed just over an hour to beat Martinez Sanchez on Monday for the first time in four meetings. Wozniacki has improved her results in each of her first four years playing at Indian Wells, where she was runner-up to champion Jelena Jankovic last year.

There have been two upsets on the men's side: fourth-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden and No. 11 seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain both lost.

Soderling fell to No. 32 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, 7-6 (8), 6-4; while 23rd-seeded Albert Montanes of Spain took out Almagro 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Flyers' Pronger to be out 3-4 weeks

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger needs surgery on his right hand and is expected to miss three to four weeks.

Pronger will have the surgery Thursday. He had a small fracture in the hand discovered Sunday.

Pronger sat out the last two games with the injury. He has four goals and 25 points in 50 games.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made the announcement Monday. The Flyers play Tuesday at Florida.

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