Quick read: Williamses' judge gives himself a deadline

A Hennepin County judge said on Wednesday he would decide by Aug. 7 whether to schedule a trial for Minnesota Vikings linemen Kevin and Pat Williams in their fight to overturn the NFL's four-game suspensions.

Ricky Rubio

A Hennepin County judge said on Wednesday he would decide by Aug. 7 whether to schedule a trial for Minnesota Vikings linemen Kevin and Pat Williams in their fight to overturn the NFL's four-game suspensions.

Following a 25-minute hearing, Judge Gary Larson told attorneys for the Williamses and the league he needed two weeks to determine if a jury should decide whether the NFL violated Minnesota drug testing laws in suspending the players last year.

The players want Larson to have a jury rule before the 2009 season starts Sept. 10. The NFL wants to postpone the state claims until federal appeals in the case are resolved to avoid conflicting rulings by different courts.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul has scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 18, part of a schedule accelerated to produce a federal ruling before Kickoff Weekend.

Rubio to leave Spanish club


GERONA, Spain -- Ricky Rubio plans to part ways with Spanish basketball club DKV Joventut even if the Minnesota Timberwolves cannot reach a deal to bring their first-round draft pick to the NBA.

Timberwolves President David Kahn was in Spain this week to try and help the fifth overall pick negotiate a buyout of his contract with Joventut. Rubio is at odds with his boyhood club over a buyout clause that could cost the 18-year-old point guard as much as

$6.6 million. The NBA's collective bargaining rules limit the Timberwolves' contribution to $500,000.

Regardless of whether Rubio makes the trip across the Atlantic next season, he won't be playing at Joventut.

"I want to continue with the club but, after everything that's happened, I don't think they're too comfortable having me in their squad," Rubio said Wednesday. "I want to play in a winning team, on a team that can achieve many things."

University of North Dakota suspends hockey player

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota says it has suspended hockey player Matt Frattin for at least two games after an incident in which Frattin and former standout Joe Finley allegedly threw dinnerware, a lawn mower and other items onto a street.

Police said the 21-year-old Frattin and the 22-year-old Joe Finley were charged with disorderly conduct after throwing the items from a residential garage early Tuesday morning.


Skier hurt in bike accident

Four-time U.S. Nordic combined Olympian Todd Lodwick sustained minor injuries Wednesday while biking in France, riding head-on into a moving vehicle after watching a stage of the Tour de France.

The 32-year-old Lodwick is expected to headline the U.S. team headed to the Vancouver Olympics in February. The Americans have never medaled in the sport.

The U.S. Ski Team said the team was training in France and Lodwick was riding back to Albertville after watching an early portion of the Tour's stage 17 when the accident occurred.

Armstrong drops to fourth

LE GRAND-BORNAND, France -- Lance Armstrong couldn't stay in the front during the final Alpine stage in the Tour de France, so he played faithful teammate for Alberto Contador instead.

When all was said and done in Wednesday's Stage 17, the 26-year-old Spaniard further cemented his grip on the yellow jersey and Armstrong's ambitions for a podium spot were dealt a setback.

Frank Schleck and his younger brother Andy bumped the Texan down to fourth place from second as they broke away with Contador at the end of the 105-mile stage.


Ambidextrous golfer achieves rare feat

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- An Ohio man who says he's not much of a golfer pulled off a feat that not even some of the best players have matched.

Ed Platzer of Bowling Green knocked in a left-handed hole-in-one last month, 15 years after he hit a right-handed hole-in-one.

Platzer said he's a natural lefty but learned to play right-handed when he couldn't find any left-handed clubs. He started hitting from the left side four years ago when he finally found the right clubs.

The United States Golf Register tracks holes-in-one. It says it couldn't find anyone who has matched Platzer's achievement in its database that covers the past 13 years.

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