Sports in Brief | NFL discusses prime-time draft start

Posted: May 06, 2007

The NFL has had preliminary discussions about moving the first round of its annual draft into prime time on Fridays, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported yesterday. The remaining rounds would be conducted on Saturday and Sunday.

The paper cited two reasons for the possible move. One, televising the opening round in prime time means more viewers would be available to watch. Two, some NFL officials believe it would be a good idea to give teams time to reassess before entering Round 2.

The first 41/2 hours of ESPN's coverage on April 28 had a 5.0 rating (3.8 million households). The cable channel's Sunday night baseball is averaging a 2.8.

The biggest obstacle to holding the first round at night is time. This year's first round took 6 hours and 8 minutes, easily topping the previous high of 5:48 set in 2002.

Still, there is little sentiment on the part of NFL officials to cut down the current 15 minutes between picks.

Olympic 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin, facing a track and field suspension of up to eight years for failing a drug test last summer, is participating in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie minicamp this weekend.

The NFL will run a free high school football developmental camp for students in grades 9 through 11 at Willingboro High School from June 10 to 12.

Information is available at www.realitysportsgroup.com.

Elsewhere: Kicker Billy Cundiff signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons. . . . Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Ahmad Carroll was arrested on weapon and drug charges in Atlanta.

Hockey

Paul Stastny scored two goals and helped set up another to give the United States a 3-0 win over Germany in Mytischi, Russia, and a place in the quarterfinals of the hockey world championships.

Nick Luukko of West Chester was the final player selected in the Ontario Hockey League priority draft.

The 15-year-old was the 15th-round selection of the London Knights. He is the son of Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko.

Boxing

Qa'id Muhammad lost a 4-1 decision to Aaron Alafa of Visalia, Calif., in the 106-pound championship of the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions in Chattanooga, Tenn. The title is Alafa's second straight and third total.

Muhammad, an 18-year-old from Ventnor in Atlantic County, N.J., is in his first year of competing in the Open Class.

Muhammad still advanced to the U.S. championships in June but missed an automatic berth in the U.S. Olympic team trials.

Philadelphia heavyweight Eddie Chambers improved to 29-0 with a unanimous decision over Dominick Guinn on Friday night in Las Vegas. Chambers surged in the second half of the 10-round fight and opened a cut near the right eye of Guinn (28-5-1) in Round 7.

Bernard Hopkins has nearly reached a deal to train under Freddie Roach for his 170-pound fight against Winky Wright on July 21 in Las Vegas. Roach trained Oscar De La Hoya, Hopkins' business partner in Golden Boy Promotions, for last night's megafight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Noteworthy

St. Joseph's can clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament with a win today in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference final against Providence at 1 p.m. in Emmitsburg, Md.

Steve O'Brien's goal with 29 seconds remaining gave the Hawks a 10-9 win over Canisius on Friday.

BMW Oracle Racing clinched a place in the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals with a win over French team Areva Challenge in the America's Cup challenger series off Valencia, Spain.

Cal Irvine's Anteaters powered their way past the Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne Mastodons, 3-1, for the NCAA men's volleyball championship in Columbus, Ohio.

NASCAR drivers and officials presented Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer with $160,000 for the Hokies Spirit Memorial Fund, to help the families of the 32 students and faculty members slain in a mass shooting on campus last month.

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