New York — Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to an endorsement deal Friday, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.
Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Vick spent 21 months in prison.
CNBC first reported the deal. Terms were not released.
“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Nike said in a statement. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
Vick was voted the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year after missing two seasons and playing sparingly in 2009.
“Michael is committed to working with Nike and wants to utilize his platform as a professional athlete to have a positive impact on our youth,” said Andrew Stroth, the Chicago-based attorney who negotiated the deal for Vick.
NFLPA, owners break talks for week
Minneapolis — The NFL commissioner and the boss of the league’s locked-out players stood together this week and addressed the league’s rookies, a picture of cooperation that raised hopes pro football would soon be back in business.
This, however, is the reality: The league’s longest work stoppage has now stretched into July, with gaps that still must be bridged before teams can be assembled and training camps can begin. The next bargaining session has been scheduled for after the holiday weekend, putting the end point of this labor dispute — now well past the 100-day mark — ever closer to the preseason.
Miami center undergoes surgery
Coral Gables, Fla. — Miami Hurricanes center Reggie Johnson is expected to miss the start of the basketball season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Johnson is expected to be out five to six months, the Hurricanes said Friday, the day after his surgery. He was hurt during a pickup game with teammates Monday.
OU’s Davis will play in Macedonia
Norman, Okla. — Oklahoma’s leading scorer this past basketball season has signed a pro deal with a team in Macedonia.
OU athletic officials say Cade Davis signed a two-year deal this week to play for MZT Skopje, located in Macedonia’s capital city. Macedonia is located in southeast Europe and is one of the successor nations to the former Yugoslavia.
Texas WR to focus on track
Austin, Texas — Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin will skip the 2011 season to concentrate on track after qualifying for the World Championships in the long jump.
Goodwin also plans to train for the 2012 Olympics in London. He will red-shirt during the 2011 football season with plans to return in 2012 as a junior in eligibility.
Scout: Oregon coach OK’d pay
The owner of a Texas-based scouting service told Yahoo! Sports that Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a $25,000 payment to him that’s the focus of an NCAA investigation.
The February 2010 payment to Will Lyles of Houston has been questioned because of his relationship with running backs Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Lyles was paid soon after Seastrunk signed a letter of intent.
Plaintiff lawyer welcomes appeal
Orlando, Fla. — The attorney for the family of a University of Central Florida football player who was awarded a $10 million wrongful death judgment said Friday that he welcomes the university’s plans for appeal.
Steven Yerrid served as the lead attorney representing 18-year-old Ereck Plancher’s family and said the verdict by the jury after a 14-day civil trial will serve as a signal to the college athletic community at large that the care of athletes should be put before winning on the playing field.
State settles with Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind. — Notre Dame will pay a $42,000 fine for six safety violations, make an undisclosed contribution to a memorial for a student videographer who died at football practice and start a campaign on the hazards of scissor lifts as part of a settlement with the state of Indiana.
The details were announced Friday. Notre Dame had originally been fined $77,500, and the most serious charge against it was that it knowingly put its employees in an unsafe situation.
Declan Sullivan, a 20-year-old junior film student from Long Grove, Ill., died Oct. 27 after the hydraulic scissor lift he was on toppled over in high winds while he was filming football practice.
FSU’s top WR opts for pro baseball
Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida State’s most reliable receiver is leaving school to pursue a professional baseball career.
Taiwan Easterling, a three-year starter for the Seminoles who had at least one catch in each of his last 24 games, signed a professional contract with the Chicago Cubs and is foregoing his final year of football eligibility.
Barkley: There will be no season
New York — No free agency now, maybe no games later.
The NBA lockout claimed a quick casualty in Day 1, when the free-agency period did not open as usual on July 1.
Games eventually could be lost, too, if owners and players can’t make progress whenever they start talking again.
“It’s going to get ugly. I’ve already been on the record saying I don’t think they’re going to play at all next season,” Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley said Friday.
Report: Kobe has knee procedure
Los Angeles — Kobe Bryant has undergone a procedure in Germany to try to strengthen his arthritic right knee, according to a report.
Citing four unidentified sources familiar with the situation, The Los Angeles Times on Friday reported that the Lakers superstar had a procedure about a month ago that is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy. The Times says PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee.
Choi ties course record, takes lead
Newton Square, Pa. — With five birdies over his last six holes, K.J. Choi shot a 6-under 64 and built a two-shot lead over Chris Riley on Friday at Aronimink in the AT&T; National. It matched the lowest score in the two years the AT&T; National has been played at Aronimink.
Cook, Huston fire 63s, share lead
Blainville, Quebec — John Cook and John Huston shot 9-under 63s on Friday to match the course record and share the first-round lead in the Montreal Championship, the Champions Tour’s lone Canadian event.
Morrison holds one-stroke edge
Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France — James Morrison shot a 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the French Open.