Salary cap set at US$58.7m
The NBA has set next season’s salary cap at US$58.7 million, paving the way for contracts to be signed starting yesterday. The tax level is US$71.7 million, with harsher penalties starting this season for teams that exceed it. Teams formerly paid US$1 for every US$1 they were over, but the penalties now start at US$1.50 per dollar for teams up to US$4.9 million over, with increases from there. Contracts such as the one Dwight Howard agreed to with Houston could not be signed during the league’s moratorium period while the cap was calculated. The cap is a slight increase from this season’s US$58 million. The mid-level exception for non-taxpayers is US$5.15 million. It is US$3.2 million for teams over the tax, and there is a mid-level worth US$2.7 million for teams with room under the salary cap.
Mexico, Real leaders meet
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met on Tuesday with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, but the focus was on the investments of the Spaniard’s construction firm, not the latest soccer news. Perez also met with Mexico’s ministers of energy, transportation and communications, and the environment, as well as the heads of Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission. Perez is expected to visit students from the Realmadrid Foundation in Colombia.
Scores of 79-0, 67-0 probed
Nigeria’s top soccer authority has suspended four teams who reported “mind-boggling” results from their play-offs matches, describing the scores of 79-0 and 67-0 as “scandalous” tallies that must be probed. Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine FC both needed convincing wins to earn promotions to the Nigeria Nationwide League, but officials immediately rejected the eye-popping results. In a statement, the Nigerian Football Federation described the scores as “a mind-boggling show of shame never previously witnessed in Nigeria.” “Plateau United Feeders somehow manufactured a 79-0 victory over Akurba FC while Police Machine FC demolished Babayaro FC 67-0.” Federation spokesman Ademola Olajire said a deal was certainly struck among the sides, but the details, including whether any money changed hands, are not yet known. “The four teams involved are suspended immediately and indefinitely,” federation chairman Mike Emeh said in a statement.
Hill racing dynasty ended
British racer Josh Hill has given up the dream of following world champion father Damon and late grandfather Graham into Formula One with the announcement on Tuesday that he was quitting motor racing. Hill, 22, said in a statement that he would not be competing in the rest of the European Formula Three season because he wanted to pursue other interests. “Coming from the Hill family it was inevitable that I would be drawn to racing. I have learned an enormous amount and really enjoyed the experience, but I do not want to compete unless I am 100 percent devoted,” he said. “As I now have ambitions in other fields I feel it is the right move to withdraw from racing.” Damon Hill was world champion in 1996, while Graham, who died in a plane crash in 1975, took titles in 1962 and 1968. They are the only father and son to have won the Formula One championship. Josh Hill, whose Web site (www.joshhillracing.net) states his “burning ambition” of becoming the first third-generation F1 champion, had been competing in what was previously the F3 Euro Series.