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The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.
John Wooten said Saturday he anticipates the league's competition committee will enact the rule at next month's owners' meeting.
Wooten, who has previously urged players to stop using the slur, told CBSSports.com he thinks the NFL will rule an automatic 15-yard penalty for first-time offenders and an ejection for second infractions.
"I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we're trying to do," he said. "We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room."
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, who is on the committee, said the rule had been discussed last week, and added that the committee also talked about other slurs coming under any possible new rule, including homophobic slurs.
more pro football
browns coach dismisses report
INDIANAPOLIS | New Cleveland coach Mike Pettine calls a report "noise" that the Browns tried to trade for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Pro Football Talk website reported Friday that before hiring Pettine last month, Cleveland had a deal in place, but Harbaugh decided to stay. Via Twitter, 49ers CEO Jed York denied that was true.
Pettine said Saturday it "has no bearing" on his job. Though the Browns didn't deny trying to acquire Harbaugh, Pettine said it showed the organization's commitment to turning the franchise around.
gm troubled by video of rice
INDIANAPOLIS | Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome said it "doesn't look good" after watching an online video showing Ray Rice dragging a woman out of a casino elevator last weekend, but is withholding judgment until he gets the details about the incident.
Newsome said he has not yet spoken with the running back, who was charged with simple assault after allegedly knocking out his fiancee during an argument in Atlantic City, N.J.
Rice's fiancee, Janay Palmer, also was charged with simple assault.
venus gets back in the win column
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates | Venus Williams won her 45th career WTA title at the Dubai Championships with an impressive 6-3, 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet of France in the final on Saturday.
Playing courtesy of a wildcard, the 44th-ranked Williams won all five of her matches this week in straight sets and will move up to No. 29 in Monday's updated rankings.
The former world No. 1, whose last title was in 2012 in Luxembourg, also won in Dubai in 2009 and 2010.
"I have had a good week," Williams said. "Everything is falling together."
IN OTHER TENNIS NEWS
Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga weathered a stern test against 117th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff to win 7-6 (4), 7-5 at the Open 13, setting up a final with third-seeded Ernests Gulbis after he upset top-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2.
Alexandr Dolgopolov beat David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Rio Open, earning a date for the title against top-ranked Rafael Nadal, a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10) winner over Pablo Andujar.
mets ace passes 1st throwing test
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. | Mets ace Matt Harvey threw Saturday for the first time since his elbow ligament-replacement surgery.
"It was awesome," the right-hander said. "I know it was 20 throws at 60 feet, but everything felt absolutely amazing. I've got a lot of work to do. It's going to be a tough process with how things felt today. But I've got to stick with it and move forward."
Harvey threw on the four-month anniversary of his surgery - the date he targeted for throwing.
IN OTHER MLB NEWS
The Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25 million contract.
Padres third baseman Chase Headley is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a strained right calf.
Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will have his surgically repaired throwing shoulder re-examined after experiencing pain.
The Red Sox signed pitcher Chris Capuano to a one-year, $2.25 million deal.
Rangers catcher Geovany Soto had arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone from his left foot and should be ready for the start of the season.
els returns to match play semis
MARANA, Ariz. | Ernie Els reached the semifinals of the Match Play Championship for the first time in 13 years Saturday, beating a frustrated Jordan Spieth on the 16th hole.
Els next plays Victor Dubuisson, who ended Graeme McDowell's magical week on the 18th hole.
Jason Day took out ailing Louis Oosthuizen to reach the semis for the second straight year. He next plays Rickie Fowler, who won the last two holes for a 1-up win over Jim Furyk.
IN OTHER GOLF NEWS
Anna Nordqvist shot a 5-under 67 at the LPGA Thailand for a 4-stroke lead over top-ranked Inbee Park and Michelle Wie.
in other news
Modifications to the University of Indiana's Assembly Hall have been completed, and the arena is "fully functional" four days after an 8-foot, 50-pound steel facing fell from the ceiling into empty seats, forcing the cancellation of Tuesday's game with Iowa.
The University of Minnesota extended the contract of football coach Jerry Kill one year, through 2018, and raised his salary to $2.1 million.