The NBA and its players union will meet today in New York with the possibility they will announce a six-year labor agreement that establishes a 19-year-old age limit, stiffens the drug-testing policy and raises the salary cap, according to Bloomberg News Service.
A minimum age, stricter drug policy and shorter player contracts were the main objectives for the league's 30 owners, who in return will make financial concessions to the players, said sources familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified.
An agreement would end months of rancor between players and owners, who promised to impose a lockout if a new contract wasn't signed by July 1, the expiration date for the current accord.
The 19-year-old age limit would bar most players from entering the NBA directly from high school. The union dropped its request that high-school players be allowed to enter the league if selected in the lottery, which is the top 14 picks of the draft.
The union and owners also agreed to limit the length of players' contracts to six and five years, depending on whether they re-sign with their teams or join another club as a free agent. Previously, players could sign for seven and six seasons.
The agreed-upon drug policy allows for all players to be randomly tested four times during the season. Previously, veterans were tested only once during training camp, while rookies could be tested three times during the year.
* RUNNING: Nine-time New York City Marathon champion Grete Waitz has cancer and is undergoing treatment in her native Norway.
Waitz, 51, won the New York City Marathon from 1978 to '80, 1982 to '86 and 1988 and the London Marathon twice (1983, 1986). She was world marathon champion in 1983, a five-time world cross-country champion and won silver in the marathon at the 1984 Olympics.
* COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Baylor extended its first College World Series appearance in 27 years by at least one day with its first win in the tournament, 4-3 in 10 innings over Oregon State in Omaha.
Mike Pankratz, batting .193, blooped an RBI single over first baseman Andy Jenkins and just out of the reach of second baseman Chris Kunda, ending the Beavers' first appearance in the CWS since 1952.
The Bears (45-23) advanced to an elimination game today against Tulane, which lost to Texas, 5-0. The Longhorns (53-16) set a record with their 75th CWS win, passing Southern California's mark of 74 victories.
* TENNIS: Andre Agassi plans to return to the tour next month at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis after accepting a wild-card invitation from the tournament.
Agassi is skipping Wimbledon for the second straight year because of injury. Hampered by a bad back, the eight-time Grand Slam champion lost in the first round at the French Open last month.
* COURTS: The race team of the late Dale Earnhardt said it reached a settlement with an insurer who had refused to pay the stock-car driver's life-insurance policy, ending a nearly month-long trial.Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
-- From News Services