The NBA pushed back the free agency signing date again yesterday, forcing dozens of players to wait another several days before they can begin signing contracts.

The moratorium on signings was supposed to end Thursday at 6 p.m., but now will likely last until next Monday or Tuesday.

"The NBA is continuing to make progress with the players' association toward finalizing the collective bargaining agreement, and both sides are optimistic that the agreement will be signed by the end of the week," league spokesman Tim Frank said. "Once the agreement is completed, the league and the union will take 48 to 72 hours to educate teams and players as to the details of the agreement, after which player signings will begin."

Originally, the moratorium was due to expire last Friday. It was delayed to allow attorneys for the league and union to finish drafting a written version of the new six-year collective bargaining agreement.

Teams have been negotiating with free agents throughout July, and many of the most prominent players have already reached tentative agreements on new contracts.

Among those still on the market are Miami's Damon Jones, the Los Angeles Clippers' Marko Jaric, Portland's Damon Stoudamire, Minnesota's Latrell Sprewell and Atlanta's Tyronn Lue.

* TENNIS: French Open champion Rafael Nadal announced that he pulled out of this week's Croatia Open because of a knee injury.

"I have had problems with my knee for a few tournaments and it is hurting more now, so I have to cancel to not finish on the operating table," Nadal told reporters.

* WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Maryland forward Crystal Langhorne was selected the most valuable player of the 2005 under-19 FIBA world championship. Langhorne, the 2005 ACC rookie of the year, led the U.S. team in scoring (16.6 points per game) and was second in rebounding (6.4 rebounds per game). The United States won the gold medal on Sunday with a 97-76 victory over Serbia and Montenegro.

* COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith did not break any NCAA rules when he missed a class to attend a football camp sponsored by Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair this summer, the school said.

Ohio State athletic department officials spent six weeks probing Smith's attendance at the June football camp in Nashville.

* HOCKEY: The Detroit Red Wings placed defenseman Derian Hatcher and forwards Darren McCarty and Ray Whitney on waivers, effectively cutting ties with the three high-profile veterans.

* AUTO RACING: A group hoping to take control of Formula One called for a meeting with the sport's governing body, and talks with FIA President Max Mosley over new rules could come before Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

* OBITUARY: Ray Oldham, a 10-year NFL cornerback who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, has died. He was 54. Oldham died Saturday in Tennessee while training for a bicycle ride.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports