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Adam Katz, Simon’s agent, said he had no comment when reached by phone.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Northwestern University’s football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation’s first union for college athletes - a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years.

The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday it will hear an appeal by Northwestern challenging the decision from a regional NLRB director who ruled the players are university employees and thus have the right to unionize. The board said the ballots will be impounded at least until it issues its decision later this year. If the case lands in court, it could be a far longer before the results of the vote are known.

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SWIMMING

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Michael Phelps is 0 for 1 in his comeback to the pool.

The 22-time Olympic medalist lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix.

Lochte touched first in 51.93 seconds, second-fastest in the world this year. Phelps took second in 52.13 in his first meet since retiring after the 2012 London Olympics.

He is the three-time Olympic champion and current world record-holder in the event. His time tied for fourth-quickest in the world.

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NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in how to fund scholarships, handle health care and decide other increasingly hot-button issues involving their athletes.

If approved later this year, schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC could implement some rules on their own and would get more voting power over legislation that would affect every NCAA member school.

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