- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

ZURICH (AP) - FIFA finally revealed Sepp Blatter’s pay deal, which was $3.76 million in 2015 as soccer’s embattled governing body reported a loss of $122 million for a year marred by scandal.

After years of secrecy about presidential earnings, FIFA disclosed its disgraced former leader’s pay package three weeks after his employment officially ended.

Blatter, who was suspended on full pay last October and later banned for unethical conduct, had a base salary of 2,964,379 million Swiss francs ($3 million) but received no performance bonus in 2015. The total included a payment of almost $450,000 in “variable compensation” - a long-service entitlement for reaching 40 years employment at FIFA.

FIFA’s loss, its first since 2002, was expected after failing to sign any new World Cup sponsors.

BERN, Switzerland (AP) - Switzerland’s attorney general has opened a criminal case against former FIFA official Jerome Valcke “on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement.”

The Swiss federal office says it “conducted searches and interviews” but did not arrest Valcke.

The case was opened “in response to two criminal complaints in which allegations were made” following a FIFA ethics committee investigation.

FIFA banned Valcke from soccer for 12 years last month. He was accused of various charges of unethical behavior while working as FIFA secretary general since 2007.

The Frenchman was accused of destroying evidence during the FIFA inquiry.

FIFA fired Valcke in January.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL’s powerful competition committee is recommending making permanent extra-point kick snaps from the 15-yard line, eliminating all chop blocks and ejecting a player for twice receiving certain unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game.

When NFL owners meet next week in Florida, they also will consider such proposals as moving the line of scrimmage up 5 yards to the 25 on kickoff touchbacks; allowing coaches and player to use video rather than just photos on sideline tablets; and expanding the penalties on horse-collar tackles to cover the nameplate on the uniform.

Among the rule proposals that teams will present Monday through Wednesday are several involving video review: allowing three coaches’ challenges instead of two even when one challenge fails; expanding what can be challenged to include everything but turnovers and scores; and eliminating overtime in preseason games.

MIAMI (AP) - Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker is in critical condition after police say he was involved in a dirt bike crash in Miami.

Miami-Dade Police say Walker was riding a Honda dirt bike with no lights and wearing dark clothing when he collided with a Ford Escape at about 8 p.m.

The Ravens say Walker is at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Police are investigating.

Walker was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He played in eight games last season, mostly on special teams.

In a statement, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “This is devastating news. Our prayers and hopes are with Tray and his family tonight.”

A native of Miami, Walker attended Miami Northwestern High School before playing in college at Texas Southern.

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos kept bolstering their offensive line when they agreed to a five-year contract with former Seattle Seahawks tackle Russell Okung.

Selected by Seattle with the sixth pick in the 2010 draft out of Oklahoma State, Okung started 72 regular-season games and a dozen playoff contests for the Seahawks over the last six seasons. He was a Pro Bowler in 2012.

Okung’s 20 sacks allowed in his career rank as the fewest in the league among tackles who have started at least half of their team’s games in each season since 2010.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The New England Patriots have acquired Martellus Bennett from the Chicago Bears, giving them another talented tight end to pair with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski.

New England also gets Chicago’s sixth-round pick in this year’s draft in exchange for the Patriots’ fourth-rounder in the deal.

The 29-year-old Bennett has spent eight seasons in the NFL, the past three in Chicago. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and has 3,586 yards with 23 touchdowns in his career.

He goes from a rebuilding team to a perennial championship contender led by coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

NCAA TOURNAMENT

ESPN’s announcers will call six games remotely during the first two rounds of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

The network confirmed to The Associated Press that the commentators will not be on site for the first- and second-round games hosted by Maryland and Mississippi State on Friday through Monday.

ESPN has been using remote productions more often in the last couple of seasons, as it has also been broadcasting more men’s and women’s college basketball games overall across its networks. Of a record 3,200 games during the regular season, more than 90 - about 3 percent - were called remotely, and they were generally lower-profile matchups.

This is the first time ESPN has done so for the tournament, when nearly 10 percent of the 63 games will be handled remotely. The 48 matchups in the first two rounds are televised regionally.

BASEBALL

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Major League Baseball umpire Tim Welke is calling it a career after 33 seasons.

Welke told The Associated Press that he had one knee replacement surgery in January and would have another in June.

The 58-year-old Welke worked the World Series four times and was the plate umpire for last year’s All-Star Game.

Welke handled more than 4,200 games in the regular season, almost half of them as a crew chief. For a couple of years, that crew included his brother, Bill.

Managers, players and fellow umpires often praised Welke for his even-tempered demeanor and ability to control a game without letting emotions escalate.

True to his nature, Welke’s last ejection came in 2012. But in 2014, he tossed a fan in Atlanta who was heckling Bryce Harper in a profane manner.

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