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NBA players oust union chief Hunter
NEW YORK, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The union representing NBA players said Saturday it has voted to remove Billy Hunter as executive director following questions about nepotism and expenses.



National Basketball Players Association Executive Committee President Derek Fisher said in a statement the vote by player representatives was unanimous.



"Today was a day of change for our association and our union," Fisher said. "We held a meeting with the board of player representatives, with many different groups of players represented."



Hunter -- who has led the union since 1996 -- had been on indefinite leave since Feb. 1 following a review that turned up evidence he hired family and friends.



The review turned up no illegal behavior but raised questions about Hunter's travel and other expenses.



"We wa-nt to make it clear that we are here to serve only the best interests of the players," Fisher said. "No threats, no lies, no distractions will stop us from serving our membership. We do not doubt this process will continue in an ugly way ... This is our union, and we have taken it back."





Defending champ Haas leads Northern Trust
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Bill Haas carded a 7-under 64 in the third round Saturday, positioning himself for a second straight championship at the Northern Trust Open.



The performance put Haas at 12-under 201 through 54 holes, good for a three-stroke advantage.



His last PGA Tour win came at 2011's event, when he beat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff at Riviera Country Club.



Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel, each of whom fired 68, were tied for second at 9-under with John Merrick (70).



Second-round co-leader Fredrik Jacobson stumbled to a 72 after recording a double-bogey on the par-4 fifth, ending the day tied for fifth with world No. 3 Luke Donald (70) at 8-under.



Josh Teater (68) and Charlie Beljan (68) were one shot further back at 7-under 206.





Two-time champ Raonic to face Haas at SAP
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Canadian Milos Raonic will seek his third straight SAP Open title after both he and Germany's Tommy Haas won their semifinal matches Saturday.



The top-seeded Raonic earned another trip to the San Jose title match with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of No. 3 seed Sam Querrey of the United States.



Haas reached the final with a 6-3, 6-4 win over second-seeded American John Isner in the day's first semifinal.



Should Raonic prevail Sunday, he would become the first player to win the San Francisco-area event three consecutive times in the Open Era.



Haas is seeking his 14th career ATP Tour win, and first since the 2012 tournament in Halle, Germany.





Reds, Bailey avoid arbitration with deal
GOODYEAR, Ariz., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds and starting pitcher Homer Bailey have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract, the team said Saturday.



Terms of the deal weren't announced, but The Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was for $5.35 million.



Bailey had filed for $5.8 million in his arbitration proceeding, while the Reds countered with a $4.75 million offer.



Bailey, 26, last year compiled a 13-10 record with a 3.68 ERA over 33 starts, while setting new career marks in wins, innings (208), strikeouts (168) and quality starts (21).



The signing settled the last of seven arbitration cases the Reds had been facing entering the new season, following deals with Mat Latos, Logan Ondrusek, Mike Leake, Bailey, Chris Heisey, Shin-Soo Choo and Alfredo Simon, the Enquirer noted.





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