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FLOWERY BRANCH Offensive tackle Todd Weiner and cornerback Kevin Mathis sat out practice for the Atlanta Falcons today because of ailing ankles, leaving them questionable for the N-F-C championship game. While coach Jim Mora said both players "were a lot better," they skipped practice for the second day in a row. The coach is hopeful both will be able to practice tomorrow.

UNDATED (AP) _ After two days of negotiations, the N-H-L and the players' association broke off talks and appear no closer to a deal that could save the hockey season. Representatives from the N-H-L and the players' association met for four and a-half hours today. It was the second straight day the sides held discussions in an attempt to end the four-month lockout. But the talks broke off without a deal or plans for the sides to meet further.

ATLANTA (AP) _ Second baseman Marcus Giles skipped salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth two-point-35 (M) million dollars. Giles received a big raise from the 430-thousand dollars he made last season when hit batted .311 with eight homers and 48 R-B-I's and 17 stolen bases.

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Tom Lehman (LAY'-muhn) is the leader after the first round of the Buick Invitational in San Diego. He opened with a 10-under-62. Dean Wilson is next at 9-under, followed by Arron Oberholser who's 8-under-par. Tiger Woods had a 3-under-69.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Texas sophomore forward P.J. Tucker is academically ineligible and will miss the rest of the season. He was the leading scorer and rebounder for the 15th-rated Longhorns. Tucker was averaging 13-point-seven points per game and eight rebounds. He will stay in school and be allowed to practice but is not eligible for competition.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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