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>>Big Ten To Adopt Nine-Game Conference Schedule In 2017

(Park Ridge, IL)  --  The Big Ten will begin playing nine conference football games starting in 2017.  The conference announced that six schools, three from each division, will play five Big Ten home games every other year.  The switch from the current eight conference games to nine means all teams will face each other at least six times over a 10-year period instead of four.

>>NFL Players Ratify 10-Year CBA

(New York, NY)  --  The new 10-year NFL collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by players, putting the finishing touches on the settled labor dispute.  Under the new CBA, players have consented to blood testing for human growth hormone, according to "The New York Times."  The NFL will be the first major American sports league to blood testing for HGH, with a goal to start the program by Week One of the regular season. 

Players had already approved the CBA on July 25th, but a vote was needed to formally ratify it.  NFL owners had opted out of the previous deal, leading to a lockout that lasted more than four months.  It was the league's first work stoppage since 1987.  Training camps finally opened late last week, but players who had signed new contracts weren't able to practice until the CBA was ratified.

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