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November 17, 2002
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[Times photo: James Borchuck]
It's not all about biceps (or triceps)
Bucs running back Michael Pittman is well known for his bulging arms. He talks about them, a special tattoo, the old woman who lived in a shoe, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson and The Bachelor on BET.
Bucs prepared to face tough times
Tampa Bay begins difficult four-game stretch that could determine its playoff fate.

Assistants set new standard
TAMPA -- Remember all the hand-wringing a year ago over losing Herman Edwards and Lovie Smith off the Bucs defensive staff in the same season?

High profile -- Simeon Rice

Chucky's Chalk Talk

Athletes can learn a lot from Alstott
So many times we hear about athletes who are so full of themselves that they refuse an autograph request from a fan. This is not one of those letters. Recently Mike Alstott was shopping and a friend's son requested an autograph. He not only signed an apron of the company that my friend works for, but also took a few minutes to talk with the boy. A few moments to the A-Train, but a lifetime of memories for a small boy.

A big shot at legitimacy
The Lightning can prove it's for real with a road win over the Hurricanes.

Andreychuk keeps focus on No. 600
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Dave Andreychuk did not do much to celebrate the NHL-record 250th power-play goal he scored Friday against the Sharks.

Hubert Mizell
Fab Five glory has turned into gloomy story at Michigan
They were gifted, entertaining trend-busters. Fab Five, we called them. One up on the Beatles. Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson were lean, teen, University of Michigan models of baggy fashion, playing basketball in droopy shorts that became global style.

John Romano
Season ends miles from Florida's control
GAINESVILLE -- Players were chased out of their rooms before the telecast began. They arrived early at the stadium only to find the TV sets near the locker room silent and the remotes confiscated.

Gary Shelton
Hey, nation! Take notice of the Bulls
TAMPA -- Hey, you.

USF football
A prime time
The Bulls shut down the Falcons, No. 25 in the coaches' poll, with bowl scouts there.

Blackwell leaves home a big winner
The QB throws for 220 yards, 1 TD to extend home streak to 19.

Falcons get desperate in search of offense
TAMPA -- When the offense isn't working, why not turn to Emory & Henry?

South Florida by the numbers
Yards per carry by Bowling Green running back Joe Alls (24 yards in seven attempts). -- 3.4

UF football
Gators' win bittersweet
UF 28, USC 7: The team falls short of winning the SEC East title.

Unknown Gators have banner day
Carpenter, Kight and Small score their first touchdowns, combine for 10 receptions.

Injuries hit Gators' top wide receivers
GAINESVILLE -- Carlos Perez is out for the season after breaking his right fibula against South Carolina, leaving the Gators possibly missing their two top receivers for the Nov. 30 game at Florida State.

Florida by the numbers
Penalties in the first quarter. -- 0

FSU football
One season later, Seminoles exact revenge
FSU 40, UNC 14: Heels put up little fight 14 months after win.

Boldin returns to best form at last
The junior displays the gamebreaking style he had as a freshman with three scores.

Injuries put freshmen in backfield
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State senior tailback Nick Maddox, nursing a slightly sprained right ankle, sat out Saturday against North Carolina as a precaution.

Florida State by the numbers
Field goal FSU's Xavier Beitia had blocked, the first in 40 career attempts. -- 1

More college football
Iowa fans storm Minnesota field
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thousands of Iowa fans ran onto the field on Saturday, tearing down a goal post after the Hawkeyes' 45-21 victory at Minnesota.

SEC: Georgia clinches East with fourth-down TD
AUBURN, Ala. -- Michael Johnson went up for the ball, and Georgia hasn't come down yet.

State: Golden Knights top Flashes, stay alive in MAC
ORLANDO -- A steady downpour before kickoff made for a wet field and sparse crowd at the Florida Citrus Bowl, possibly explaining Central Florida's sluggish start. But the Golden Knights bounced back to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Big Ten: Bigger scare than usual for Ohio St.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Battered but still unbeaten after another scare on the road, Ohio State is one win away from playing for its first national title since 1968.

Big East: Late field goal lifts Owls past Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Tanardo Sharps carried a Big East record 48 times for 215 yards and set up Cap Poklemba's winning 22-yard field goal with 39 seconds left to rally Temple to a 20-17 victory over Rutgers on Saturday.

C-USA: Black Knights break two losing streaks
NEW ORLEANS -- No matter how bad things get for Army's Black Knights, they're a different team when they play Tulane.

Pac-10: Huskies humble Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. -- Cody Pickett's record-breaking day assured the Huskies of at least a break-even season and some bragging rights.

Nation: Colorado State wins 5th straight
SAN DIEGO -- Bradlee Van Pelt threw for three touchdowns and ran for two as Colorado State defeated San Diego State 49-21 Saturday night, the Rams' fifth straight win.

Big 12: Red Raiders outgun 'Horns
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas had no answer for Kliff Kingsbury, and now there's no chance for a national title.

ACC: N.C. State falters 3rd straight week
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Jamaine Winborne saw the ball going over his head, knew a North Carolina State receiver was there and reacted like any player suddenly responsible for his team's fate.

New NASCAR poster boy won't pose for honor
Unlike recent champs, moody Tony Stewart sees no obligations to PR.

Wimmer passes dried-up Keller to win BGN finale at Homestead
HOMESTEAD -- Scott Wimmer won for the fourth time in the past eight races when leader Jason Keller ran out of gas Saturday and Wimmer coasted past to capture the Ford 300, the Busch Grand National season finale.

Rejected appeal keeps Martin a title longshot
HOMESTEAD -- Roush Racing's appeal of a 25-point penalty to Mark Martin was rejected Saturday, hurting the veteran driver's chance of winning the Winston Cup championship.

Stewart bumps photographer, apologizes
Driver's history includes punching photographer, but officials call contact accidental.

College basketball
The madness comes to Tampa
First- and second-round games of the NCAA Tournament will be played March 21 and 23 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

March to Madness
Join us as we follow Southern Illinois, a team that will win your heart.

Nos. 1, 2 get early matchup
Fans won't have to wait long to see two of the nation's top teams go head-to-head.

ACC to discover its stars
Whether the Atlantic Coast Conference has been the nation's best league top to bottom can be debated, but its star power has been an undeniable fact.

FAU survives Cleveland St.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Earnest Crumbley scored 15 of his 24 in the second half and Jeff Cowans added 14 as Florida Atlantic held on to defeat Cleveland State 71-66 Saturday.

Highs & lows

Change of heart clears way for Hampton deal
Catcher Charles Johnson reversed himself and approved a trade to the Rockies, allowing for a six-player deal sending left-hander Mike Hampton to the Marlins.

Baldelli carries breakout into AFL
The Arizona Fall League ends this week, meaning Rocco Baldelli's whirlwind season is just about over.

Mavericks stay perfect
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The unbeaten streak has reached double figures for the Dallas Mavericks, whose newfound commitment to defense helped them defeat the Nets 96-88 Saturday night.

Division-leading Flyers, Bruins play to tie
PHILADELPHIA -- John LeClair's goal with 2:27 left lifted the Flyers to their third straight tie, 2-2 with the Bruins.

Slap shots
No sex or drugs, but rock 'n' roll

Palmer sparks a Warburg rally
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Arnold Palmer figured he was just going along for the ride in a best-ball match Saturday with Tom Watson. He wound up sparking their comeback with a 40-foot birdie putt.

Federenko leads Falcons to state
The Bloomingdale boys and Gaither girls finish sixth to join Leto.

AHN girls, Jesuit boys in state meet
ST. PETERSBURG -- For Academy of Holy Names and Jesuit, Saturday was unusual yet satisfying.

Bucs not their best in final
LAKELAND -- Perhaps Berkeley Prep's first clue that its state championship match wasn't exactly going to go its way was when Gainesville P.K. Yonge's Elyse Cusack dove in front of a Janet Okogbaa spike and deflected it back across the net -- with her elbow -- for a point.

Seminole finally gets past Largo
LARGO -- Seminole's boys and girls are heading to state, but for the first time in a long time that fact is mildly surprising.

3 from Pasco Co. collect five titles
CLEARWATER -- Pasco County teams have yet to win a district title against their Pinellas County counterparts, but there is progress.

Forry outlasts Lyons for title
Citrus and Hernando boys teams, 3 area girls teams advance to state.

Mustangs dominate yet again
Mitchell wins by 66 points as three runners finish in the top 10.

Panthers refuse to lose
LAKELAND -- The message to the Plant volleyball team came from Berkeley Prep coach Randy Dagostino and it was loud and clear.

Final doesn't go Berkeley Prep's way
LAKELAND -- Perhaps Berkeley Prep's first clue that its state championship match wasn't exactly going to go its way was when Gainesville P.K. Yonge's Elyse Cusack dove in front of a Janet Okogbaa spike and deflected it back across the net -- with her elbow -- for a point.

Indian Rocks girls nip Berkeley Prep
LARGO -- Indian Rocks Christian will take plenty of momentum into next week's state meet after sweeping the boys and girls Class A, Region 2 race Friday at Taylor Park. The Eagle girls, paced by freshman Melissa Kotchman, edged Berkeley Prep for the team championship 69-73.

NFL Game Day: Week 11
Panthers (3-6) at Bucs (7-2)

Packers making early run
With realignment this season, several division rivalries were lost, including the one between NFC Central adversaries Green Bay and Tampa Bay. But the Packers probably are glad the Bucs were shipped to the new NFC South.

Taylor hit with fine for gesture
NEW YORK -- Jaguars running back Fred Taylor was fined $10,000 by the NFL for making a "slashing of the throat gesture" against the Redskins last weekend, his second such punishment this season.

New rescue system may save lives
ST. PETERSBURG -- Boaters in distress may soon find it easier to get help on the high seas.

Daily fishing report
Ryan Stoufer and Jason Shuffler, fishing from a 17-foot boat, Boston Smokers, may have won a local tournament in the shortest time ever.

Paterno column a disgrace
John Romano's column on Joe Paterno (JoePa legacy is taking a hit, Thursday) was one of the most uninformed articles I have read in the Times. Romano sensationalized minor incidents that Paterno has been involved in this season. The tugging of the referee's jersey was put to rest by the referee and Penn State immediately after the incident, and only people in the media keep bringing it up to tarnish a good man's reputation. All coaches have made comments about referees; just listen to Steve Spurrier and Lou Holtz. These two men are striving to have as good a reputation as Joe Paterno.

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