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Marshall athletic director Bob Marcum called South Florida athletic director Lee Roy Selmon on Friday and is pursuing an annual football series with the Bulls.
Selmon was in Oklahoma for his aunt's funeral, and Marcum said he does not expect to hear back until next week. Marcum wants as many as four home-and-home games with USF, beginning this season at Marshall.
The Thundering Herd, the perennial Mid-American Conference champions, play at Central Florida this season. Marcum wants the proposed USF series to rotate its location with Marshall-UCF series.
"We all have to be cost conscious and two trips to Florida in the same year is pretty expensive, so it'd be best to alternate," Marcum said. "I think a series with South Florida would be super."
Another possibility is Hawaii. Lois Manin, Hawaii's sports information director, said Akron might pull out of an Aug. 30 game at Hawaii. If that happens "every school would be a possibility." Hawaii and USF have mutual open dates Sept. 6 and Dec. 6. They have not been in contact.
FLORIDA: Maryland's Mike Locksley was hired as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, replacing Tyke Tolbert, who took a job with the Arizona Cardinals. Last season, Maryland was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing offense, averaging 202.9 yards per game. Coach Ron Zook also shuffled offensive assistants. Wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon was named assistant head coach. Mike Woodford moved from defensive backs coach to special teams coordinator. Offensive line coach Joe Wickline is running game coordinator. Running backs coach Larry Fedora moved to the perimeter offense and outside wide receivers.
OBITUARY: Costa Kittles, former athlete and longtime baseball coach at Florida A&M, died of a heart attack. He was 75. He coached such All-Stars as the Devil Rays' Hal McRae and Bill Lucas, the first black GM in major-league history (Braves).
Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Jennifer Capriati 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the Dubai Open final against Monica Seles. Seles moved into the final after second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo retired because of a thigh injury. Capriati lost a third time in five matches against Henin-Hardenne.
ALL-AMERICAN SEMIS: Taylor Dent defeated Vladimir Voltchkov at the Kroger St. Jude tournament in Memphis, ensuring an all-American semifinal in an ATP event for the first time since 1995. Dent faces Vince Spadea, who beat Tampa's Mardy Fish. Brian Vahaly, in his first semi, meets defending champ Andy Roddick.
SAMPRAS SKIPS TOURNEY: Pete Sampras withdrew from the Franklin Templeton Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., which starts March 3. Sampras, 31, has not played since winning the U.S. Open final Sept. 8.
Prosecutors plan to put 34 cyclists on trial for alleged doping at the 2001 Giro d'Italia. Italian prosecutor Luigi Bocciolini said 51, including team doctors and trainers, have been notified of the prosecution plans. The 20-month investigation stemmed from police raids in team hotels in San Remo before the closing stages of the Giro in 2001, which resulted in the seizure of banned substances.
ARMSTRONGS SPLIT: Lance and Kristin Armstrong, one of the highest-profile couples in international sports, said they have separated after 41/2 years because of unspecified marital difficulties. Lance Armstrong, the four-time Tour de France champion, leaves Austin, Texas, on Monday to prepare for the European season.
ARENA FOOTBALL: The Storm signed league veteran Ian Howfield, who ranks 10th all-time in scoring among kickers, to replace Pete Elezovic. Wide receiver/linebacker David Saunders, team MVP in 2002, was activated from injured reserve. Defensive specialist Jonathan Ordway was signed to the practice squad; emergency quarterback Anthony Buich was released. ... Quarterback Jay Gruden, brother of Bucs coach Jon, broke an ankle in the second half of Orlando's 70-42 victory over host Carolina.
TRACK AND FIELD: Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie set a world indoor record for two miles at 8 minutes, 4.69 seconds at the Norwich Union meet in Birmingham, England. He topped countryman Halyu Mekkonen's 2000 mark of 8:09.66. Svetlana Feofanova set a world record in the pole vault, 15 feet 7-3/4 inches, topping her Feb. 2 mark by half an inch.
-- PETE YOUNG, FRANK PASTOR, JILL MARTIN, Times wires