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Heels' McCants declares for draft

Associated Press
Published April 14, 2005


North Carolina found out Wednesday about the first of its four underclassmen who could leave school early.

Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer for the national champion Tar Heels, said he would apply for the NBA draft and skip his senior season.

Coach Roy Williams said McCants had his "complete support" in making a move the two began discussing in January.

North Carolina still is awaiting the decisions of juniors Sean May, the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament, and Raymond Felton and freshman Marvin Williams.

Three other players said Wednesday they have applied for the draft.

Indiana guard Bracey Wright, like McCants, said he will hire an agent, unlike Florida's Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh (see related story this page) , who will retain their college eligibility if they are not selected.

Other prominent underclassmen who have declared for the draft include national player of the year Andrew Bogut of Utah, Charlie Villanueva of Connecticut, Ike Diogu of Arizona State, Kelenna Azubuike of Kentucky, Nate Robinson of Washington and Carl Krauser and Chris Taft of Pittsburgh.

Players must apply for the draft by May 14. If they don't sign with an agent they can withdraw their name by June 21, one week before the draft is held.

FOOTBALL

STEROIDS: Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo, considered a likely first-day, but not necessarily first-round, NFL draft pick, has admitted to taking steroids after the 2004 season. A source told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Castillo tested positive for andro, which is considered a steroid by the NFL. Castillo sent a letter to the 32 NFL teams alerting them of the situation. Castillo failed the drug test at February's NFL combine in Indianapolis. He said he took the drug to help his performance at the combine after he was slow to heal from an elbow injury.

OUTBACK DATE IS JAN. 2: Bowl officials confirmed Wednesday that the 20th annual game will be played at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2, 2006, along with the rest of the traditional bowl games. When New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the traditional New Year's Day bowls are played on Jan. 2 to avoid conflict with the NFL.

Priority membership seats are available through the Outback Bowl office at 813 874-BOWL or on the bowl Web site at www.outbackbowl.com All other tickets will go on sale to the public October 1.

HEISMAN'S NEW HOME: The Heisman Trophy, homeless since the post-Sept. 11, 2001, shuttering of the Downtown Athletic Club, will strike a permanent pose inside the planned National Sports Museum in lower Manhattan, it was confirmed Wednesday. "We think it's a good match," said William Dockery, president of the Heisman Trophy Trust said Wednesday. "We've been looking for a home. It's downtown, close to where we were in the past. And it contributes to the revitalization of downtown Manhattan."

The National Sports Museum, a 100,000-square-foot facility on Broadway, is planning a November 2006 opening. he museum eventually could become the site of the annual presentation of the Heisman, which honors the top player in college football.

CHARGE AGAINST VOLS TACKLE UPHELD: A judge in Tennessee refused to reduce a felony assault charge against University of Tennessee defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound sophomore from Columbia, S.C. He was charged after a fight during a pickup basketball game on campus in January. A defense attorney had asked that the charge be reduced to misdemeanor assault, but Judge Chuck Cerny rejected that and sent the case to a grand jury.

McDaniel is one of 11 Tennessee football players who have been either arrested or cited for crimes ranging from aggravated assault to underage drinking since February 2004. Most of the charges are misdemeanors.

MORE TENNESSEE TRIALS: Linebacker Jerod Mayo, one of the two Vols freshmen charged with aggravated assault stemming from a fight at a party on campus, told police he hit the alleged victim twice, according to court documents. Defensive end Robert Ayers and Mayo turned themselves into authorities and were released from jail Tuesday. They are accused of hitting fellow student Shadiyah Murphy last month when several fights broke out between football players and members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity during a party at the University Center.

SOFTBALL

SPARTANS SPLIT: Host University of Tampa (16-17) split a Wednesday doubleheader with Valdosta State University (16-28). Devlin Dougherty (9-10) pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory. Valdosta State took the second game 5-4.