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January 7, 2001
Lightning fires Ludzik
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[AP photos]
Second-year coach Steve Ludzik, above, pays price as his young team's progress stalls. Assistant John Tortorella, below, takes the reins.
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Step right up, don't be shy
New coach will emphasize learning to his young team.

Slap shots
COOL JOB: Blue Jackets coach Dave King loves college athletics, and has been a sideline guest at Ohio State football games. King said he admired Buckeyes coach John Cooper, who took his firing without whining.

Gary Shelton
Vikings defense quiets doubters -- for a week
MINNEAPOLIS -- At times like these, when the offense is clicking and the ball is shooting all over the joint like a pinball, the only question about the Minnesota Vikings and the Super Bowl appears to be this.

NFL playoffs
Vikes offense tears up Saints
But questions remain if one-sided Minnesota can make the Super Bowl.

Dolphins flame out once more
Miami's season ends with a one-sided playoff loss, just as it had in two previous seasons.

Raiders solve Dolphins offense
They stop RB Lamar Smith, then focus on QB Jay Fiedler.

Raiders coach irked by ref's call
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even after his team shut out Miami on Saturday, Oakland coach Jon Gruden seemed a little mad about a Raiders touchdown that was called back late in the third quarter with his team leading 27-0.

Carter patiently leads Vikes
The veteran receiver shows he is a go-to guy even if he doesn't have the flash of Moss.

Williams returns, but injury hinders him
MINNEAPOLIS -- In last week's victory against the Rams, the Saints managed to win despite gaining 50 yards on 32 carries. They knew going into Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game in Minnesota that a 1.6-yard average wasn't going to strike fear in the hearts of Vikings defensive players.

Williams returns, but injury hinders him
MINNEAPOLIS -- In last week's victory against the Rams, the Saints managed to win despite gaining 50 yards on 32 carries. They knew going into Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game in Minnesota that a 1.6-yard average wasn't going to strike fear in the hearts of Vikings defensive players.

Pass prevention a focus for the Eagles' defense
In third game against Giants, Philly secondary is determined to improve vs. Kerry Collins.

Titans, Ravens to defend their claims
Host Tennessee is last year's AFC champ; Baltimore has its defense and a big road win.

NFL briefs
Haslett rewarded for Saints revival

Shorts/reader feedback
Week in sports
NBA

Seminoles deserved Orange Bowl bashing
As a Florida State fan, I believe that FSU got what it deserved against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl game. Any university that would let its fifth-year senior receiver, Snoop Minnis, fail three out of four classes is disgraceful. What is going on? Why didn't FSU know its star was in trouble a long time ago? You don't flunk out overnight! Where are all these tutors for the players? Is anybody monitoring grades?

Sports briefs
UF offensive linemanreportedly going pro

Horse racing
Horsemen and track agree to end three-week dispute
Horsemen's board signs three-year deal, but expresses reservations about not having a non-retaliation clause.

NBA
Hawks down Magic
McGrady misses at the buzzer and Orlando drops five games below .500.

NBA briefs
Pitino taking time off from Celtics

ABA
Thunderdawgs fall to 1-5
ST. PETERSBURG -- It was another loss and another sparse crowd, but Darryl Dawkins saw promise in the Tampa Bay Thunderdawgs' 128-121 loss to the Los Angeles Stars before about 200 fans on Saturday night.

NHL
NHL briefs
Hot Capitals rally to defeat Leafs 3-2

LeClair could be back Friday against Lightning
CHICAGO -- Flyers coach Bill Barber said it's a "long, long shot," but John LeClair, sidelined by injury most of the season, may play Friday against the Lightning at the Ice Palace in Tampa.

NFL
Millen good bet for Lions
Amid the flurry of front-office and coaching changes last week, the most interesting move was Detroit's hiring of Fox television analyst Matt Millen.

Preps
Jesuit lineman makes 3A all-state first team
Jesuit offensive lineman Mark Burgess was named to the Class 3A all-state first team.

Springstead wins Buccaneer Duals
The Eagles defeat Cardinal Gibbons for the title in a battle of the state's top teams.

Eagles claim Buccaneer Duals
Springstead beats Cardinal Gibbons for the championship in a battle of the state's top two teams.

Warhawk star on 4A all-state first team
D'Qwell Jackson of Seminole has been named to the Class 4A all-state team. Jackson, a junior, was selected as a linebacker.

Veterans don't scare Green Devils captain
Brittney Lewis has plenty of experience facing older players.

Northside routs Keswick by 21
ST. PETERSBURG -- How does a team playing its third game in three nights avoid heavy legs and scraping the bottom of the emotional barrel?

Jesuit's victory keeps TC reeling
TAMPA -- Jesuit's potent offense was stashed away for most of the night. Then Stash Graham took over.

College basketball
College basketball this week on TV
TODAY: 1: Women: Virginia at Ga. Tech, Sunshine

College basketball around the state
Bethune-Cookman tumbles in overtime

Women's college basketball briefs
Unbeaten Irish rip Rutgers

FSU gets late boost at the line
Free throws help the Seminoles pull away from UNC-Asheville in final minute for a 76-68 win.

Wright's loss wrecks plans
The Gators forward, out 3-6 weeks with a stress fracture, was a crucial participant in the team's fullcourt press.

Seniors get Bulls off on right foot
With B.B. Waldon hampered by foul trouble, USF opens its C-USA schedule with a 59-49 win over Southern Miss.

Outdoors
Captain's corner
The hot topic has been the chilly weather and the Gulf of Mexico's dropping water temperature. You can expect to get good grouper action in 50-100 feet, where the water temperature on the bottom will be close to 60 degrees. I have concentrated my fishing south of Egmont Channel 10-15 miles, where the water is a little warmer.

Weather gets nasty for snook
ST. PETERSBURG -- The recent chilly weather has wreaked havoc with local fish populations. In a period of 48 hours last week, state officials received more than 50 calls concerning fish kills up and down the coast.

Devil Rays
Bosman has chance to teach
Dick Bosman has done some interesting things in his life. Threw a no-hitter for the Indians. Spent six rather memorable years as Frank Howard's roommate. Builds and drives hot-rods.

Baseball briefs
Finley scheduled for knee surgery


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