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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001


NCAA: Flag costs Mississippi

The NCAA said it will keep its men's basketball regional in Greenville, S.C., and the Final Four in Atlanta despite calls for the events to be moved because of objections over Confederate flag displays.

NCAA championship events planned years in advance, however, such as men's basketball tournament games, can't be staged in Mississippi because of a recent vote to keep the Confederate symbol on the state flag.

"No predetermined sites will be awarded to Mississippi for the foreseeable future," the NCAA said in a statement.

The NCAA executive committee's decision does not affect championship sites awarded based on competitive record or seeding, such as for baseball or tennis.

The NCAA also restated its opposition to awarding future championship sites to areas where the Confederate flag "continues to have a prominent presence."

Mississippi voters overwhelmingly retained the 1894 state flag with its Confederate emblem on April 17.

BOXING: Baltimore police aren't likely to charge the man who crashed his car into a motorcade vehicle carrying newly crowned heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. Police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes said Mike Heisler, whose car collided with Rahman's convertible after the downtown rally, did not break traffic laws. ... Celebrity daughters Jacqui Frazier-Lyde and Laila Ali will meet June 8 in the first pay-per-view card featuring women in the main event. A fire heavily damaged a home in Potomac, Md., owned by Mike Tyson, but no one was injured. The former heavyweight champion's wife, two of their children and her parents escaped unscathed. Tyson was training in Las Vegas. Donovan "Razor" Ruddock, after an 18-month layoff, won a 10-round split decision against Harold Sconiers in Niagara Falls, N.Y. ... Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis will make the first defense of his WBA welterweight championship tonight against Larry Marks in New York.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Brandon Creswell pitched a complete game to lead Virginia to a 5-0 win over host Miami. Wes Rynders' bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Georgia Tech to a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Florida State. Aaron Davidson had three hits and drove in three runs as host Florida defeated Mississippi State 11-4. Daniel Boyd became South Florida's career total bases leader with a two-run home run and Jon Uhl, a freshman from Leto High, came within a pitch of a complete-game shutout in the 3-0 win over visiting Southern Miss.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: A former assistant at Indiana has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Bob Knight and the school. Ron Felling contends he was wrongfully fired by Knight in December 1999. Felling says he was dismissed after the former Hoosiers coach eavesdropped on a telephone call between Felling and former assistant coach Dan Dakich. Knight could not be reached for comment. ... Berry Jordan of Jacksonville, a 6-foot-71/2 forward with a 39-inch vertical leap, signed a letter of intent to play for Arkansas. ... Lee Melchionni, a 6-7 junior forward from Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania, made an oral commitment to Duke.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Penn State fullback Ricky Upton was among the latest people charged in connection with a disturbance that followed the Nittany Lions' elimination from the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Upton was given a summary citation for disorderly conduct for his actions March 24. The other 16 people charged Thursday -- 13 of them students -- face summary and misdemeanor citations. ... The Oahu and Aloha bowls are moving to the mainland, unable to draw top teams and generate enough money. The Oahu Bowl will be relocated to Seattle and the Aloha Bowl to San Francisco. Both games are expected to be renamed. ... Charlie O'Hearn, a star at Yale in the 1920s and the school's oldest former player, died April 19 in Naples, Fla. He was 99. His 52-yarder against Carnegie Tech on Sept. 30, 1922, stands as the longest drop-kicked field goal at Yale Bowl.

GYMNASTICS: The University of Arkansas plans to build a $5-million practice gymnasium for its new women's program.

OLYMPICS: Hal Haig Prieste, America's oldest Olympian who once stole the original Olympic flag and acted in the first Keystone Kops movies, died at 104 on April 19 in Camden, N.J. Prieste won a bronze medal in platform diving at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. He briefly appeared at the 2000 Sydney Games, where he returned his souvenir -- the original Olympic flag.

RUGBY: A 16-year-old player died of a brain injury in Denver, nearly a week after he was injured during a game. Patrick Torres, 16, was a junior at Bear Creek High School.

TENNIS: Andy Roddick had seven aces and won his first 16 points on serve in beating second-seeded Todd Martin 7-5, 6-2 at the Verizon Challenge in Duluth, Ga. ... Top-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Felix Mantilla 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semifinals of the $1-million Seat Godo Open in Barcelona. TRACK: A 20-year drought ended for Villanova when the unheralded Wildcats won the men's distance medley relay -- an event they once dominated -- at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia. The inexperienced Wildcats were composed of two freshmen, one sophomore and one senior. Florida, with a team of Amber Robinson, Ebony Shotwell, Keyon Soley and Niki Benjamin, took its first title in the women's 400 relay at 43.43. The Gators also swept the men's and women's sprint medley relays. ... Michael Johnson will run his last U.S. race today at the Penn Relays. Johnson will run the anchor leg of the 1,600-relay team and then finish out his season running relays abroad. Marion Jones and Maurice Greene also are scheduled to race today. ... Kip Janvrin, 35, won the Drake decathlon in Des Moines, Iowa, for the seventh straight year and the 12th time overall. His 7,873 points were the second-best total in the world this year and more than 400 ahead of runner-up Jeff Sander, who trains under Janvrin in Warrensburg, Mo. Arkansas celebrated its return to the Drake Relays by running away with the 4-mile relay.

YOUTH FOOTBALL: A Boys and Girls Club coach accused of breaking the arms of a 10-year-old who muffed a catch pleaded guilty to felony battery in Jacksonville. The plea agreement for Ronald Ray Gibson, 35, calls for him to spend four months in the Duval County Jail, to be followed by two years of probation. He must pay restitution and take anger-control classes.

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