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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 20, 2001


TAAC sheds light on its new name

The Trans America Athletic Conference changed its name to the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The 23-year-old conference has schools in five southeastern states.

Four Florida schools -- Jacksonville, Stetson, Central Florida and Florida Atlantic -- play in the conference for all sports but football. The other schools are Belmont, Campbell, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Mercer, Samford and Troy State. Gardner-Webb becomes a member in 2002.

MORE COLLEGES: The Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a new contract for football coach Bob Stoops worth $2-million a year and extended his deal through Dec.31, 2007. ... Central Florida named Jamie Barresi as quarterbacks coach. He spent eight seasons as a Wake Forest assistant. ... Two Miami players, right-handed pitcher Kiki Bengochea and infielder Kevin Howard, made the USA Baseball national team after four days of tryouts in Tucson, Ariz. ... Florida named Andy Jackson as men's tennis coach. He had coached at Mississippi State since 1989.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: The family of Daniel Lawson, an Oklahoma State player killed in a plane crash, accused the school of negligence in a tort claim filed in Oklahoma City. Lawson and nine others affiliated with the OSU program were killed Jan. 27 near Byers, Colo. Attorneys say the negligence includes failure to secure, maintain and inspect the plane. A tort claim is usually the first step in the legal process toward a lawsuit. ... Houston forward Alton Ford said he would pass up his final three years of eligibility and remain in next week's NBA draft. ... Sophomore forward Damien Wilkins will not return to North Carolina State even if he withdraws his name from the draft, Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek said. ... Keith Bogans will return to Kentucky for his junior season rather than go to the NBA, said his mother, Joy. ... A fourth former Providence player, Jamaal Camah, was found innocent of misdemeanor assault stemming from a brawl. Three former teammates -- Llewellyn Cole, David Murray and Donta Wade -- pleaded no contest Monday to reduced felony charges of assault and disorderly conduct from the April 2000 incident in which the four went to the home of a bouncer who kicked one of them out of a bar days earlier.

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong easily won the time trial prologue of the Tour de Suisse in 9 minutes, 44.22 seconds at Rust, Germany. ... Amber Neben won the eighth stage of the HP Women's Challenge at Burley, Idaho, and Lyne Bessette was fifth to hold on to the overall lead.

HORSES: The chairman of the California Horse Racing Board denied a request to stay the 60-day suspension of trainer Bob Baffert for a positive drug test on one of his horses 13 months ago. Baffert's attorney, Neil Papiano, filed an appeal and requested a stay pending that appeal.

TRIAL: A 22-year-old former dancer at the Gold Club in Atlanta testified she was paid $500 after having sex with basketball star Dennis Rodman and another club dancer in Rodman's hotel room. Amanda Pappas, then 19, said Rodman paid her in "gold bucks," in-house currency at the strip club, before she and dancer Jacklyn "Diva" Bush left with Rodman in a limousine one night in 1998. Bush exchanged the currency for $500 cash on the ride back to the club, Pappas testified. Bush, Gold Club owner Steve Kaplan and five associates are accused of taking part in a multimillion-dollar racketeering conspiracy that included prostitution and credit-card fraud.

AUTOS: Busch Grand National series crew chief Dave Fuge was fined $30,000 and suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for rules violations in Saturday's Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Fuge, the crew chief for the No. 61 team, was penalized for using unapproved roll bars.

OBITUARY: Glenn Smith, the first sophomore to be selected MVP of the Sugar Bowl when he led LSU to victory in 1968, died after a long illness at 53.

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