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In Sports from United Press International

Jan. 27, 2003 at 7:54 PM   |   Comments

Cowboys' Goodrich faces more charges

DALLAS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich was arrested on additional charges Monday in the deaths of two men during a Jan. 14 hit-and-run accident.

Goodrich, who already faces two counts of manslaughter, was booked into the Dallas County Jail on three charges of failure to stop and render aid. He posted a $15,000 bond and was released. He is to be arraigned later.

Goodrich was charged with manslaughter the day after the fatal accident on a Dallas freeway and posted a $50,000 bond. If convicted on the manslaughter charges, he could face from two to 20 years in prison and up to five years on each of the new charges.

Demont Matthews, 23, and Joseph Wood, 21, were fatally injured about 2 a.m. as they tried to pull an injured man from a burning car. A rescuer was also hit but he survived with a broken leg. The burned driver is also recovering from his injuries.

Witnesses said a BMW traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph passed between the cars parked along the side of the road and a concrete median barrier. Police said there was no sign of skid marks that would indicate the driver attempted to stop.

Goodrich, who turned himself into police, believed he had struck some debris along the roadway, according to his lawyer. Police have since found hair and human tissue on the windshield of the car involved in the accident.

Goodrich's attorney said his client was remorseful and ready to accept responsibility when he learned what had really happened.


Lions fire Coach Marty Mornhinweg

ALLEN PARK, Mich., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Detroit Lions fired Coach Marty Mornhinweg Monday.

After guiding the Lions to just five wins over the last two seasons and amid speculation that the team is interested in former San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, Mornhinweg was fired less than a month after being told he would be back in 2003.

"This is a process that when we got into it, we knew we be an on-going process," Lions president Matt Millen said. "We need to make the best decisions to get this franchise going in the right direction."

Millen testily dismissed inquiries about whether it was a forgone conclusion that Mariucci would be replacing Mornhinweg. But when pressed Millen did concede that Mariucci's availability is intriguing.

"It certainly is a factor," Millen said. "It is one (option) I would like to explore. There are other qualified candidates out there."

Days after Detroit completed a 3-13 season, there was speculation that Millen would be fired as president and that Mornhinweg would be let go as coach, but owner William Clay Ford decided on New Year's Eve to bring the pair back for another season.

Ford's options changed when Mariucci was fired by the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 15 and rumors intensified late last week.

Detroit closed the season with eight straight losses and their winning percentage of .156 over the last two seasons is the worst for such a span in franchise history.

Mornhinweg was widely criticized for an overtime loss to Chicago in which the Lions won the overtime loss and elected to take the wind. The Bears drove to the winning score on their first possession.

Under Mornhinweg, the Lions were 5-27, including 0-16 on the road. Despite no previous head coaching experience, Mornhinweg agreed to a five-year contract to replace Gary Moeller following the 2000 season.

One of the men who helped Mornhinweg get the Lions job likely is the man to replace him. Mornhinweg was a top assistant under Mariucci when the duo were in San Francisco.

The 49ers fired Mariucci after six seasons, claiming he wanted to expand his role in the organization and add the title of vice president of football operations. The firing came three days after the 49ers concluded their season with a disappointing 31-6 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC divisional playoff game.

The Niners won the NFC West title and finished with an 11-7 record. In an NFC wild card game, they rallied from a 24-point deficit to defeat the New York Giants.

Mariucci upset the Niners' front office last winter by openly campaigning for a contract extension through the media. He then talked with the Buccaners about becoming their coach and general manager. But Mariucci hesitated when it came time to accept the job, and Tampa bay ultimately hired Jon Gruden.

The 47-year-old Mariucci posted a 58-39 regular-season record. He endured back-to-back losing seasons in 1999 and 2000, but that was due in part to salary cap considerations that forced the Niners to make major changes to their roster.

Mariucci came to the Niners after coaching the University of California in 1996, posting a 6-5 record. He was quarterbacks coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1992-95.

Mornhinweg was a quarterback at Montana but did not play in the NFL. His lone pro experience was with the Denver Dynamite of the Arena Football League for two games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in 1986. He worked as an assistant at several schools, including Montana, Texas El-Paso, Northern Arizona, Southeast Missouri State and Missouri.


Mississippi Valley State guard shot, paralyzed

ITTA BENA, Miss., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Mississippi Valley State guard Michael Archie was shot and paralyzed at a nightclub early Sunday morning in an incidence that left one man dead and two

others wounded.

According to Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks, Archie was hit in the spleen with a bullet. He was taken to University Medical Center in Jackson, paralyzed from the waist down.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a club security guard and charged him with murder following the death of another shooter. Banks said he was waiting for lab work before possibly charging the security guard with aggravated assault.

A 20-year-old starter, Archie was averaging 11.2 points this season. Hours before he was shot, he scored 11 points in an 87-68 home win over Prairie View A&M.


Arizona remains in top spot in college basketball

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Arizona, which has won 10 straight games, stayed in the top spot in the latest college coaches' basketball poll released Monday night.

Arizona (15-1), which began the season atop the poll and remained there until losing to Louisiana State on Dec. 21, garnered 31 first-place votes and 775 points from a panel of Division I coaches.

Saturday, the Wildcats extended their winning streak to 10 games by rallying from a 20-point deficit to beat then-No. 6 Kansas, 91-74. The defeat dropped Kansas (13-5) to 13th.

Pittsburgh (15-1) remained in the second spot, while Texas (13-2) and Florida (16-2) each slid up one position with Duke (13-2) falling from third to No. 5.

The Blue Devils, who owned the No. 1 ranking two weeks ago, lost their second in a row at North Carolina State on Wednesday, but salvaged the week with a 91-71 triumph over Georgia Tech.

Rounding out the top 10 is Oklahoma (13-3), Kentucky (15-3), Louisville (14-1), Maryland (12-4) and Notre Dame (16-3).

Oklahoma State (16-1) climbed six steps to No. 11 after stretching its winning streak to 14 games with a 79-70 triumph at Texas Tech on Sunday.

Connecticut (12-3) slipped four spots to No. 12, while Kansas (13-5) plunged to 13th after having its 25-game home winning streak stopped by Arizona.

Illinois (14-3) is ranked 14th, ahead of Creighton (17-2), Marquette (13-3), Georgia (12-4), Wake Forest (13-2), Oregon (14-4) and Indiana (14-4). Alabama (12-5), Mississippi State (12-4) and Xavier (14-4) filled the next three positions.

California (14-2) entered the poll at No. 24 after Texas Tech (11-4), which had been in the 25th spot, dropped out. Missouri (11-4) completed the poll at No. 25.


Pierce, Duncan named NBA Players of Week

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Paul Pierce, who had his first career triple-double, became the second straight member of the Boston Celtics named NBA Player of the Week.

Pierce was honored in the Eastern Conference Monday while Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs was the Western Conference winner.

Antoine Walker of the Celtics was selected last week and fellow forward Pierce earned the distinction on Monday after collecting 27 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists in a 91-83 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Pierce averaged 35.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.25 steals to help Boston post a 3-1 record last week.

The Spurs had the same record behind Duncan, who averaged 28.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The veteran forward had 22 points and 11 rebounds in just 31 minutes in Saturday's 108-76 rout of Detroit.


Super Bowl MVP faces the media

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Tampa Bay defensive back Dexter Jackson Monday had his own stage as the MVP of Super Bowl XXXVII.

Jackson had two interceptions in the first half to set the tone in the Buccaneers' 48-21 rout of Oakland on Sunday night.

Many expected perennial Pro Bowlers such as Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch to represent Tampa Bay's top-ranked defense, but instead it was Jackson, who completed his second season as the team's starting free safety.

"We have guys like Derrick Brooks and John Lynch and Sapp that are great leaders, but it's more than just those guys," Jackson said at a news conference honoring the Super Bowl MVP and the winning coach. "Everyone here looks at each other as an individual, and when you have everyone having the same mindset that we're a team and no one's better than nobody else, everything just gels together and it's terrific."

Coach Jon Gruden attracted most of the microphones during Super Bowl week since he was facing the team that sold him to Tampa Bay last February for the exorbitant price of four draft picks and $8 million.

Monday, he refused to gloat.

"I'm going to leave everybody else to talk about their team. I'm done with that," Gruden said. "It was a very tough week for me addressing those questions."

When asked if he received a congratulatory call from Raiders owner Al Davis, Gruden said, "No, I didn't get any calls. You know that."

The team set a Super Bowl record with five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns, and recorded five sacks.

Nickel back Dwight Smith became the first player in Super Bowl history to return two interceptions for touchdowns, but both came in the second half after the Bucs already had built a 24-point lead.

Defensive end Simeon Rice was runnerup in the MVP balloting with two sacks, both coming in the first half.

Jackson could not have timed his MVP performance better. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. The last defensive back to win the award was cornerback Larry Brown of Dallas, who had two interceptions in Super Bowl XXX.

Ironically, Brown also was in his free agent year and received a five-year, $12 million contract from the Raiders.

Davis probably will not be courting Jackson because his team is about $40 million over the salary cap for next season.


LeBron James approved

CLEVELAND, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Ohio High School Athletic Association Monday announced no violations of its amateur bylaws have been found in the case of LeBron James.

The OHSAA has completed its investigation centering on James' eligibility at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Commissioner Clair Muscaro said James can maintain his amateur status. Officials at St. Vincent-St. Mary were informed of the ruling Monday morning.

There was a two-week investigation of the James case centered around a vehicle which was given to him on his birthday by his mother. The nature of the transaction has been the subject of much speculation.

"In working with the attorney for the James family and the OHSAA attorney, I was shown official business records from the bank and the dealership which established that the financing and acquisition of the vehicle were procured by the student-athlete's mother alone," said Muscaro. "Accordingly, this type of transaction is not a violation of the OHSAA bylaws on amateurism."

Because of confidentiality concerns, Muscaro said no further information on the documents he reviewed would be released.

"The OHSAA bylaws on amateurism differ significantly from those of other amateur organizations such as the NCAA," Muscaro said. "We regularly review our constitution and bylaws, and we certainly would include an evaluation of our rules on amateurism as part of that review, and would take any and all recommendations to the member schools following our evaluation. However, as our bylaws direct, our member schools make all final decisions regarding possible changes."

The OSHAA is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of public and non-public high schools and 7th-8th grade schools that was organized in 1906. In a prepared news release, the OHSAA said receives no tax money, and does not charge fees to its member schools.


Belfour to skip All-Star Game

TORONTO, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The back injury that forced Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour to miss three straight games will keep him out of the All-Star Game.

The Maple Leafs announced Monday that Belfour has decided to decline his invitation to represent the Eastern Conference on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla., because of back spasms.

Ottawa Senators goalie Patrick Lalime has replaced Belfour on the All-Star roster.

In his first season with Toronto, Belfour missed three games last week before returning for losses on Friday and Saturday.

According to the team, it was more important for Belfour to get the five days rest instead of "displaying his skill" next weekend.

Belfour is 21-14-3 with five shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He signed over the summer after Curtis Joseph left for Detroit.


Mercury adds two staffers

PHOENIX, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Phoenix Mercury Monday rounded out their coaching staff, hiring Carrie Graf and Gary Kloppenburg as assistants to John Shumate.

Graf and Kloppenburg worked together during the 2002 WNBA season as assistants to Lin Dunn in Seattle. The two helped the Storm to their first playoff berth.

"As we commit to making Mercury games fun again, you have to start with the product on the floor, and giving Coach Shumate the best possible staff," said Phoenix General Manager Seth Sulka.

Graf spent 1998, '99, and 2001 on the bench with the Mercury.

The Australian native helped his home nation win the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 after taking off a season.

Graf coached the Canberra Capitals of Australia's Women's National Basketball League the last two seasons, winning the championship last March.

Kloppenburg spent the last three seasons in Seattle as an assistant. He served in the same capacity with Rockford of the Continental Basketball League during the 1999-2000 season and with the Quad City Thunder in 2000-01.

In addition, Kloppenburg was an advance scout for the Toronto Raptors from 1997-99.

"I feel like the luckiest coach in the world right now," Shumate said. "Carrie and Gary are individuals of outstanding character, and their coaching skills are unparalleled. There are no other coaches around that I'd rather have on my staff than these two."


Penguins recall Koltsov

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins Monday recalled forward Konstantin Koltsov from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Koltsov has goals and 13 assists in 19 games for Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate. The 21-year-old native of Belarus, was drafted by the Penguins in the first round, 18th overall, in the 1999 NHL draft.

Pittsburgh needs help up front as leading-scorer Mario Lemieux has missed eight of the Penguins' last nine games with a groin injury.

Also, right wing Tom Kostopoulos was re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he is the team's leading scorer with 35 points in 38 games. He played in eight contests with the Penguins after being recalled on Jan. 9, recording just one assist.

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