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In Sports from United Press International

May 5, 2003 at 11:43 PM   |   Comments

Eustachy resigns from Iowa State

AMES, Iowa, May 6 (UPI) -- Embattled Larry Eustachy resigned late Monday as men's basketball coach at Iowa State.

Eustachy and the school reached a buyout agreement, five days after he was suspended with pay for inappropriate behavior at a party at the University of Missouri during the season.

Originally, he said he would not resign.

Under terms of the agreement, Eustachy will be paid $110,000 on July 1 for the pro-rated value of his annual base salary, and another one-time payment of $850,000 on Jan. 1.

"It's time to move on, folks," Eustachy was quoted as saying by the Register Monday at his Ames home after the settlement was announced. "I came to that conclusion over the weekend. We've played tug-of-war, divided this group of people enough. Make no mistake -- we need to end this thing. We need to end it. President Geoffroy is not the problem, Bruce Van De Velde is not the problem. I created this situation, and I am holding myself totally accountable."

University attorney Steve Zumbach described it as an "uncharacteristically simple and an uncharacteristically short settlement agreement."

Eustachy, the highest-paid state employee in Iowa, was under contract through the 2010-11 season, reportedly at $1 million a year.

He was suspended with pay last Wednesday, and had until 7 p.m. EDT Monday night to appeal. Zumbach said had he gone that route, the process would have taken another 30 days, delaying the school's search for a new coach.

"This has been one of the most divisive issues that's confronted this university, at least during my 35-year experience with the institution," Zumbach said. "There were strongly held views on both sides. It pitted students against students, donors against donors, and alumni against alumni. At risk was the cohesive fabric of our university family. This matter needed to be brought to a close. Allowed to continue, that damage could have been irreparable."

Last Wednesday, hours after Eustachy publicly admitted he is an alcoholic, Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde recommended the coach be fired.

Eustachy's admission came after the Des Moines Register published photographs of him at a party in Columbia, Mo., during the early morning hours of Jan. 22, after the Cyclones had lost to the Tigers.

"It has been a difficult period for Iowa State University, for our student-athletes, for our fans, and for Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde,"said President Gregory Geoffroy. "Now that this issue is behind us, it is important for us to come together as a university family and to support each other. By resolving this situation today, we will continue to move forward in fulfilling our important mission of providing students with the best education possible. We are first and foremost an educational institution that values integrity and honesty, and treating others with fairness and respect."

The photos showed Eustachy embracing and kissing women on the cheek or being kissed. The photos drew national attention, and prompted calls for his dismissal or resignation.

Flanked by his wife, Eustachy, 47, apologized for the embarrassment he caused the university, and said alcoholism contributed to his behavior.

However, Van De Velde took a hard-line approach, saying, "We have a right to expect better of such a prominent member of the Iowa State community."

Eustachy had a record of 102-59 in five seasons at Iowa State, including a 17-14 mark in 2002-03 that included an appearance in the NIT. His best season was 1999-2000, when the Cyclones reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.


Boston U signs Wolff to 10-year extension

BOSTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Boston University on Monday signed basketball Coach Dennis Wolff to a 10-year contract extension.

The etension came after he guided the team to its second straight America East Conference regular-season championship.

Wolff has a 149-118 record in nine seasons at Boston University, winning America East Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and 1997.

The Terriers were beaten by Vermont, 56-55, in the conference championship game and finished 20-11 after a 62-57 loss to St. John's in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Before taking the BU job prior to the 1994-95 season, Wolff served as an assistant at Virginia for five years.


Ottawa reaches first conference finals

PHILADELPHIA, May 6 (UPI) -- The Ottawa Senators posted a 5-1 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday to advance to the NHL Eastern Conference finals.

It is the first time in their 11-year history the Senators have gotten this far.

After squandering a three games to two lead against Toronto in last year's conference semifinals, Ottawa did not make the same mistake this time as Peter Schaefer scored 2:41 into the contest.

With the Senators shorthanded, Mike Fisher made it 2-0 at the seven-minute mark, deflating the First Union Center crowd and instilling confidence in his teammates.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored a power-play goal with just under six minutes to go in the second period and Bryan Smolinski tallied 2 1/2 minutes later to give Ottawa a commanding four-goal cushion.

Patrick Lalime made 18 saves for the Senators, who will battle the New Jersey Devils for the right to play for the Stanley Cup.

Michal Handzus scored the lone goal for Philadelphia, which went 0-for-17 on the power play in the series.


Agassi loses in first round at TMS Rome

ROME, May 6 (UPI) -- A week after reclaiming the No. 1 ranking, Andre Agassi had it taken away Monday by unseeded David Ferrer of Spain.

Agassi, who was 23-1 with four titles this season, appeared headed to another victory when he cruised through the first set, 6-0, in the first round of the $2.33 million Tennis Masters Series claycourt event in Rome. But Ferrer, who had lost his last eight matches on the ATP circuit, pulled off an improbable comeback with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win over the next two sets.

The match was Agassi's first since he regained the No. 1 ranking on April 28 and celebrated his 33rd birthday the following day.

But Agassi wilted against Ferrer. After hitting the net on break point for Ferrer in the ninth game of the third set, Agassi committed four unforced errors that allowed Ferrer to serve out the match.

Australian Leyton Hewitt withdrew from this event, indicating he needed more time to rest before the French Open later this month, but will regain the top spot after Agassi's stunning first-round elimination.

Agassi appeared determined to defend his title here, breezing through the first set in just 24 minutes. But Ferrer held his serve in the second set and took the tiebreak. In the third set, Agassi lost his serve in the ninth game and self-destructed in the last game.

A week ago, Agassi rallied to beat fellow American Andy Roddick in the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship for his fourth ATP Tour title of the year.

But Monday belonged to the 21-year Ferrer, who was a quarterfinalist in Auckland in January but just 5-12 this season with eight straight losses. He won his first ATP title in Bucharest in 2002.

Roddick was scheduled to play Italian Andrea Gaudenzi on Monday in the first round.

No. 7 Albert Costa of Spain and eighth seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic advanced on Monday. Costa beat Zeljko Krajan, 6-4, 7-5 and Novak defeated Wayne Arthurs, 6-3, 6-3.

Sixth seed Marat Safin of Russia pulled out Monday due to a sore wrist.


NCAA recommends changes to 3-point line

INDIANAPOLIS, May 6 (UPI) -- The NCAA Rules Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend the college basketball 3-point line be moved back to the international distance.

The new distance of 20 feet, 6 inches, would be effective for the 2003-04 season. The current distance of 19 feet, 9 inches has been in place since 1986.

The committee also recommended expanding the 12-foot wide college lane by adopting the international trapezoid free throw-three-second lane.

The lane has not been adjusted since the 1956-57 season, when it was widened from 6 feet to 12 feet for the men's game.

"The present dimensions have not kept pace with the physical size, prowess and skill of the players," said Art Hyland, chairman of the men's committee. "With more space created around the basket by both changes, there should be more opportunity for cutting through the lane and to the basket, and more dribble penetration by outside players. This is consistent with our emphasis on cleaning up rough play over the past few years."

The recommendations must be approved by the NCAA championship committees for Division I, II and III in June before a change is officially made.

The NCAA women's basketball committee also recommended a change to the international 3-point line, effective in 2003-04, and that the trapezoid lane be used as an experimental rule in selected games during the season.

"Our student-athletes have demonstrated increasingly strong shooting behind the arc," said Lynn Hickey, women's committee chairman. "Moving the line back nine inches will be a small adjustment for today's players. We will experiment with the trapezoid next season to determine if it could also have a positive effect on the women's game."


U.S. wins, Canada reaches quarterfinals

TSMPERE, Finland, May 6 (UPI) -- Kelly Fairchild recorded a hat trick Monday to lead the United States to an 8-1 rout of Japan in the relegation round of the World Hockey Championships.

Canada secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a 5-2 victory over Russia, which is winless in three qualifying round games and needs Sweden to defeat Switzerland on Tuesday to join Canada in the quarters.

If the Swiss win and Latvia defeats Denmark, Switzerland and Latvia advance.

Already assured of a 13th-place finish and a spot in next year's tournament, the United States recorded its best offensive effort at the World Championships since defeating Norway, 9-4, in 1990.

Peter Ferraro got the U.S. going with his first goal of the tournament 3:13 into the game and Craig Johnson of the Los Angeles Kings also got his first tally of the championships.

Fairchild made it 4-1, scoring twice in a 2:43 span late in the second period.

The Americans sealed the victory in the third period with four goals in less than 5 1/2 minutes. Carolina Hurricanes rookie Brad DeFauw and Marty Reasoner of the Edmonton Oilers struck before Fairchild completed his hat trick.

Chris Rogles made 28 saves for his win of the tournament as the U.S. outshot Japan, 44-29.

Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes and Kirk Maltby of the Detroit Red Wings each scored twice for Canada, which was coming off disappointing efforts in a tie with Denmark and a win over Switzerland.

Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres tipped a shot past Egor Podomatski just under eight minutes into the second period to put the Canadians in front for good, 5-2.

In a Group E game, Slovakia rallied from a two-goal deficit and tied the Czech Republic, 3-3. Slovakia earned the top spot in the group based on goal differential.

Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, Pavol Demitra of the St. Louis Blues and Ladislav Nagy of the Coyotes scored for the Slovaks, while the Czechs got two goals from Martin Straka of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Slovaks will play their quarterfinal game Wednesday in Helsinki against the fourth-place team from Group F, while the Czechs face the third-place team from Group F in Turku.


Venus Williams withdrew, Sugiyama loses

BERLIN, May 6 (UPI) -- Elena Dementieva was forced to retire due to a foot injury and Japan's Ai Sugiyama was ousted Monday in the first round of the German Open.

This Tier I claycourt event was dealt an immediate setback when Venus Williams withdrew with a left abdominal strain. She suffered the injury in Sunday's J&S Cup final against Amelie Mauresmo in Warsaw, Poland.

Williams was seeded second here behind Belgium's Kim Clijsters. Her withdrawal moves third seed Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium into Williams' spot.

Sugiyama jumped from 13th to ninth in the seedings after Williams' withdrawal, but lost Monday to Switzerland's Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian, 6-1, 7-5.

Dinara Safina of Russia advanced when countrywoman Dementieva was forced to retire in the third set with a strained left foot. Dementieva won the first set, 6-2, but Safina bounced back to win the second set, 6-2 and was leading, 1-0 in the third when Dementieva retired.


Rookie Bourdais wins Champ Car race

KENT, England, May 6 (UPI) -- Rookie Sebastien Bourdais of France won his first Champ Car race on Monday.

In just his fourth career series start, Bourdais took the checkered flag in the 165-lap London Champion Car Trophy by 7.835 seconds ahead of Newman/Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira of Brazil at Brands Hatch.

"I am very pleased about the win and especially to do it here in Europe where I won my first race," Bourdais said. "We should have won a couple earlier in the year and had troubles."

The Frenchman used very good fuel mileage and took the lead at the first round of pit stops on lap 55 and held it until 116 when Canadian Alex Tagliani gained the position for the next 15 laps.

Bourdais again moved to the front on lap 133 to remain there en route to the checkered flag. He led for 95 laps and averaged 105.412 miles per hour in a Ford-Cosworth/Lola.

Tagliani lost some positions on the final pit sequence and finished eighth.

Mario Dominguez of Mexico finished more than 11 seconds behind the winner in third.

Pole sitter Paul Tracy of Canada, who won the season's first three races, led for the first 54 laps and earned a single point on the day after a mechanical failure forced him out after 118 laps of competition.

Tracy remained the series leader with 65 points. Junqueira made up a lot of ground and is 11 points behind after four events.

Oriol Servia of Spain started fourth and finished there, with Patrick Carpentier of Canada rounding out the top five.

Michel Jourdain of Mexico was sixth and stands third in points with 42.

The race had only two cautions for six laps.

The circuit stays in Europe for Sunday's German 500 at the Eurospeedway in Lausitz.


Solomon named at St. Bonaventure

OLEAN, N.Y., May 6 (UPI) -- Anthony Solomon Monday was named head men's basketball coach at St. Bonaventure Monday, replacing the fired Jan van Breda Kolff.

ESPN first reported Friday that Solomon, 38, would get the job. He has been an assistant at Notre Dame for the past three years under Mike Brey, played collegiately at Virginia, and will take over a program mired in turmoil.

"Anthony Solomon has the leadership, experience and character that are critical to St. Bonaventure University and our men's basketball program," said St. Bonaventure Athletic Director Paul Grys. "He is one of the bright young coaches in the game, and we are thrilled to have him. He is a balanced man who is equally dedicated and passionate about both his work and his family. We think he is a perfect fit."

Solomon's responsibilities at Notre Dame included recruiting, academic development, game planning, and scouting of opponents with specific coaching duties with the perimeter players. Among the players, he helped recruit to Notre Dame was Torin Francis, a high school All-American forward from Massachusetts.

Prior to working at Notre Dame, Solomon spent six seasons at Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

He was Assistant Athletic Director for Basketball Operations at Clemson from 1998-2000. In his first season there, the Tigers went 20-15 and advanced to the championship game of the NIT.

He had been an assistant coach at his alma mater for four seasons from 1994-98, and also has been an assistant at Richmond, Manhattan, and Bowling Green.

Last month, van Breda Kolff was fired after a university investigation determined he had violated NCAA rules related to a player eligibility scandal.

In early March, the Atlantic 10 Conference stripped the Bonnies of six league victories, and barred them from the conference tournament after center James Terrell was ruled ineligible for violating NCAA junior college transfer guidelines.

That led to a boycott by the players, which forced the school to forfeit its final two regular season games against Massachusetts and Dayton.

The university was widely criticized for allowing the players to dictate policy, and there was even some speculation that the A-10 would expel the school from the league.

While that did not happen, the controversy surrounding Terrell and the player boycott, did lead to the resignation of University President Robert Wickenheiser and Athletic Director Gothard Lane.


Mike Shula eyed by Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 6 (UPI) -- It appears that Miami Dolphins quarterback coach Mike Shula is the leading candidate to succeed Mike Price as football coach at Alabama.

The Birmingham News reported Monday that sources indicate Shula, a former quarterback for the Crimson Tide, was called Saturday night, shortly after the firing of Price, by President Robert E. Witt.

One source said Witt and Athletic Director Mal Moore flew to Fort Lauderdale Sunday to speak with Shula over the weekend, and had been given permission to talk with Shula by Dolphins Coach Dave Wannstedt.

"Mike is the perfect fit for a program in need of an image boost and stability," one source told the paper. "He has the background and expertise to tweak the offense (installed by Price during spring practice). He will keep most of the staff in place. He knows the Alabama family."

The Tuscaloosa News said the pair returned home late Sunday night.

"We made it home safe," Moore said after emerging from the jet. "We visited with someone. It would be premature to say who we visited with. We are recruiting and looking and visiting with everyone."

Moore flew fly to Orlando Monday morning for the Southeastern Conference Athletics Directors meeting. Before he left Tuscaloosa, he said it would not take long to make a new hire.

"The players deserve a quick decision, and I want to deliver," Moore said before departing.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Price's two sons, offensive coordinator Eric Price and quarterbacks coach Aaron Price, who were Alabama staff members, have told Moore they plan to leave, and will not be retained.

Shula has the support of former Alabama Coach Ray Perkins.

"He played for me and then he coached for me, and, of course, I played for his father (Hall of Fame former Dolphins coach Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history)," Perkins said. "I love the guy. I think the university would be very, very fortunate if they could get him."

The Tuscaloosa News mentioned other possible candidates, including Carolina Panthers assistant coach Richard Williamson, former Alabama center Sylvester Croom, and former Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Tom Coughlin, who also is a former head coach at Boston College.

The tenure of Price ended Saturday without him having worked a single game. He was unable to defuse the controversy surrounding his off-the-field behavior, which included a visit to a topless bar in Pensacola, Fla., and unusual charges to a hotel bill.


Anthony signs with Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alberta, May 5 (UPI) -- Reidel Anthony has become the latest wide receiver to try to rejuvenate his football career north of the border.

The first-round pick of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997 Monday signed with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Anthony played five years with the Buccaneers, catching 144 passes for 1,846 yards before reuniting with his college coach Steve Spurrier in Washington. The Redskins released him after training camp, and he failed to hook up with any NFL team last season.

"Reidel Anthony has performed at a high level in the NFL, and we think he has the tools necessary to be effective in the more wide-open CFL," said Eskimos Coach Tom Higgins.

Anthony enjoyed his best year in 1998, when he caught 51 passes for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2001, he had a career-low 13 receptions for 162 yards.


Red Wings dump Robitaille

DETROIT, May 6 (UPI) -- The Detroit Red Wings Monday declined to pick up on the contact of veteran left wing Luc Robitaille, making him a free agent.

After getting swept out of the playoffs, the Red Wings began the process of trying to get younger.

Robitaille, 37, who is the all-time leader among left wingers with 631 goals, was the first to go. The move is not surprising since Robitaille finished with career-lows 11 goals and 31 points this season.

In the playoffs, he skated on the fourth line and had just one assist when the Red Wings were swept in the Western Conference quarterfinals by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Robitaille signed with the Red Wings as a free agent in July 2002, surpassed the record of Bobby Hull for most goals by a left wing (610), and earned his first Stanley Cup title.

"We are very grateful to have had Luc as a member of the Detroit Red Wings," said General Manager Ken Holland. "He was a big part of our 2002 Stanley Cup championship, and it was an honor to have him in a Wings uniform when he broke Bobby Hull's record as the top left wing goal scorer in NHL history. The Robitaille family will always be a part of our Red Wings family."

Robitaille had 30 goals and 20 assists in the 2001-02 season, and added four goals and five assists in 23 playoff games.

The 6-1, 215-pounder also set the single-season record for goals by a left winger when he had 63 with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1992-93 season.

An eight-time All-Star, Robitaille won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1986-87, when he had 45 goals and 39 assists with the Kings.

In 1,286 games with the Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and Red Wings, he has 688 assists and 1,319 points.


Canadiens re-sign Bulis

MONTREAL, May 6 (UPI) -- The Montreal Canadiens Monday re-signed center Jan Bulis to a two-year contract.

Bulis, 25, set career highs with 16 goals and 24 assists last season, and ranked second on the team with a plus-minus of plus-9.

"Jan Bulis was one of our best forwards last season," said Montreal General Manager Andre Savard. "At only 25, he has greatly improved his play, and he also possesses a very good work ethic. Jan is an important part of our young core of players for the upcoming seasons."

The Czech Republic native played parts of four seasons with the Washington Capitals before being acquired by Montreal in a six-player deal in March 2001.

Bulis has 51 goals and 101 assists in 328 career games.

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