Sports Update

Nov. 8, 2001 at 11:32 PM
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In Sports from United Press International

Tulane player suspended for phone use

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Tulane senior forward Linton Johnson, the school's second-leading returning scorer, was suspended indefinitely Thursday for unauthorized use of a long distance access code.

The team captain and lone senior on coach Shawn Finney's roster, Johnson will miss at least 10 percent and as many as 30 percent of Tulane's games during the 2001-02 season, pending completion of an internal investigation.

The 6-8 Johnson averaged 13.1 points on 51 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds in 30 games last season. He led the team in 3-point shooting at 36 percent and in blocked shots with 58.

Last week, Johnson scored 20 points to lead the Green Wave to a 98-87 exhibition victory over VASDA.

Former manager has brain tumor

ARLINGTON, Texas, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Former Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles manager Johnny Oates has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will undergo surgery at the end of the month in Virginia.

Oates, 55, has a glioblastoma multiforme tumor, a rapidly growing primary growth that originates in the brain and occurs most often in adults.

"My family and I have great strength at this time, and I have put myself in the hands of the Lord," Oates said. "I am optimistic about the future. I appreciate all of the kind words and prayers that I have received."

Oates managed the Rangers for six-plus seasons until resigning under pressure on May 4.

Oates stepped down as Rangers skipper just a month into a season that began with lofty expectations following the signing of free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $252 million contract. But Texas began just 11-17 and was 10 ½ games behind first-place Seattle, Rodriguez's old team, in early May.

Oates led the Rangers to American League West titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999, losing to the New York Yankees in the Division Series on each occasion. Texas slipped to last place in 2000 with a 71-91 mark and again finished last this year at 73-89.

Oates was 506-476 as Rangers' manager. He came to Texas after four seasons with the Orioles and owns a career record of 797-746. A 34-year baseball veteran as a player, coach and manager, Oates shared 1996 AL Manager of the Year honors with Joe Torre of the Yankees.

Vikings agree to deal with Carter

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings finalized a deal Thursday with former Pro Bowl cornerback Dale Carter just two days after he was reinstated by the NFL following a 19-month suspension.

According to ESPN, the 31-year-old Carter has agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract that will be prorated over the balance of the season, with Carter receiving $29,411 for every game he is on the roster.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Carter was suspended by the league last spring for repeat violations of the substance abuse policy. Carter and agent Mitch Frankel insisted that the player had not tested positive but instead missed a scheduled screening, which was viewed by the league as the equivalent of a positive test.

Months after signing a six-year, $34.8 million contract with the Denver Broncos in 1999, Carter violated the substance abuse policy for the third time. Shortly after his first season with the Broncos, Carter again violated the policy, mandating a one-year suspension.

Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1992 draft, Carter has played in 118 games, starting 102 of them. He has 461 tackles and 23 interceptions and played in the Pro Bowl following the 1994-1997 seasons.

France beats Czech Republic in Fed Cup

MADRID, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Sandrine Testud and Amelie Mauresmo posted straight-sets singles victories Thursday for France, which whitewashed the Czech Republic, 3-0, at the 2001 Fed Cup.

Testud ignited her team with a 6-4, 6-1 rout of Kveta Hrdlickova before Mauresmo sealed the win with a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over Denisa Chladkova.

To underline second-seeded France's dominance of the tie, Testud and Nathalie Tauziat dismantled the Czech doubles tandem of Petra Cetkovska and Alena Vaskova, 6-3, 6-2.

In Thursday's other matchups at the Institute Ferial Madrid, fourth-seeded Russia clinched a victory against Argentina, and Germany got past Australia.

France is gunning for its second Fed Cup title in five years, having hoisted its first trophy in 1997.

With the two-time defending champion United States having withdrawn, Belgium is the favorite heading into the final because it has the event's top players in Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

But Testud, the world's 11th-ranked player, is riding high following her stunning victory over former world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati at last week's Sanex Championships at Munich, Germany.

She won her third career tour title in September, when she beat Henin to capture the Big Island Championships at Waikoloa, Hawaii.

In addition, Mauresmo has won four of the 12 tournaments she has entered in 2001, claiming the Open Gaz de France, Terazura 2001, Bausch & Lomb Championships and German Open titles.

The Czechs were eliminated from Fed Cup title contention, having also fallen Wednesday to Russia.

The Russians also were in commanding form Thursday. Nadia Petrova rolled to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Clarisa Fernandez of Argentina. Elena Dementieva destroyed Maria Emilia Salerni of Argentina, 6-1, 6-2, as Russia--the 1999 finalist--ensured a second win in as many days.

In a pair of tightly contested singles matches, Bianka Lamade of Germany edged Alicia Molik of Australia, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, and Barbara Rittner of Germany rallied past Australia's Nicole Pratt, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Germany's success ended Australia's hopes of winning its first Fed Cup since 1974.

Belgium, Spain, Australia and Germany make up Pool B. Pool A features Russia, France, the Czech Republic and Argentina.

The World Finals uses a round-robin format with two groups. The nation finishing at the top of each advances to the final.

Stringer family plans to sue Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The family of the late Korey Stringer plans to file a $100 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the Minnesota Vikings, claiming the team was negligent in the events that led to the death of the Pro Bowl tackle.

Calling the conduct of Vikings owner Red McCombs "unconscionable," family attorney Stanley M. Chesley said at a news conference that the suit would be filed at the conclusion of the Vikings' season.

Stringer died Aug. 1 in training camp due to complications from heat stroke. He was 27.

Complete details of the lawsuit were not disclosed, but agent James Gould claimed that the Vikings exhibited disregard for Stringer's safety and were indifferent to the family following Stringer's death.

Stringer's death sent shockwaves throughout the NFL, which had never had a death related to heat stroke.

After going through a morning workout in 90-degree temperatures on July 31, Stringer experienced the symptoms of heat stroke, including weakness and rapid breathing, and was taken by ambulance to Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital.

The 6-4, 335-pound Stringer was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital and had a temperature of over 108 degrees. He developed multi-organ system failure and never regained consciousness before being pronounced dead.

Suit threatened over Twins folding

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch has threatened to sue Major League Baseball over antitrust violations if owners go ahead with plans to shut doen the Minnesota Twins.

Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., said he plans to introduce legislation to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption. Wellstone said he would ask President Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, to support the measure.

Baseball owners met this week and voted to reduce the number of Major League teams by two to eliminate money-losing franchises. Though no franchises were immediately designated, speculation centered on the Twins, Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins.

Minnesota lawmakers have been balking for years at requests from Twins owner Carl Pohlad to fund a new stadium and efforts by Pohlad to sell the team repeatedly have failed.

Legislation is pending in the Minnesota Senate that would provide $300 million for an open-air stadium. The Twins would be required to put up half the cost, some coming from private sources. The rest would come from a $100 million state loan, $40 million from Metropolitan Council revenue bonds and $10 million in sales tax breaks on building materials.

Montreal pitcher agrees with contraction

NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Montreal Expos reliever Scott Strickland told a radio network Thursday that contraction "has to be done" and salaries "have definitely gotten out of control."

On Tuesday, Commissioner Bud Selig announced that baseball's owners had begun the process of contracting by two teams before next season.

In an interview with ABC Sports Radio Network on Thursday afternoon, Strickland did not seem to flinch when discussing contraction, even though his team is among those believed to be among the leading candidates.

"I've realized it has to be done," Strickland told the radio station. "We're struggling in Montreal. It's really no fun playing in front of a few thousand fans every night."

En route to losing 94 games, the Expos drew 642,743 fans to Olympic Stadium, an average of just 7,935 per contest. Their total attendance was half the total of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the next lowest team.

Top names to battle at Bighorn

PALM DESERT, Calif., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Sergio Garcia and Lee Trevino will compete next summer in the third annual "Battle at Bighorn."

Woods, the world's top-ranked player, and Nicklaus will battle Garcia and Trevino in a best-ball made-for-television event to be aired July 29.

It will be the fourth live telecast of a golf event in prime time.

In 1999, Woods defeated David Duval, 2 and 1, in the "Showdown at Sherwood." The following year, Garcia beat Woods, 1-up, in the first "Battle of Bighorn." This past summer, the format was altered as Woods teamed with Annika Sorenstam to defeat Duval and Karie Webb in an alternate shot format.

The winners will split $1.2 million from a purse of $1.7 million, while the runners-up will divide $500,000. A total of $300,000 from the winner's share will be designated for charity.

Carter reportedly joining Vikings

BRISTOL, Conn., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Former Pro Bowl cornerback Dale Carter apparently has found a home with the Minnesota Vikings. ESPN reported that the troubled Carter would complete a deal with the Vikings Thursday, just two days after being reinstated by the NFL following a 19-month suspension.

According to ESPN, the 31-year-old Carter has agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract that will be prorated over the balance of the season, with Carter receiving $29,411 for every game he is on the roster.

A Vikings spokeswoman would not confirm the signing.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Carter was suspended by the league last spring for repeat violations of the substance abuse policy. Carter and agent Mitch Frankel insisted that the player had not tested positive but instead missed a scheduled screening, which was viewed by the league as the equivalent of a positive test.

Second-seeded Nagyova advances

PATTAYA CITY, Thailand, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Second seed Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia advanced to the quarterfinals but sixth seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan was a second-round loser at the $110,000 Volvo Women's Open tennis event Thursday.

Nagyova had little trouble with Zsofia Gubacsi, coasting past her Hungarian opponent, 6-2, 6-0. Nagyova advances to play qualifier Liezel Huber of South Africa, who defeated Sugiyama, 7-5, 6-2.

Eighth seed Rossana Neffa-de los Rios of Paraguay defeated Wynne Prakusya of Indonesia, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4). Rossana Neffa-de los Rios advances to a quarterfinal meeting with Su-Wei Hsieh of Tapei, who outlasted the Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.

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