In Sports from United Press International
Miami WR suspended for Rose Bowl
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 26 (UPI) -- University of Miami backup wide receiver Ethenic Sands has been suspended and will miss the Rose Bowl according to a Wednesday report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Sands was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules and will not travel with the team to Pasadena, Calif., for the January 3 game against fourth-ranked Nebraska.
The 6-foot, 177-pound Sands played in every game for No. 1 Miami (11-0) and had 26 receptions for 385 yards and a touchdown. He spent the 2000 season as a backup to quarterback Ken Dorsey before switching positions prior to this season.
Miami is also going to be without starting fullback Najeh Davenport when it seeks its fifth national title and first since 1991. The 6-2, 235-pound Davenport broke a bone in his right foot on December 20 but will travel with the team.
Falcons QB NFC Player of Week
NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The NFL announced Wednesday that Atlanta QB Chris Chandler was named as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort in the Falcons 33-30 victory over Buffalo last Sunday.
Chandler established a single-game high and set a Falcons team record with his 431 passing yards against the Bills, eclipsing the old mark of 416 passing yards set by former Falcons QB Steve Bartkowski vs. Pittsburgh on Nov. 15, 1981. He completed 28 of 40 passes with touchdown passes of 63 yards and 49 yards.
He had his seventh 300-yard plus game of his NFL career, his fifth as a member of the Falcons and his second of the 2001 season. Chandler had 352 yards passing at Green Bay in the Falcons 23-20 win.
It marks the third time in Chandler's 14-year NFL career that he has been honored as an NFL Player of the Week. His other honors came when he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week following a 352-yard passing performance with four touchdowns at Cincinnati in Week 4 of the 1995 season when he played for the Houston Oilers and then his Week 6 performance in 1998 with Atlanta when he had 266 yards passing and two touchdowns in a Sunday Night Football win at Giants Stadium against the Giants.
Alabama, Iowa State in Independence Bowl
SHREVEPORT, La., Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Alabama tries to close its first season under coach Dennis Franchione on a high note Thursday when it plays Iowa State in the Independence Bowl.
Alabama dropped to 3-5 following a 35-21 loss to Louisiana State on November 3, but the Crimson Tide rebounded to win its final three games and became bowl eligible with a 28-15 victory over Southern Mississippi on November 29.
While the Crimson Tide's 6-5 record is mediocre compared to Alabama's lofty standards, it still represents a major improvement from last season's 3-8 finish under Mike DuBose. Alabama, which lost its final five games last year, is making its NCAA record 51st postseason appearance and also boasts the most bowl wins with 28. But the Crimson Tide has lost its last two bowl games, including a 35-34 overtime loss to Michigan in the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season.
Quarterback Andrew Zow took over for Tyler Watts in the ninth game of the season and seemed to change Alabama's fortunes, guiding the Crimson Tide to three straight victories.
Tailback Santonio Beard, who was suspended by Franchione following a DUI charge, has been reinstated and will be able to play. But the Crimson Tide will be without receiver Antonio Carter, who will miss the game for failing to make satisfactory academic progress.
Iowa State's Dan McCarney has guided the Cyclones to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1977-78. Iowa State beat Pittsburgh, 37-29, in the Insight.com Bowl last year for its first bowl win in school history.
Ennis Haywood finished as the second-leading rusher in the Big 12 Conference, running for 1,169 yards and 14 touhdowns. Seneca Wallace was named the Big 12's Offensive Newcomer of the Year after passing for 2,044 yards and running for 475. His 2,519 yards of total offense ranks third on Iowa State's all-time list.
Haywood, the seventh player in school history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in more than one season, will have a busy schedule after the Seattle Bowl. He is set to play in the East-West Shrine game on January 12, the Senior Bowl on January 26 and the Hula Bowl on February 2. Iowa State is 12-0 over the past three seasons when Haywood rushes for more than 100 yards. He surpassed the century mark five times this year.
Alabama is facing Iowa State for the first time. The Crimson Tide has an 8-12-1 mark against Big 12 Conference schools.
Georgia Tech, Stanford in Seattle Bowl
SEATTLE, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Georgia Tech will be without George O'Leary, the Yellow Jackets' coach for the past seven years, when it takes on No. 11 Stanford Thursday in the inaugural Seattle Bowl.
O'Leary accepted the Notre Dame job on December 9, leaving the Georgia Tech program in the hands of assistant head coach Mac McWhorter. Just five days later, O'Leary resigned the Notre Dame post due to biographical inaccuracies.
McWhorter, the Yellow Jackets' 51-year-old offensive line coach, has more than 20 years of coaching experience, mostly as an assistant. His only previous head coaching experience at the college level came in 1989 at West Georgia. Last year, he began his second stint at Georgia Tech, previously serving as an assistant for the Yellow Jackets from 1980-86.
The Seattle Bowl is the successor of the Oahu Bowl, which was held in Hawaii.
Georgia Tech (7-5) ended a disappointing season with consecutive losses to Georgia and Florida State, although it could have been three plays away from being in a major bowl, which was its preseason expectation. Georgia Tech suffered overtime losses to Clemson and Maryland and a last-minute 39-38 setback to Virginia in which Tech quarterback George Godsey passed for a school-record 486 yards.
Godsey enjoyed a solid senior season, completing 65 percent (249-of-384) of his passes for 3,085 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Yellow Jackets featured a balanced attack but Joe Burns, the second-leading rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference, was ruled academically ineligible and will not play. Burns ran for 1,165 yards and 14 TDs.
Stanford (9-2) exceeded its expectations, reaching nine wins in the regular season for only the sixth time in school history and just the second time in the last 50 years. Stanford also handed second-ranked Oregon its only loss, costing the Ducks a spot in the national championship game.
Quarterback Randy Fasani returned for the Notre Dame game on November 24 after missing three contests with a MCL sprain of his right knee and should start against the Yellow Jackets.
Brian Allen was on pace to challenge Tommy Vardell's single-season school record of 1,084 rushing yards set in 1991, but he also was slowed by injuries late in the season. Allen rushed for just 102 yards in Stanford's final three games to finish with 899 yards, still a career high.
Georgia Tech beat the Cardinal, 18-17, in the 1991 Aloha Bowl in the only previous meeting between the teams.
Shaquille O'Neal placed on injured list
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was placed on the injured list Tuesday due to continuing toe ailments on both feet.
O'Neal must sit out at least five games and his absence began with Tuesday night's NBA Finals rematch against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The reigning Finals Most Valuable Player, O'Neal has been troubled by a sore right big toe for several weeks and has had siginifcant pain in the little left toe he had operated on in August.
O'Neal is sixth in the league and second on the team to Kobe Bryant with 26.0 points per game. He also is fifth with 11.5 rebounds per contest, helping the Lakers to a league-best 19-4 mark.
Gailey to coach Georgia Tech
ATLANTA, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- It has been reported that Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has agreed to become the new coach at Georgia Tech.
A formal announcment is expected on Friday or Saturday.
Georgia Tech (7-5), which has been without a coach since George O'Leary resigned to take the same job at Notre Dame, closes its season Thursday in the Seattle Bowl against 11th-ranked Stanford.
O'Leary took the Notre Dame job on December 9, leaving the Georgia Tech program in the hands of assisant Mac McWhorter. Just five days later, however, O'Leary found himself out of his dream job when he resigned the Notre Dame post due to biographical inaccuracies.
The Miami Herald reported in its Tuesday editions that Georgia Tech administrators were impressed with Gailey during a recent interview in South Florida and decided to offer him the job, even though Gailey insisted on finishing his second season with the Dolphins.
That was an issue when the University of Georgia interviewed Gailey last December and wanted him to be available for recruiting. Georgia eventually hired Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt.
The Dolphins have two games remaining in their regular season and are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, which would keep Gailey in Miami through mid-January. The first NFL playoff games are January 13-14.
Gailey, 49, has ties to the state of Georgia, where he grew up and still has property.
Gailey's previous head coaching job came with the Dallas Cowboys in 1998-99. In two seasons, Gailey guided the Cowboys to an 18-14 record, leading them to an NFC East title and two playoff appearances. He was dismissed following an 8-8 regular season in 1999, and a loss to Minnesota in a wild card game. Gailey also was coach at Samford in 1993 and held the same position at Troy State in 1983-84.
Stars activate Brendon Morrow
DALLAS, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The Dallas Stars get a boost Wednesday night when they open a four-game homestand as left wing Brenden Morrow was activated from injured reserve.
Morrow suffered an MCL injury in the third period of a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on December 1 and was placed on the injured reserve list the following day. Dallas went 6-4-0 during his absence.
The 5-11, 210-pound Morrow has five goals and five assists with 45 penalty minutes in 26 games this season. A first-round pick in 1997, Morrow has 39 goals and 48 assists with 254 penalty minutes in 172 games with the Stars.
Hamilton could be out four weeks
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Washington Wizards guard Richard Hamilton, who has helped take the scoring load off Michael Jordan, could be sidelined for up to four weeks with a partial tear in his right groin.
Hamilton suffered the injury on Friday during the first quarter of the Wizards' 93-75 victory over the Orlando Magic. He sat out Saturday as the Wizards ran their winning streak to nine games with an 87-86 victory over the New York Knicks.
Hamilton has developed into a viable No. 2 offensive option for the Wizards and is averaging 19.8 points per contest, second on the team to Jordan's 23.1 points.