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Sports Update

In Sports from United Press International

Braves get Sheffield from Dodgers

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ATLANTA, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Braves acquired Gary Sheffield from the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday for outfielder Brian Jordan, lefthander Odalis Perez and minor league pitcher Andy Brown.

Sheffield, a six-time All-Star who will take Jordan's spot in right field, has hit 30 homers or more five times but had become disgruntled over his contract with Los Angeles.

It started when the Dodgers inked free agent outfielder Shawn Green to a six-year, $84 million deal following the 1999 season and was increased when righthander Darren Dreifort re-signed a five-year, $55 million pact prior to 2001.

Sheffield is one of the best offensive players in baseball but also is a potential headache for Braves management as he is in the midst of a six-year, $61 million contract.

That doesn't concern Braves general manager John Schuerholz.

Sheffield, 33, hit .311 with 36 home runs and 100 RBI in 143 games last season and may provide the Braves with the missing piece to the puzzle. They were 13th in the National League in runs scored last season.

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"We've been looking for a hitter like that to join our lineup for some time," Schuerholz said of Sheffield, who played for Atlanta manager Bobby Cox in Japan this winter and is good friends with Braves star Chipper Jones.

Sheffield, who joins his fifth team since breaking into the major leagues in 1988, is a lifetime .295 hitter with 315 home runs, 1,016 RBI and 170 stolen bases. He twice has had 40 homers and 100 RBI in a season, doing it as recently as 2000, when he hit .325 with 43 home runs and 109 RBI with the Dodgers. He also has played for Milwaukee, San Diego and Florida, winning the World Series with the Marlins in 1997.

The move may be enough to put the pitching-rich Braves over the hump. They have won an unprecedented 10 straight divisional titles and have made it to five World Series in that span, but have won the World Series just once. Although it is aging, Atlanta's pitching staff still is one of the best in baseball with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

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The oft-injured Jordan is playing out a four-year, $32 million deal that expires after the 2003 season. He hit .295 with 25 homers and 97 RBI over 148 games in 2001, and Dodgers general manager Dan Evans thinks he will fit in well.

Jordan was Atlanta's best offensive player down the stretch last year, but the former NFL defensive back has had a history of injury problems, missing 338 games the past eight seasons. Jordan, who will be 34 by Opening Day, is a career .287 hitter with 149 homers, 656 RBI and 112 stolen bases in 1,077 games. He spent parts of seven seasons with St. Louis before signing with Atlanta prior to 1999.

Evans also was excited over the acquisition of Perez, a long-time Braves prospect who went 7-8 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 games -- 16 starts--last year.


Leafs give Quinn 3-year extension

TORONTO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- General manager and coach Pat Quinn, who has guided the Toronto Maple Leafs to their most successful three-year stretch in four decades, was rewarded Tuesday night with a three-year contract extension.

The Maple Leafs were 41 games over .500 (127-86-18-8) in Quinn's first three seasons behind the bench, reaching the Eastern Conference finals in 1999 before losing in the conference semifinals the following two years. It is Toronto's best three-year run since 1960-63.

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With the Leafs tied for first place in the Eastern Conference this season, Quinn will coach the North American team in next month's All-Star Game. He also will be behind the bench for Canada at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Quinn, 58, became the seventh coach in NHL history to record 500 wins when Toronto topped the New York Rangers on December 6. His career coaching mark is 509-395-132 with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver and the Maple Leafs.

He was named the 25th coach in Toronto history on June 26, 1998 and added the duties of general manager 13 months later.

One of three coaches to win the Adams Award with two different teams, Quinn ranks sixth all-time with 509 wins, trailing only Scotty Bowman and Mike Keenan among active coaches.


NCAA president to retire

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- NCAA president Cedric Dempsey, who oversaw a restructuring of the organization's governing body during his tenure, announced Tuesday he will retire when his contract expires next January 1.

Three months shy of his 70th birthday, Dempsey made the announcement on the final day of the NCAA convention.

Dempsey was named the NCAA's third executive director in 1994, a title that was changed to president in 1998. During his tenure, he presided over the move of the organization's national office from Overland Park, Kan., to Indianapolis in 1999 and helped negotiate the most recent television deals with CBS and ESPN.

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Dempsey has overcome health problems, undergoing heart-valve replacement surgery three years ago. He also beat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, when he was the athletic director at Arizona.

Bob Lawless, the chairman of the NCAA's executive committee and president of the University of Tulsa, will lead the search committee for Dempsey's successor.


Spurrier welcomes NFL challenge

AUBURN, Va., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Steve Spurrier understands who his chief rival is now that he's the coach of the Washington Redskins. He made no guarantees, but showed his brash nature by calling out the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday in his first news conference as Redskins coach.

"I've already told (Redskins owner) Daniel Snyder that the first game ball I'm going to give him is after we play the Dallas Cowboys," Spurrier said. "I've learned that's a game that the fans really want to win and I'll do my part to see that's a game we win."

That had to be music to the ears of Snyder and Redskins fans, who have watched the Cowboys win nine straight games in the bitter NFC East rivalry. But with what is reportedly the richest contract for a coach in NFL history, Spurrier must do more than just beat the Cowboys.

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According to numerous reports, Spurrier, who turned the University of Florida into a college football power but has never coached in the NFL, received a five-year contract worth $25 million.

"I don't want to talk too big right now, but obviously, my expectation is like every Washington Redskins fan and that is to return this team to glory," Spurrier said.

The Redskins appeared in four Super Bowls under Joe Gibbs from 1981-92, winning three titles. But they have made the playoffs just once in the last nine years.


Forsberg agrees to 1-year extension

DENVER, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Colorado Avalanche center Peter Forsberg, whose return to the NHL was delayed by ankle surgery earlier this month, agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract extension.

But Forsberg's return to Colorado is contingent upon the team exercising a club option for the 2002-03 season by June 30.

Planning to return to the Colorado Avalanche in time to compete for Sweden in the Salt Lake City Olympics, Forsberg was forced to undergo ankle surgery on Thursday that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.

Forsberg has not played since May, when he was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen. He also underwent surgery on both ankles over the summer, one of which still had tendon damage.

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Forsberg, 28, had surgery on May 10 to remove his ruptured spleen suffered hours after the Avalanche defeated Los Angeles in the Western Conference semifinals. Colorado went on to beat the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup.

On September 15, Forsberg announced that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from hockey. That month, he had a second surgery on his ankles, which was expected to sideline him three months.

The Avalanche on Tuesday also officially lifted the suspension they imposed on Forsberg when he took his leave of absence.

Forsberg has a history of injuries. He missed eight games early last season with a strained muscle in his rib cage and a total of 33 the previous season due to shoulder, hip and concussion problems.

The 1995 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie, Forsberg signed a three-year, $30 million contract in April 1999.

He has had more than a point per game in each of his seven NHL seasons and has played in the last six All-Star Games. Last season, he totaled 27 goals and 62 assists with a plus-23 rating in 73 games.


Defending champ withdraws in South Africa

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Defending champion Adam Scott withdrew from the PGA European Tour's Dunhill Championship Tuesday after his father was involved in a boating accident.

Scott was just 20 when he claimed his first European Tour title at Houghton Golf Club 12 months ago. The Australian birdied the final hole to edge England's Justin Rose.

South African Tim Clark, winner of last week's South African Open in Durban, is included in this week's field, which features South African stars Ernie Els and U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen. The field also includes former United States national soccer team member Roy Wegerle, who qualified Tuesday.


Phils, Adams agree on lucrative contract

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Terry Adams, who had never started a major league game before last season, on Tuesday agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Phillies on a deal that could pay him $19.5 million over three years.

The sides agreed to a contract that will pay Adams a guarantee $2.7 million next season with bonuses that can increase the value to $4.8 million. The club also holds options for 2003 and 2004.

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With incentives, Adams' $5.4 million salary in 2003 could be bumped to $6.6 million, and his $7.5 million price tag in 2004 could reach $8.1 million.

Adams, 28, made millions on others' injuries. Last season, he joined Los Angeles' injury-depleted staff in June and went 10-6 with a 4.16 ERA in 22 starts.

The righthander had made 363 relief appearances in parts of seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Dodgers before making his first career start.


Robinson's return boosts Bulls

CHICAGO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Three days after an upset win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls have gotten another boost with the return of forward Eddie Robinson who was activated Tuesday after missing the last 26 games and 33 overall this season due to a left toe injury

Robinson, 25, signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Bulls as a restricted free agent in the offseason after the Charlotte Hornets failed to match an offer sheet. He was expected to start at small forward for the Bulls, but has played in just three games, averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. He broke his left great toe in the final preseason game and was placed on the injured list.

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He made his debut with the Bulls on Nov. 10 against his former team and had 17 points, six rebounds and four steals in an 89-85 loss. But Robinson re-injured the toe after scoring 12 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov.14 and has not played since then. The 6-9, 208-pound Robinson spent his first two seasons with the Hornets and averaged 7.0 and 7.4 points, respectively.

The Bulls placed reserve guard A.J. Guyton on the injured list with left elbow bursitis to make room on the roster for Robinson. Guyton has played in 15 games this season, averaging 4.4 points and 1.2 assists in 9.8 minutes per contest. He scored a season-high 14 points Dec. 1 against Philadelphia.


St. Andrews gets 2005 British Open

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The Old Course at St. Andrews, where Tiger Woods completed the career grand slam two years ago, was awarded the 2005 British Open Tuesday.

St. Andrews will host the event for the 27th time since it left its birthplace at Prestwick in 1873. It was first held in 1860.

In July 2000, then 24-year-old Woods became the youngest player in history to capture all four major titles when he blitzed the Open field by eight strokes. Woods went on to win The Masters in April 2001, becoming the first player in history to hold all four major titles simultaneously.

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This year's Open will be held at Muirfield, Scotland, where David Duval will try to defend the title he earned last year at Royal Lythan and St. Annes in England. The tournament goes to Royal St. George's in England in 2003 and to Royal Troon in Scotland a year later.


Spurs place Parker on injury list

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs placed rookie guard Tony Parker on the injured list Tuesday with a sprained right ankle and activated guard Jason Hart.

San Antonio's top pick last year as a 19-year-old, Parker is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks. He is the Spurs' fourth-leading scorer, averaging 10.1 points, 3.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Parker suffered the injury in the first quarter of Monday's 99-97 loss to the New Jersey Nets. He scored nine points before leaving.

A native of Belgium who has played professionally in France, Parker moved into the starting lineup early in the season as he replaced Antonio Daniels. He has been one of the NBA's top rookies this season and last week was selected to play in the Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Philadelphia.

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