Parcells among hall of fame finalists
CANTON, Ohio, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Bill Parcells is a finalist for the Pro Football of Fame -- at least for now.
Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990 and guided the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1996, was one of 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
Quarterback Jim Kelly, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and punter Ray Guy were among the other finalists for the Class of 2002, which will be announced Feb. 2 in New Orleans.
Hall of Fame rules require that a coach be retired in order to be inducted, and various reports claim that Parcells will soon end his sabbatical and be named the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, replacing the fired Tony Dungy.
A total of 71 former players, coaches and contributors were on the preliminary list that was pared to 15 on Thursday.
McGinley, Dodd share Dunhill lead
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Ireland's Paul McGinley wasted little time in shaking off six weeks of inactivity in Thursday's opening round of the Dunhill Championship.
McGinley shot a 6-under-par 66 to share the first-round lead with Welshman Stephen Dodd.
A Dublin native, McGinley arrived in South Africa having played just three times since the start of December, claiming he had turned into a "full-time football supporter" of his two favorite clubs, West Ham and Celtic, over the winter.
To make matters worse, his clubs arrived 24 hours late on Wednesday morning, giving the 35-year-old time for just one practice round at Houghton Golf Club.
Starting on the 10th, the Ryder Cup player birdied the 12th,16th and 18th to reach the turn in 33, and another birdie on the fifth. He sank a 15-foot putt for his sixth birdie to complete the round.
British showdown in Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- In a match perhaps better suited for the All England Club, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedksi meet Friday in the third round of the Australian Open.
It will mark first time in the Open Era (since 1968) that two British players have faced each other at the Australian Open.
The top five seeds are gone in the second round for the first time in Grand Slam history, putting the sixth-seed Henman in the unusual role of favorite.
American Andy Roddick, a rising star in tennis, was forced out of the Australian Open Thursday when he aggravated an injured ankle during his second round match, joining the growing list of name players on the sidelines.
On the women's side, the top four seeds, led by defending champion Jennifer Capriati, were still alive. Top-seeded Capriati defeated fellow American Meilen Tu, 6-1, 6-3.
Roddick fell on an already injured right ankle in losing a first-set tiebreaker to Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic, forcing him out of tennis' first Grand Slam of the year.
He had injured his ankle in a first-round victory over Mariano Zabaleta then aggravated the injury after running wide for a forehand and tumbling awkwardly while trying to plant his right foot.
Henman has won his last seven matches, including a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 win over Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus on Wednesday. Rusedski beat Australia's Mark Philippoussis, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
In women's play, third seed and three-time champion Martina Hingis of Switzerland meets Barbara Rittner of Germany on Friday in third-round play.
Nelson hopes to repeat in Seniors opener
KA'UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Larry Nelson hopes the MasterCard Championship again will lead to big things as the Senior PGA Tour season gets under way Friday.
Nelson won the first of four titles in 2001 at this event and will be back to defend his crown at the $1.5 million tournament.
The MasterCard features 33 tournament winners and is the first of 37 official events on the Senior Tour in 2002. It is limited to tour winners over the last two years and major champions in the last five seasons.
Nelson's MasterCard victory, followed by another two weeks later at the Royal Caribbean Classic, gave him the early lead for the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup that Allen Doyle went on to win.
Doyle starts his defense of the Schwab Cup, a $2.1 million competition that rewards the winner with a $1 million annuity. He donated last year's winnings to charity.
Nets re-sign pair
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Riding a season-high six-game winning streak, the New Jersey Nets re-signed guard Anthony Johnson and forward Donny Marshall to 10-day contracts on Thursday.
Johnson was brought in Jan. 7 to back up All-Star point guard Jason Kidd, Johnson has appeared in two games and has two points, one assist and three steals in 19 minutes. Marshall, who averaged 15.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in five preseason games with the Nets before being released, has played in three games since signing his first 10-day contract the sameday Johnson did.
New Jersey (26-11) is one of the biggest surprises in the NBA and is three games in front of the Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division
3 Georgia athletes suspended
ATHENS, Ga., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Two University of Georgia basketball players and a member of the football team football player have been suspended pending outcome of a police investigation into an alleged rape at a campus dormitory Monday night.
None has been charged with a crime and there have been no arrests.
The trio was identified as basketball players Steve Thomas, Tony Cole and football player Brandon Williams. Athletics Director Vince Dooley said that despite the suspensions, which he endorsed, the school does not consider the athletes guilty.
U.S. tests Gold Cup soccer foes
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Despite its traditional low profile, the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off its 12-team soccer tournament in Miami and Passadena, Calif., Friday with special interest.
Four teams are World Cup finalists and two -- the United States and South Korea -- will meet each other both here and in Seoul this summer. As such, the tournament is the beginning of World Cup tuneups, with most countries using this as a chance to get a last look at players before solidifying their rosters.
But, the tournament as a whole is not a strong one. Three of the teams define the term lightweight and Mexico and the U.S. have declined to send anything close to a full squad.
For the Americans, this means Coach Bruce Arena is getting his MLS-based players some off-season games. For Mexico, which has teams in season, it means the country really isn't putting that much stake in the competition.