NFL warns Bucs, Parcells
The warning came in a letter from Jeffrey Pash, the NFL's counsel, to Bucs management in the wake of numerous reports that Parcells, who has not been hired by the team yet, was assemblinga staff that includes people under contract to NFL clubs.
The New York Daily News reported that Jets owner Woody Johnson voiced concerns to the league about Parcells, who resigned as Jets director of football operations in 2000, making illegal contact with members of his organization.
According to the newspaper, a "few" teams lodged similar complaints, prompting the league to send a stern letter to Bucs General Manager Rich McKay. If tampering could be proved, Parcells and the Bucs would be subject to a fine and the team could lose draft picks.
The Bucs fired Coach Tony Dungy last Monday and were believed to be about to hire Parcells to take his place.
Revived Bears, Pats host playoff games
By United Press International
The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots followed a similar script from "worst to first" in their respective divisions. Now they hope the magic continues in the postseason.
Both teams host divisional playoff games on Saturday, with the Bears (13-3) meeting the Philadelphia Eagles (12-5) and the Patriots (11-5) playing the Oakland Raiders (11-6).
It's been more than 10 years since the Bears have hosted a playoff game at Soldier Field. With the facility undergoing a $587 million facelift, the Bears will play their 2002 home games at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
The Pats were not expected to make the playoffs, but went from 5-11 to 11-5 under Coach Bill Belichick and will make their final game at Foxboro Stadium a playoff contest. Next season, the team moves into CMGI Field, located adjacent to the current home.
The Bears, who were 11-21 in Coach Dick Jauron's first two years, have enjoyed a charmed season and won the NFC Central for the first time since 1990.
But standing in the Bears' way in their first postseason game since losing to San Francisco in the divisional playoffs in January 1995, is Donovan McNabb, the Eagles' electrifying quarterback, who grew up in Chicago as a Bears fan.
The Chicago-Philadelphia clash should be a mighty defensive struggle as both teams rate high in most NFL defensive categories.
Williams survives in upset-marred Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Venus Williams, her mobility restricted by tendinitis in her left knee, rallied with power to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open Friday.
The second-seeded Williams fired seven aces and 39 winners to survive a challenge by No. 32 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.
The reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, Williams extended her overall winning streak to 22 matches. She will meet No. 13 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria in the fourth round.
In the tournament's first all-British pairing since the Open era began in 1968, sixth-seeded Tim Henman, the highest seed left on the men's side, defeated Greg Rusedki, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
In the women's draw, No. 3 Martina Hingis of Switzerland crushed Barbara Rittner of Germany, 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 minutes and No. 8 Monica Seles continued her quest for a fifth Australian Open crown with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 31 Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
Kerry Wood, Cubs reach agreement
CHICAGO, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Kerry Wood, the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year who returned from reconstructive elbow surgery, agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs Friday.
Wood went 12-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 28 games in 2001, just two years after sitting out an entire season while recovering from surgery. He was Chicago's last unsigned arbitration-eligible player.
The 24-year-old Wood exploded on the national scene with a 20-strikeout performance against the Astros on May 6, 1998, tying Roger Clemens' major league record. It was Wood's fifth career start and he finished his rookie season with a 13-6 record and 3.40 ERA with 233 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings.
- Eberharter wins World Cup test
KITZBUEHEL, Austria, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Austrian overall World Cup leader Stephan Eberharter successfully tamed the notorious Streif for the first time in his career as he won his second Super G event Friday.
The 32-year-old Eberharter, who won the only other super-G back in November, blitzed down the perilous Streif course in one minute, 18.91 seconds to collect his sixth World Cup victory of the season.
Eberharter was followed by runnerup Alessandro Fattori, who recorded his best super-G result in 10 years on the circuit. Fattori crossed in 1:19.32, ahead of the experienced Swiss Didier Cuche, a winner here in 1998, who placed third in
American Daron Rahlves settled for fourth place for the second consecutive year, crossing in 1:19.85.
Two share Dunhill lead, Wegerle out
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- South African Roger Wessels and England's Sandeep Grewal shared the second round lead in the Duhhill Championship Friday but soccer star Roy Wegerle failed to make the cut in his European Tour debut.
The little-known Grewal carded a superb 64 which included six birdies, two eagles and two bogeys, while Wessels did not drop a shot in his round of 66 as both took a one-stroke lead with 10-under par 134s.
Wegerle, the former QPR, Chelsea, Blackburn and Coventry striker who qualified to play in the tournament on Tuesday, shot a 4-over-par 76 on Thursday and needed a 68 on Friday to achieve his aim of making the cut.
Grewal and Wessels held a one-stroke lead over England's Anthony Wall, who bogeyed his final hole.