In sports from United Press International

By United Press International  |  April 17, 2002 at 12:27 AM
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Texans reach agreement with Carr

HOUSTON, April 17 (UPI) -- The expansion Houston Texans apparently have reached a seven-year contract agreement with David Carr, which will make the Fresno State quarterback the first pick in Saturday's NFL draft.

According to a report Tuesday, Carr will receive an intitial signing bonus of about $11 million and a 2002 base salary of $1 million. There is a second bonus, worth about $3 million, payable in March 2003. Carr also will earn base salaries of $550,00 for the 2003 season and $600,000 the following season.

Carr's entire contract essentially ensures a payout of $16.25 million over the first three years, more than the $15.3 million guaranteed in the first three seasons signed by last year's top pick, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

In terms of signing bonuses and base salaries, the contract totals $46.25 million for seven years. There also are other aspects of the contract that could push its value to $60 million.

Texans owner Bob McNair said as early as last week that the two sides were working on the parameters of a contract that would make Carr the first player selected by the expansion club.

Before Carr officially signs, the contract needs to be approved by the NFL Management Council.

Carr, 22, completed 587-of-934 passes for 7,849 yards with 70 touchdowns and 23 interceptions during his collegiate career. He skyrocketed up the draft charts in his final collegiate season, when he threw for 4,839 yards with 46 touchdown passes and nine interception in 14 games.

Seles, Serena Williams reach third round

CHARLESTON, S.C., April 17 (UPI) -- Americans Monica Seles and Serena Williams took different paths Tuesday to the third round of the Family Circle Cup tennis event.

Seles, the No. 2 seed, overcame a slow start to defeat fellow American Amy Frazier, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, while the third-seeded Williams cruised past Jennifer Hopkins, another American, 6-0, 6-2.

Seles is making her fifth appearance at the Family Cup, reaching the final in 1997, when she lost to Martina Hingis in a third-set tiebreaker. She improved to 9-1 lifetime against Frazier. Seles won her 52nd career title and first of 2002 as the top sed in Doha.

Williams stretched her current match winning streak to 12 and has won her only two encounters with Hopkins. She captured the title at Scottsdale, defeating Hingis and Jennifer Capriati, the top seed here, en route to the crown.

All four seeds involved in first-round play posted wins Tuesday. No. 10 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain defeated Italy' Rita Grande, 6-4, 6-2; No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia downed Paraguay's Rossana Neffa-De Los Rios, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0; No. 12 Elena Dementeva of Russia toppled Japanese qualifier Rika Fujivara, 7-6 (9-7), 6-1; and No. 13 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa bested American Erika de Lone, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 9 seed Silvia Ferina Elia of Italy was the day's lone upset victim, falling to Argentina's Clarissa Fernandez, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0.

Niners WR Owens to play in USBL

GLENS FALLS, N.Y., April 17 (UPI) -- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens, trying a sport with a lot less contact in the offseason. signed a contract Tuesday to play with the Adirondack Wildcats of the United States Basketball League.

A shooting guard, the 6-3 Owens is expected to join Adirondack for its six-game homestand on May 3. The Wildcats' season runs through June 23.

Despite reports of Owens joining the USBL, 49ers general manager Terry Donahue said the star receiver, who has a rocky relationship with coach Steve Mariucci, has not asked or received permission to play basketball.

"We still need to work that out," Donahue said. "It was discussed that he would like to do it, but he hasn't formally asked permission, nor we have granted it. We know he loves to play basketball, but it's an open-ended discussion as far as we're concerned."

Should Owens get injured playing basketball, he could jeopardize his seven-year, $34.5 million contract with the 49ers.

Owens does have experience on the hardwood, playing collegiately for three seasons at Tennessee-Chattanooga. He started five game in 1995 when the Moccasins advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

In six NFL seasons, Owens has 412 catches for 6,170 starts and 59 touchdowns. Last season, he had 93 receptions for 1,412 yards and 16 touchdowns.

David Robinson on injured list

SAN ANTONIO, April 17 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs, who are battling for the Midwest Division title, on Tuesday placed center David Robinson on the injured list with a lower back strain.

Robinson, who suffered the injury in Friday's victory over Detroit, will miss the final two games of the regular season but is expected back in time for the playoffs.

The 36-year-old averaged 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in 78 games this season, his lowest totals since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Spurs in 1987.

The Spurs (56-24) have won seven in a row to move into a tie with Dallas for the lead in the Midwest. The winner earns the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, while the runner-up likely will have the No. 4 seed in the West.

Mark Mulder goes on 15-day DL

OAKLAND, Calif., April 17 (UPI) -- The Oakland Athletics placed Mark Mulder, the winningest pitcher in the American League last season, on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left forearm strain.

Mulder is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts. The lefthander, who won 21 games last season, exited after four innings against Texas on Thursday with tightness in his left forearm.

The 24-year-old joins second baseman Randy Velarde, outfielder Jermaine Dye and designated hitter Mario Valdez on the disabled list for the Athletics (8-5).

Detroit, Colorado lead Stanley Cup quest

DETROIT, Mich., April 17 (UPI) -- After 1,230 National Hockey League games this season, the Detroit Red Wings emerged as the NHL's best team and the defending champion Colorado Avalanche are poised to try for two in a row.

Hoping to use the success this season as a springboard to the Stanley Cup, Detroit and Colorado lead the 16-team field into the NHL playoffs that begin Wednesday.

The Red Wings (51-17-10), winners of the Western Conference and Central Division, captured the 2001-02 President's Trophy with 116 points, 15 better than the No. 2 team, the Boston Bruins (43-24-6), who won the Eastern Conference and the Northeast Division by one point over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Detroit, which stumbled late in the season and had but one win in its last 10 games, plays host to the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night. Vancouver closed its season with an impressive 8

1 run.

In other Wednesday games, the San Jose Sharks, winners of the Pacific Division, host the Phoenix Coyotes, the Philadelphia Flyers, Atlantic Division winners, host the Ottawa Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes, Southeast Division champ, hosts the New Jersey Devils.

Colorado, winner of the Northwest Division and runnerup to Detroit in the Western Conference, leads off the Thursday lineup hosting the Los Angeles Kings, one of the NHL's hottest teams before a late season cooldown. The defense-minded Avalanche (45-28-8), featuring Patrick Roy, winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy as the league's best goaltender, have allowed the fewest goals in the league this season but are only 18th in goals scored themselves.

The Boston Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders are at the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks in other Thursday games.

Ireland match decides U.S. Cup team

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 17 (UPI), Wednesday's game against Ireland is the last chance for the American men hoping to make the World Cup squad.

Most of the 18 players named to the roster are expected to form the core of the 23-man soccer squad, which Coach Bruce Arena is slated to announce on April 22.

The United States, which is 7-2-1 in 2002 (2-3-2 lifetime against Ireland), will look to begin to find some cohesion after being hit with a raft of injuries early. Captain Claudio Reyna returns to the U.S. squad after suffering a hamstring pull in a 4-2 loss to Germany in March.

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