In Sports from United Press International

Jan. 27, 2003 at 11:51 PM
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Cowboys' Goodrich faces more charges

DALLAS, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich was arrested on additional charges Monday in the deaths of two men during a Jan. 14 hit-and-run accident.

Goodrich, who already faces two counts of manslaughter, was booked into the Dallas County Jail on three charges of failure to stop and render aid. He posted a $15,000 bond and was released. He is to be arraigned later.

Goodrich was charged with manslaughter the day after the fatal accident on a Dallas freeway and posted a $50,000 bond. If convicted on the manslaughter charges, he could face from two to 20 years in prison and up to five years on each of the new charges.

Demont Matthews, 23, and Joseph Wood, 21, were fatally injured about 2 a.m. as they tried to pull an injured man from a burning car. A rescuer was also hit but he survived with a broken leg. The burned driver is also recovering from his injuries.

Witnesses said a BMW traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph passed between the cars parked along the side of the road and a concrete median barrier. Police said there was no sign of skid marks that would indicate the driver attempted to stop.

Goodrich, who turned himself into police, believed he had struck some debris along the roadway, according to his lawyer. Police have since found hair and human tissue on the windshield of the car involved in the accident.

Goodrich's attorney said his client was remorseful and ready to accept responsibility when he learned what had really happened.

Azeri named Horse of the Year

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Azeri, winner of eight of nine starts in 2002 including the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Monday night was named North American "Horse of the Year."

Azeri's selection was by an overwhelming, but not unanimous, vote. Some voters looked elsewhere because the 4-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter had not run against male competition during the year.

However, the sentiment expressed shortly after the Breeders' Cup that, "If not Azeri, then who?" apparently prevailed. Each of the three voting groups - Daily Racing Form employees, turf writers and track publicists - cast a heavy majority of its votes for Azeri. War Emblem, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Peakness Stakes, drew some support and nine other horses drew at least one vote each.

The selection was announced at the annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, held this year at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Azeri narrowly missed an undefeated season when she finished second in the La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita last Feb. 9 in her second start of the year. After that, she reeled off seven straight victories, all of them in graded stakes. In the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park, Azeri ran away from the toughest fillies and mares in training, winning by 5 lengths over Kentucky Oaks champion Farda Amiga.

War Emblem, whose campaign tailed off badly after the Preakness, was voted top 3-year-old male horse of 2002.

Jerry Baily won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top jockey, marking the third straight year he has been honored and the sixth overall. Bobby Frankel, who just missed setting a record for purses earned in a year, got the best-trainer Eclipse as a consolation prize. Ryan Fogelsonger, who burned up the track on the Maryland circuit in 2002, was named best apprentice jockey. Richard Englander received the Eclipse as top owner and Juddmonte Farms, owned by Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, was honored as top breeder of the year.

In Japan, Symboli Kris S was named that country's Horse of the Year on Monday. Symboli Kris S is a Kentucky-bred son of Kris S. En route to the title, the colt twice defeated older horses in top-level, middle-distance turf races. He also was named top 3-year-old of 2002 in Japan.

Lions fire Coach Marty Mornhinweg

ALLEN PARK, Mich., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Detroit Lions fired Coach Marty Mornhinweg Monday.

After guiding the Lions to just five wins over the last two seasons and amid speculation that the team is interested in former San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, Mornhinweg was fired less than a month after being told he would be back in 2003.

"This is a process that when we got into it, we knew we be an on-going process," Lions president Matt Millen said. "We need to make the best decisions to get this franchise going in the right direction."

Millen testily dismissed inquiries about whether it was a forgone conclusion that Mariucci would be replacing Mornhinweg. But when pressed Millen did concede that Mariucci's availability is intriguing.

"It certainly is a factor," Millen said. "It is one (option) I would like to explore. There are other qualified candidates out there."

Days after Detroit completed a 3-13 season, there was speculation that Millen would be fired as president and that Mornhinweg would be let go as coach, but owner William Clay Ford decided on New Year's Eve to bring the pair back for another season.

Ford's options changed when Mariucci was fired by the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 15 and rumors intensified late last week.

Detroit closed the season with eight straight losses and their winning percentage of .156 over the last two seasons is the worst for such a span in franchise history.

Mornhinweg was widely criticized for an overtime loss to Chicago in which the Lions won the overtime loss and elected to take the wind. The Bears drove to the winning score on their first possession.

Under Mornhinweg, the Lions were 5-27, including 0-16 on the road. Despite no previous head coaching experience, Mornhinweg agreed to a five-year contract to replace Gary Moeller following the 2000 season.

One of the men who helped Mornhinweg get the Lions job likely is the man to replace him. Mornhinweg was a top assistant under Mariucci when the duo were in San Francisco.

The 49ers fired Mariucci after six seasons, claiming he wanted to expand his role in the organization and add the title of vice president of football operations. The firing came three days after the 49ers concluded their season with a disappointing 31-6 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC divisional playoff game.

Mornhinweg was a quarterback at Montana but did not play in the NFL. His lone pro experience was with the Denver Dynamite of the Arena Football League for two games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in 1986. He worked as an assistant at several schools, including Montana, Texas El-Paso, Northern Arizona, Southeast Missouri State and Missouri.

Mississippi Valley State guard shot, paralyzed

ITTA BENA, Miss., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Mississippi Valley State guard Michael Archie was shot and paralyzed at a nightclub early Sunday morning.

The incidence that left one man dead and twoothers wounded.

According to Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks, Archie was hit in the spleen with a bullet. He was taken to University Medical Center in Jackson, paralyzed from the waist down.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a club security guard and charged him with murder following the death of another shooter. Banks said he was waiting for lab work before possibly charging the security guard with aggravated assault.

A 20-year-old starter, Archie was averaging 11.2 points this season. Hours before he was shot, he scored 11 points in an 87-68 home win over Prairie View A&M.

Arizona remains in top spot in college basketball

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Arizona, which has won 10 straight games, stayed in the top spot in the latest college coaches' basketball poll released Monday night.

Arizona (15-1), which began the season atop the poll and remained there until losing to Louisiana State on Dec. 21, garnered 31 first-place votes and 775 points from a panel of Division I coaches.

Saturday, the Wildcats extended their winning streak to 10 games by rallying from a 20-point deficit to beat then-No. 6 Kansas, 91-74. The defeat dropped Kansas (13-5) to 13th.

Pittsburgh (15-1) remained in the second spot, while Texas (13-2) and Florida (16-2) each slid up one position with Duke (13-2) falling from third to No. 5.

The Blue Devils, who owned the No. 1 ranking two weeks ago, lost their second in a row at North Carolina State on Wednesday, but salvaged the week with a 91-71 triumph over Georgia Tech.

Rounding out the top 10 is Oklahoma (13-3), Kentucky (15-3), Louisville (14-1), Maryland (12-4) and Notre Dame (16-3).

Oklahoma State (16-1) climbed six steps to No. 11 after stretching its winning streak to 14 games with a 79-70 triumph at Texas Tech on Sunday.

Connecticut (12-3) slipped four spots to No. 12, while Kansas (13-5) plunged to 13th after having its 25-game home winning streak stopped by Arizona.

Illinois (14-3) is ranked 14th, ahead of Creighton (17-2), Marquette (13-3), Georgia (12-4), Wake Forest (13-2), Oregon (14-4) and Indiana (14-4). Alabama (12-5), Mississippi State (12-4) and Xavier (14-4) filled the next three positions.

California (14-2) entered the poll at No. 24 after Texas Tech (11-4), which had been in the 25th spot, dropped out. Missouri (11-4) completed the poll at No. 25.

Pierce, Duncan named NBA Players of Week

NEW YORK, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Paul Pierce, who had his first career triple-double, became the second straight member of the Boston Celtics named NBA Player of the Week.

Pierce was honored in the Eastern Conference Monday while Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs was the Western Conference winner.

Antoine Walker of the Celtics was selected last week and fellow forward Pierce earned the distinction on Monday after collecting 27 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists in a 91-83 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Pierce averaged 35.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.25 steals to help Boston post a 3-1 record last week.

The Spurs had the same record behind Duncan, who averaged 28.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The veteran forward had 22 points and 11 rebounds in just 31 minutes in Saturday's 108-76 rout of Detroit.

LeBron James approved

CLEVELAND, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Ohio High School Athletic Association Monday announced no violations of its amateur bylaws have been found in the case of LeBron James.

The OHSAA has completed its investigation centering on James' eligibility at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Commissioner Clair Muscaro said James can maintain his amateur status. Officials at St. Vincent-St. Mary were informed of the ruling Monday morning.

There was a two-week investigation of the James case centered around a vehicle which was given to him on his birthday by his mother. The nature of the transaction has been the subject of much speculation.

"In working with the attorney for the James family and the OHSAA attorney, I was shown official business records from the bank and the dealership which established that the financing and acquisition of the vehicle were procured by the student-athlete's mother alone," said Muscaro. "Accordingly, this type of transaction is not a violation of the OHSAA bylaws on amateurism."

Because of confidentiality concerns, Muscaro said no further information on the documents he reviewed would be released.

"The OHSAA bylaws on amateurism differ significantly from those of other amateur organizations such as the NCAA," Muscaro said. "We regularly review our constitution and bylaws, and we certainly would include an evaluation of our rules on amateurism as part of that review, and would take any and all recommendations to the member schools following our evaluation. However, as our bylaws direct, our member schools make all final decisions regarding possible changes."

The OSHAA is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of public and non-public high schools and 7th-8th grade schools that was organized in 1906. In a prepared news release, the OHSAA said receives no tax money, and does not charge fees to its member schools.

Twins sign Fetters to minors

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- After losing two members of their bullpen this winter, the Minnesota Twins took a step toward restocking it Monday.

The Twins signed righthander Mike Fetters to a minor league contract and inviting him to spring training.

With Bob Wells and Mike Jackson not being offered contracts for the 2003 season, the 38-year-old Fetters would add experience to a bullpen consisting of closer Eddie Guardado, righthander LaTroy Hawkins and lefthander J.C. Romero.

A veteran of 12 major league seasons, Fetters began the 2002 campaign with Pittsburgh before being dealt to Arizona last July. In 65 combined relief appearances, the journeyman went 3-3 with a 4.09 ERA.

After beginning his career with the California Angels in 1989, Fetters also has pitched for Milwaukee, Oakland, Baltimore and Los Angeles. In 592 career games, including six starts, he owns a 31-40 record with 99 saves and a 3.76 ERA.

The bullpen was a major reason why the Twins coasted to the American League Central Division crown last season.

Belfour to skip All-Star Game

TORONTO, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The back injury that forced Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour to miss three straight games will keep him out of the All-Star Game.

The Maple Leafs announced Monday that Belfour has decided to decline his invitation to represent the Eastern Conference on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla., because of back spasms.

Ottawa Senators goalie Patrick Lalime has replaced Belfour on the All-Star roster.

In his first season with Toronto, Belfour missed three games last week before returning for losses on Friday and Saturday.

According to the team, it was more important for Belfour to get the five days rest instead of "displaying his skill" next weekend.

Belfour is 21-14-3 with five shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He signed over the summer after Curtis Joseph left for Detroit.

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