In Sports from United Press International

April 16, 2003 at 12:05 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Western Kentucky names Horn as coach

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., April 16 (UPI) -- Darrin Horn, who played for Western Kentucky from 1992-95, on Tuesday was named the men's basketball coach of the Hilltoppers.

Horn replaced Dennis Felton, who left to take over at Georgia.

Horn served as an assistant at Marquette the last four seasons and helped the Golden Eagles reach their first Final Four since 1977 this past season. The 30-year-old began his coaching career at Western Kentucky under his former coach, Ralph Willard, from 1995-97.

"I'm extremely excited to be coming back to Western Kentucky University, which is home for me," Horn said. "My pride for the program and passion for the success of Western Kentucky will be very important in taking advantage of this opportunity and doing a good job."

Horn was a member of Willard's teams when the Hilltoppers enjoyed plenty of success. The Hilltoppers reached the National Invitation Tournament in his freshman season before reaching the NCAA Tournament for the next three seasons, the first time in school history they accomplished that.

Western Kentucky won at least 20 games all four seasons with Horn, who was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection as a senior.

"We are very pleased to welcome home one of the finest student-athletes to ever wear a Western basketball uniform," Western Kentucky Athletic Director Wood Selig said. "Just as Darrin distinguished himself on the playing floor, he has quickly established himself as one of the future college coaching stars."

Horn was a member of the last Hilltoppers squad to reach the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament in the 1992-93 season.

Pittsburgh promotes Dixon to coach

PITTSBURGH, April 16 (UPI) -- Jamie Dixon, a longtime assistant under Ben Howland at Pittsburgh and Northern Arizona, was promoted to Pittsburgh's basketball coach on Tuesday.

After Howland left Pittsburgh to take the coaching job at UCLA, the players petitioned for the school to hire the 37-year-old Dixon as his replacement.

But interim Athletic Director Marc Boehm and Chancellor Mark Nordenberg pursued Skip Prosser, a Pittsburgh native who led Wake Forest to its first Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title in 41 years this past season.

However, Prosser turned down the offer last Friday and signed a 10-year extension with Wake Forest. That resulted in Dixon getting his first head coaching job.

"This is what I love to do and I'm ready to lead this program," said Dixon, who was a candidate for the coaching jobs at Wright State and Illinois State. "I've spent a lot of time learning and gaining an understanding of what you need to do to run a program."

Dixon served as Howland's top assistant and lead recruiter for 12 years, following him from Northern Arizona to Pittsburgh in 1999-2000.

The Panthers won the Big East Conference tournament for the first time this past season and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year before losing to Marquette, 77-74.

But Pittsburgh loses point guard Brandin Knight, shooting forward Donatas Zavackas and bruising forward Ontario Lett from a team which finished 28-5.

Barry Rohrssen will remain as an assistant, but assistant Ernie Ziegler left Monday to join Howland at UCLA.

Chargers expected to trade Seau to Miami

MIAMI, April 16 (UPI) -- It appears that the vaunted football career of linebacker Junior Seau will continue in Miami.

The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that the Dolphins and San Diego Chargers have agreed to the parameters of a trade that would send the 11-year veteran to Miami. The trade is subject to his passing a physical.

The paper reported that physical likely would take place by Wednesday. The paper also said both teams refused to confirm the trade, but sources told the Herald the deal will happen if Seau passes the physical, as expected.

It also said the Dolphins agreed to give San Diego a draft pick as well as pay some of the $2.7 million roster bonus he is due this week. Miami is expected to send San Diego a 2004 sixth-round draft pick that could be changed to a fifth-rounder, based on performance.

"We're planning to have a press conference Wednesday," Seau told The San Diego Union-Tribune. "But until everything is officially done, everything is premature. (But) There are definitely going to be mixed feelings in terms of leaving a place that is home and going and servicing another city and another team hopefully for a run at a ring. I'm definitely speechless."

"Junior restructured his contract as part of him being traded to Miami," his agent, Marvin Demoff, told the Herald, adding that a trade was not finalized. "We can get it finished if Miami finishes their work with San Diego, and if everybody gets along and (Seau) passes the physical, then we can finish our part. I'm optimistic."

The 6-3, 250-pounder, a native of Oceanside, Calif., who played collegiately at Southern California, was the No. 1 pick, and fifth overall, of the Chargers in the 1990 draft.

In his career, he has played in 200 games, and has 1,481 tackles, caused 11 forced fumbles, and made 15 interceptions.

Capriati, Hantuchova win at Amelia Island

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla., April 16 (UPI) -- Jennifer Capriati was tested Tuesday in her first match of the Bausch & Lomb Championships but passed through to the third round.

After receiving a first-round bye, the third-seeded American posted a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland.

Capriati took the first set in 37 minutes but needed 72 to secure the second. She pulled out of last week's Family Circle Cup in Charleston with strep throat.

"Actually, I think it's good for me to have a tough match like that because it's my first match on the clay, so I wanted to try to get as much match play as possible," Capriati said. "I was happy it didn't go to the third set. I think it was just enough for me."

Fourth seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia beat Japanese qualifier Akiko Morigami, 7-5, 6-2. A quarterfinalist for the fifth time last week in Charleston, the 19-year-old Hantuchova will take on No. 16 Alexandra Stevenson of the United States in the third round.

Stevenson advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Els Callens of Belgium. She snapped a four-match losing streak and won for the first time since reaching the semifinals at Scottsdale in early March.

No. 12 Lisa Raymond of the United States defeated Ukrainian qualifier Julia Vakulenko, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; No. 14 Clarisa Fernandez of Argentina eliminated American Jill Craybas, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-2; and Lina Krasnoroutskaya rallied past fellow Russian Tatiana Panova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

In Tuesday's evening session, second seed Lindsay Davenport of the United States faced Australian Nicole Pratt and eighth-seeded South African Amanda Coetzer squared off against Russian Vera Zvonareva.

Davenport returned to this event for the first time since 1999. The 26-year-old, who underwent knee surgery in January 2002, won this event six years ago.

Coetzer won her ninth career title on clay in Acapulco last month but lost in the second round in Miami and the third round in Charleston in her last two tournaments. Her best result here was a runner-up finish in 2001.

Toronto's Shayne Corson quits team

TORONTO, April 16 (UPI) -- Toronto will have to make its playoff run without left wing Shayne Corson who left the Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Corson, who was a healthy scratch in Toronto's 4-3 double-overtime victory over Philadelphia on Monday, met with Coach Pat Quinn after the game to discuss his future with the club.

With just seven goals and 15 points - both career lows -in 46 regular-season games, Corson decided after the meeting he would no longer play or practice with the Leafs.

In the final year of a three-year, $2.45 million contract, Corson struggled through an ineffective season, suffering several injuries while also battling a digestive disorder known as ulcerative colitis. He credited brother-in-law and teammate Darcy Tucker for helping him overcome panic attacks earlier in his career.

In a radio interview with Toronto sports station The Fan 590, Corson's agent, Rick Curran, said his client was unhappy with a diminished role and that playing was affecting his health.

A three-time All-Star, Corson has appeared in 1,139 regular-season games with Montreal, Edmonton, St. Louis and Toronto during an 18-year career.

Drafted eighth overall in 1984 by the Canadiens, he has amassed 268 goals and 415 assists while collecting 2,328 penalty minutes. In 135 postseason contests, including the first two games of Toronto's series against the Flyers, Corson has 38 goals and 48 assists.

Angels agree to terms on sale

ANAHEIM, Calif., April 16 (UPI) -- Walt Disney Company reportedly has agreed to sell the world champion Anaheim Angels to Phoenix businessman Arturo Moreno for $180 million.

After reports surfaced Monday that the company had narrowed the field to three bidders, it was reported Tuesday that Moreno's bid of $180 million has been accepted.

The deal, which could be approved by Major League Baseball's owners in a meeting in May, would make Moreno the first Mexican-American to be the majority owner of a Major League baseball club. Moreno previously had a minority stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Disney, which also owns the NHL's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, reportedly has been seeking a buyer for both of sports entities for more than a year. Amid rumors that the Angels might be sold, or possibly even contracted, the team went on to win the World Series in 2002.

The entertainment giant purchased a minority stake in the team in 1996 and the rest of the team from original owner Gene Autry in 1998 for a total of $147 million. Expectations were the club could fetch as much as $180 million this time around.

The 56-year-old Moreno is the former president of Outdoor Systems Inc. He also held a small stake in the NBA's Phoenix Suns and has an estimated net worth of $940 million.

According to one report Monday, real estate developer Frank McCourt and the Nederlander family were among the finalists for the team.

Brewers place OF Jeffrey Hammonds on DL

MILWAUKEE, Wis., Afghanistan, April 16 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday placed oft-injured outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds on the 15-day disabled list with a high left ankle sprain.

Hammonds suffered his latest injury crashing into the right field wall in Monday's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was placed on disabled list Tuesday after undergoing an MRI on the ankle.

A major disappointment since signing with the Brewers as a free agent in 2001, Hammonds has been limited to 177 games over the last two seasons due to an assortment of injuries.

Hammonds has gotten off to a slow start this season and is batting just .158 (6-for-38) with one homer and three RBI in 10 games. Prior to his latest ailment, he missed four games with a hyperextended elbow.

To take Hammonds' spot on the roster, the Brewers activated outfielder Brady Clark from the 15-day disabled list. He had been sidelined with a strained groin.

Penguins fire Kehoe

PITTSBURGH, April 16 (UPI) -- The return of Mario Lemieux may be uncertain, but Rick Kehoe will no longer be behind the bench for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After failing to make the playoffs for the second straight year, the Penguins fired their coach on Tuesday.

Kehoe had been with the Penguins for 29 straight years as a player, scout, assistant coach, and head coach, and will continue to work for the Penguins in another capacity, according to Penguins General Manager Craig Patrick. He will continue to work for Patrick and team owner Mario Lemieux, who is not expected to play again next season for the financially-strapped franchise.

Kehoe compiled a record of 55-81-14-10 in nearly two seasons as head coach.

Lemieux missed 15 games because of a chronic back condition, and has hinted toward retirement, although he has yet to make an official announcement. He led the Penguiins with 28 goals and 63 assists in 67 games.

Because of payroll constraints, Lemieux authorized the trade of star winger Alexei Kovalev to the New York Rangers in an eight-player deal in March, when the Penguins were still mathematically alive for a playoff berth. They finished with the second-worst record in the NHL at 27-44-6-5, ahead of only Carolina.

The Penguins made the playoffs 12 straight seasons from 1990-91, when they won the first of two straight Stanley Cups, to 2001-02, but Ivan Hlinka was fired and replaced by Kehoe four games into the following season. Pittsburgh went just 28-37-8-5 under Kehoe, finishing with a 10-game winless streak (0-9-1).

This past season, the Penguins won just twice in their last 22 games (2-18-2).

Kehoe played 11 seasons with the Penguins, and ranks third on the club's all-time scoring list with 636 points. Upon retiring in 1985, he joined the Penguins' staff as a scout, and worked in that capacity for two seasons.

Kehoe has served as an assistant under nine Penguins coaches -- Pierre Creamer, Gene Ubriaco, Patrick, Bob Johnson, Scotty Bowman, Ed Johnston, Kevin Constantine, Herb Brooks, and Hlinka.

Hewitt suing ATP

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 16 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt, the world's top-ranked men's tennis player, plans to take the ATP to court for defamation.

Hewitt has submitted a letter to the organizers of the men's tennis tour outlining his intention to seek damages and legal costs believed to amount to $1.5 million after he was fined for missing a compulsory television interview.

"We can confirm that we have received a letter saying that Lleyton Hewitt intends to take legal action against the ATP in Australia," said ATP spokesman Nicolas Arzani, "but we feel it would be really unfortunate to pursue the matter in court and prolong a situation that has already been concluded."

Hewitt, 22, a native of Australia, was furious and believes his reputation was damaged when the ATP hit him with a $106,000 fine for failing to speak to ESPN during an event in Cincinnati last August, where he lost to Carlos Moya in the final.

Hewitt insists that he was available to do the interview, and had asked an ATP staffer to inform ESPN.

Although that fine was later reduced to $20,000 on appeal, Hewitt is determined to launch a counter action. The case looks destined to go ahead, probably in June, following the French Open and just weeks before Hewitt attempts to defend his title at Wimbledon.

The ATP is hoping to avoid a drawn-out legal battle with Hewitt, which would be damaging for the sport's image and the tour.

The reported sum of $1.5 million is an amount which Hewitt believes would cover damage to his reputation and pay for the case. The ATP expects the action to be taken in Hewitt's home state of Australia, unless the matter is settled privately.

Serena withdraws from German Open

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 16 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from next month's German Open to concentrate on her preparations for this summer's Grand Slam events.

Williams, 21, who has won 21 of her 22 matches in 2003 and swept the last four Grand Slam titles, next will compete at the Italia Masters, beginning May 12 in Rome.

"After playing so many matches at the beginning of 2003, I have decided to take an additional week off to prepare for the European season," she said. "My focus right now is to prepare myself both mentally and physically for the upcoming major events in May and June."

Williams was runnerup in last year's German Open, a three-set final with Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium. Henin-Hardenne handed Williams her first loss this season on Sunday in the final of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.

The German Open begins in Berlin on May 5.

Gajdosova advances at Budapest

BUDAPEST, Hungary, April 16 (UPI) -- Jarmila Gajdosova, the 473rd-ranked female player in the world, advanced Tuesday to the second round of the Budapest Grand Prix.

Gajdosov, 15, a native of Slovakia, knocked off Ruxandra Dragomir Ilie of Romania, 6-1, 6-4.

It was the fourth win of the week for Gajdosova, who was a wild card in the qualifying draw as one of the four lowest-seeded players in the field. She beat Nos. 667, 206 and 156 to make the main draw.

Gajdosova, who turns 16 in two weeks, set up a second-round match with either second seed Magui Serna of Spain or Angelika Roesch of Germany.

While she is a neophyte on the WTA Tour, Gajdosova may be one of its up-and-coming stars. She is ranked sixth on the minor league ITF circuit, where she won two titles last season and was a finalist six times.

There were two seeds in action Tuesday at the red clay event.

No. 3 Alicia Molik of Austria buried Martina Sucha of Slovakia, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 5 Virginie Razzano of France recovered for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hungary's Rita Kuti Kis.

Another Slovakian joined Gajdosova in the second round as Ludmila Cervanova defeated Lubomira Bacheva of Bulgaria, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, but another failed as Katalin Marosi of Hungary eased past Lubomira Kurhajcova, 6-4, 6-2.

Also, Jelena Jankovic of Yugoslavia outlasted Evgenia Koulikovskaya of Russia, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0; Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic eliminated Martina Muller of Germany, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, and Stephanie Cohen Aloro of France dumped Emmanuelle Gagliardi of Switzerland, 6-1, 6-2.

The top seed at the $110,000 Tier V event is Iva Majoli of Croatia, who takes on Romanian Andreea Vanc on Wednesday.

With most of the world's best in Amelia Island, Fla., for the Bausch & Lomb Championships, this event features only two of the top-50 women in the rankings.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories