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July 26, 2003 at 8:03 AM
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NFL fines Millen

DETROIT, July 26 (UPI) -- The NFL has fined Detroit Lions president Matt Millen $200,000 for not interviewing minority candidates before hiring Coach Steve Mariucci.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent a letter to Millen, but did not penalize the Lions with the loss of a draft pick.

Millen was summoned to a special meeting with Tagliabue and members of the league's committee on workplace diversity in March He was criticized for not adhering to guidelines put in place last Dec. 20.

Millen targeted Mariucci after he was fired by the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 15 and did not conduct any other in-person interviews.

Lions Vice President Bill Keenist said the team disagreed with Tagliabue's decision but support all initiatives to promote diversity in hiring.

Cardinals' Pujols suspended for altercatio

NEW YORK, July 26 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Albert Pujols was suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount Friday.

Pujols was disciplined for fighting and inciting a bench-clearing incident with the San Diego Padres on July 13.

Two Padres, catcher Gary Bennett and manager Bruce Bochy, were fined but not suspended. Bochy was fined for inappropriate comments directed at umpire Mark Carlson.

Just three batters into the game, San Diego's Adam Eaton hit Pujols on the shoulder with a curveball. The Padres were angry at Pujols for standing at the plate one day earlier to admire his game-winning home run in the 11th inning.

Pujols, the major league's leading hitter, shoved Bennett, prompting a bench-clearing incident, and was ejected.

Vikings sign Kevin Williams

MANKATO, Minn., July 26 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings have signed Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams to a 5-year contract.

Terms of the contract signed Friday were not disclosed.

He was the ninth overall selection in the 2003 draft.

The 304-pound Williams is expected to move in as an immediate starter alongside defensive tackle Chris Hovan. The Vikings will hold their first training camp workout on Saturday.

The team also reached an agreement with linebacker E.J Henderson, their second-round pick, but running back Onterrio Smith, their fourth-round selection, remains unsigned.

Niners sign first-round pick Harris

Niners sign first-round pick Harris

SAN FRANCISCO, July 26 (UPI) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed tackle Kwame Harris, their first-round pick, to a five-year contract, Friday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Selected as the 26th pick out of nearby Stanford, the 320-pound Harris will likely be groomed to replace Derrick Deese at left tackle.

Harris said he was happy to get the contract out of the way because he had not been participating in any football since the first minicamp.

Harris, who declared for the draft following his junior season, was the third offensive tackle selected behind Jordan Gross and George Foster.

The 49ers opened training camp Thursday.

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