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Ruiz backs off decision to retire

| Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BOSTON -- Former heavyweight champion John Ruiz decided to continue boxing, less than two weeks after announcing his retirement.

Ruiz, a two-time WBA champ, said through his trainer that he was retiring after losing a 12-round decision to James Toney on April 30 at Madison Square Garden.

"My emotional decision, coming right after losing a fight I felt I won, was premature," Ruiz said in a statement issued Monday. "I was tired of all the criticism and felt everybody was against me. After reviewing the tape and talking it over with my advisers, I decided that I don't want to go out that way. If they want me out of the sport, they're going to have to knock me out. I'm back."

College basketball

  • Jen Warden was hired as Colorado State women's basketball coach Tuesday. Warden, who was 29-59 in three seasons at Boise State, replaces Chris Denker -- who resigned April 6 after 12 of his 14 players asked school officials to replace him, complaining of mistreatment. Denker has said he resigned for personal reasons. Warden was an assistant coach for 10 years at Colorado under Ceal Barry, who retired after the 2004-05 season. The other finalist for the Colorado State job, Arizona State assistant Meg Sanders, withdrew her name last week.

    College football

  • Murray State football coach Joe Pannunzio was reinstated yesterday after being put on paid administrative leave April 29 following the campus arrests of a player and former player on drug trafficking charges. Athletic director Allen Ward said at the time that "charges of this severity and magnitude demand stepped-up review of our football program." Ron Lane, a junior running back, and Terrence Biggers, a former wide receiver, were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Calloway County court officials. Both Lane and Biggers have pleaded not guilty.


  • Danilo Di Luca edged defending champion Damiano Cunego in a group sprint yesterday to win the third stage of the Giro d'Italia while Olympic champion Paolo Bettini finished sixth to reclaim the overall lead. Australia's Robbie McEwen, who took the overall lead from Bettini by winning Monday's second stage, finished more than a minute behind the leading group. Di Luca, of the Liquigas-Bianchi team, completed the hilly course from Diamante di Giffoni Valle Piana in southern Italy in 5 hours, 24 minutes, 17 seconds. The 20-second bonus from yesterday's win boosted the Italian to second overall, nine seconds behind Bettini. Cunego moved to third, 17 seconds back.


  • Video replays will be tested at the European gymnastics championships next month, the sport's latest attempt to avoid scoring errors like the one that plagued the Athens Olympics. Replay would allow judges to go back and watch a routine if there's a scoring protest during a competition. If an error is found, it could quickly be corrected. USA Gymnastics successfully has used a similar review system for several years. The International Gymnastics Federation, known as the FIG, said yesterday that replay also was tested at the World Cup final in December, with "positive results."


  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport heard an appeal yesterday in a case that could result in a U.S. relay team losing its gold medals from the Sydney Games. Jerome Young, who already has been stripped of his medal because of doping, was on the winning 1,600-meter relay squad at the 2000 Olympics. The former 400-meter world champion ran in the opening and semifinal rounds, but did not run in the final. He had tested positive in 1999 for steroid use, but was cleared to run in the Olympics by a U.S. appeals panel.


  • Romario made his first appearance at the inaugural Beach Soccer World Cup yesterday, setting up a goal and helping Brazil beat Spain, 4-1, to earn a quarterfinal match against archrival Argentina. The United States was eliminated with a 9-3 loss to Portugal, which earned a quarterfinal matchup against Ukraine. In other matches, Uruguay beat Ukraine, 5-4, to win Group C while France topped Argentina, 8-2,, to claim the Group D title. France will face Spain while Uruguay will take on Japan in the other quarterfinals on Thursday.

    Off the field

  • The NCAA put Nicholls State University on probation for four years because an academic adviser and assistant football coach did course work for more than two dozen athletes. The university's proposed penalties, including forfeiting football and basketball victories and cutting scholarships in those sports, were accepted -- but the NCAA added a year to the school's suggested three-year probation and ordered reduced scholarships. The case involved 24 football players, a would-be player and two basketball players.

  • Bill Maher was named Canisius College athletic director yesterday, accepting the challenge of bringing stability to a department in transition. A Canisius graduate and former Golden Griffins football player, Maher spent the past seven years as an athletic department administrator at the University at Buffalo -- including the last two as interim AD. He returns to Canisius, where he spent four years as an assistant athletic director for compliance in the 1990s. Maher replaces Tim Dillon, who resigned in February after a Canisius investigation determined the Golden Griffins hockey team lacked supervision during a road trip to North Dakota last December. The investigation concluded that players were drunk when they damaged a hotel room during a party that left one player hurt, requiring stitches after cutting his foot and arm.

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