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Clarett may challenge NFL rule

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State freshman tailback Maurice Clarett said in this week's ESPN The Magazine that he is contemplating challenging the NFL's rule that prevents a true freshman from entering the draft.

"Do I think about it?" Clarett said about challenging the NFL's rule. "It's got to go through your head, man. It's got to go through your head. I'm not saying it's something I will do. I'm not saying it's something I won't do."

Clarett has rushed for 847 yards and scored 15 touchdowns for the No. 4 Buckeyes, who play at Wisconsin on Saturday.

Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp said Clarett would not comment this week and would not speak with the media until after Saturday's game. Head coach Jim Tressel was unaware of the report.

NFL rules prevent a true freshman, sophomore or junior from making themselves eligible for the draft.

In the Oct. 28th issue, Clarett says he knows the contract figures for first-round draft picks such as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

"You can always come back to school. I don't think there's a job in the world where you're gonna make $113 million in 12 years," Clarett said. "I don't think there's one job coming out of college paying that."

According to the article, Clarett's mother, who is the chief deputy clerk for the Municipal Court of Youngstown, is researching the process of challenging the NFL in court.

BASEBALL

Anaheim pitching coach Bud Black told Cleveland he doesn't want to be its next manager, leaving interim manager Joel Skinner as the favorite to get the job. Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said Black, who is preparing the Angels' staff for the World Series, told him Monday that he was out of the running.

  • The Cleveland Indians declined to pick up their 2003 contract option for pitcher Jaret Wright , a former postseason star whose career has been sidetracked by injuries.

  • Houston catcher Brad Ausmus exercised his $5.5 million contract option for the 2003 season and will return to the Astros.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired pitcher Brian Mallette to complete a July trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers received utility player Tyler Houston on July 23 for minor league pitchers Ben Diggins and Shane Nance .

  • The Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate of the Pirates, announced it will construct new outfield reserved seating, a third-base picnic area and a left-field party deck. With the seating additions, the capacity at Blair County Ballpark will increase from 6,176 to more than 7,200. Tickets range in price from $4-12 and can be purchased through a new toll-free number, (877) 992-8783.

    BASKETBALL

    Utah Jazz center Greg Ostertag is expected to miss at least three games because of an abdominal strain resulting from donating a kidney to his sister in the offseason.

  • Antonio McDyess, the New York Knicks' starting power forward, will miss the season after having surgery yesterday on his broken kneecap.

  • Cavaliers rookie Dajuan Wagner is expected to be hospitalized until next week with a bladder infection. It's not known whether the 19-year-old Wagner will be available for the season opener Oct. 29 at Sacramento, the team said yesterday.

  • Upper St. Clair senior forward Dale Meinbrese comitted to Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. Meinbrese chose Quinnipiac over Colgate, Lehigh, American and Bucknell and will receive a full scholarship. As a junior, the 6-foot-4 Meinbrese averaged 17 points per game and helped lead the Panthers to the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs.

  • Maryland and Gary Williams, who guided the Terrapins to its first national basketball championship in April, are moving closer to an agreement on a contract extension and pay raise for Williams, who is already signed through the 2007-08 season.

  • New Orleans Hornets forward Jamal Mashburn was on crutches after injuring his left knee Tuesday night during an exhibition game against Orlando. The team suspects a strained knee, and will schedule an MRI for Mashburn at an undisclosed time.

  • Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss was released from a hospital early yesterday after he collapsed when he apparently tore a neck muscle at a fund-raising dinner. Buss, 69, was released shortly before 1 a.m. from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and returned home, Lakers spokesman Bob Steiner said.

  • The $250 million arena being built for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies will be called FedExForum. The FedEx Corp., headquartered in Memphis, bought the naming rights to the arena when the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver.

  • Time changes have affected four games appearing on the Duquesne University men's basketball schedule, including two to accommodate television coverage. Three of the games — against Cleveland State on Nov. 27, Richmond on Jan 18 and Xavier on Feb. 26 — are home contests scheduled to be played at Palumbo Center. The Cleveland State game time was moved to 8 p.m. from 7:30 p.m. as part of a men's and women's doubleheader; the Richmond game time was moved to 4 p.m. from noon to accommodate an Atlantic 10 Conference telecast; and the Xavier game time was moved to 9 p.m. from 7 p.m. to accommodate a Fox Sports Pittsburgh telecast. Game time for a Feb. 23 game at Massachusetts was moved up to 1 p.m. from 2 p.m. to accommodate Duquesne's return trip to Pittsburgh.

  • Youngstown State University guard Cathy Hanek will miss the season with a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects spinal and peripheral joints of the arms and legs, and tendons and ligaments where they attach to the bones. Hanek, a junior, appeared in 27 games, starting 20, last season, averaging 6.7 points and 2.7 assists. She will be required to limit her physical activity for 6 to 8 months while being administered medication for the condition.

    JURISPRUDENCE

    Ohio State linebacker Fred Pagac Jr. pleaded innocent yesterday to charges of persistent disorderly conduct. Pagac, a senior backup, was arrested at 3:45 a.m. Sunday after police said he was intoxicated and trying to fight another person about 12 hours after the Buckeyes' homecoming victory over San Jose State. The police report said an officer told Pagac to stop but he continued to fight.

    MOTORSPORTS

    Todd Bodine was placed on probation by NASCAR for careless driving that triggered a multi-car accident at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bodine, driver of the No. 26 Ford, is on probation until Dec. 31. If there is another action this season that NASCAR officials deem detrimental or disruptive to a race, he will receive an indefinite suspension.

  • Jamie McMurray will honor a commitment to run a Busch Series race in Memphis, and Winston Cup's newest winner will be replaced by Mike Bliss in Sunday's Old Dominion 500. The 26-year-old McMurray won last Sunday's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in only his second Winston Cup start, the quickest first-time victory in NASCAR's modern era. Bliss is the points leader in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series.

    TENNIS

    Andre Agassi powered into the third round of the Madrid Masters by beating qualifier Jan-Michael Gambill 6-4, 6-4 yesterday, while Andy Roddick , Tim Henman and Tommy Haas lost.

  • In Zurich, Switzerland, top-seeded Jennifer Capriati was eliminated by Conchita Martinez 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the Swisscom Challenge. Capriati has lost her opening match at each of her past two tournaments and now might have to pull out of next week's event in Linz, Austria.

  • In Brataslava, Slovakia, third-seeded Rita Grande of Italy beat Ashley Harkleroad of the United States 6-4, 6-2 yesterday in the second round of the VUB Open. In another second-round match, Emilie Loit defeated Mariana Diaz-Oliva 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. In first-round action, top-seeded Nathalie Dechy beat Henrieta Nagyova 7-6 (6), 7-5, while second-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy of the United States ousted Claudine Schaul of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-1.

    SOCCER

    The Los Angeles Galaxy conducted their final practice Wednesday before heading off to play for not one, but two championships.

    There was considerably more fanfare 35 miles away at Edison Field, where their baseball neighbors, the Anaheim Angels, prepared for the World Series against the San Francisco Giants.

    "I certainly think they have their fans, and we have our fans," Galaxy defender Alexi Lalas said with a wry grin. "Ours may be a little more underground, certainly a little more intelligent, probably better looking.

    "And, all in all, probably a better class of people. To each his own. There's a time when you want to drink a bottle of beer and there's a time when you want to enjoy some fine wine."

    The Galaxy, featuring established stars Lalas and Cobi Jones, and high-scoring MLS rookie Carlos Ruiz, face the New England Revolution on Sunday in Foxboro, Mass., in the MLS title game.

    Afterward, the Galaxy go to Ohio to play the Columbus Crew for the U.S. Open Cup on Oct. 24.

    Los Angeles coach Sigi Schmid, a Giants fan as a youngster who will be pulling for San Francisco in the World Series, hopes his own team can snap an 0-3 record in MLS title games.

    Because baseball has a much larger following in the United States than soccer, the world's most popular sport, Schmid particularly appreciates the Galaxy faithful.

    "We have our own soccer junkies who follow us and keep faith with us," he said. "Our situation is a little bit different from the Angels.

    "They've had a lot of years of mediocrity and now they're having great success, so everybody's excited. We've had success over the years, but we haven't grabbed that ultimate brass ring."

    He says soccer has grown in popularity in the United States, and predicts that America someday will be as sold on the sport as the rest of the world.

    "I think it will definitely happen," he said. "If I'm still coaching, that would be nice."

    Revolution coach Steve Nicol won the MLS Coach of the Year award for taking over a struggling New England Revolution team and leading them to the championship game. The Revolution are 8-1-3 in their last 12 games.

    Nicol was New England's assistant coach when Fernando Clavijo was fired May 23 with a 2-4-1 record. Nicol was named interim coach and led the Revolution to a 10-10-1 record in the regular season.

    Crew midfielder Kyle Martino won the MLS Rookie of the Year award. He started 15 games, and had two goals and five assists.

  • Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Tiffany Roberts and Brianna Scurry were among 18 players chosen for the U.S. team that will try to qualify for next year's World Cup in China.

    BOXING

  • Aliquippa's Verquan Kimbrough will represent the United States in the USA vs. Dominican Republic Dual on Oct. 18-20 in Harvey, Ill. There will be two duals over a three-day period. The event is a fundraiser for the Restoration Ministries' Harvey Boxing Club. Kimbrough is the 2002 national lightweight champion at 132 pounds.

    GOLF

  • Yesterday's WPIAL Girls Team Golf Championships at Pittsburgh North Golf Course were cancelled because of rain. The finals, including teams from Bethel Park, Center, Derry, Kiski Area, North Allegheny, Southmoreland and Upper St. Clair, will be competed at 10 a.m. today at Pittsburgh North. The Boys team championships are at 10 a.m. today at Lindenwood Golf Course. The Class AAA match features teams from Upper St. Clair, North Allegheny, Butler and Franklin Regional, and the Class AA match involves South Fayette, Greensburg C.C., Waynesburg and Serra Catholic.

  • The PGA Tour is working on a new tournament played over Labor Day weekend that could involve the Tiger Woods Foundation. Any deal is not expected to be completed for at least two weeks.

    HOCKEY

  • Forge defenseman Grant Lewis has committed to play at Dartmouth. Lewis, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior at Upper St. Clair, played in six games for the Forge after joining the team from the Major Midget AAA Pittsburgh Hornets. The Forge play host to defending Junior-A hockey champion Detroit Compuware at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Island Sports Center.

    OLYMPICS

  • British skier Alain Baxter failed in his bid to reclaim the Olympic bronze medal taken away after he tested positive for a banned substance. Baxter, the first British skier to win an Olympic medal, tested positive for the banned stimulant methamphetamine after finishing third in the men's slalom at Salt Lake City in February.

    TRACK AND FIELD

  • Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gwen Torrence and three others were elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Also selected were pole vaulter Earl Bell, middle distance runner Steve Scott and race walker Larry Young.

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