Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, March 04, 2003

USOC's chief operating officer resigns

DENVER -- Fred Wohlschlaeger became the second top official at the U.S. Olympic Committee to resign in three days, stepping down Monday night as chief operating officer.

On Saturday, USOC chief executive Lloyd Ward resigned after three months of turmoil that started with conflict-of-interest charges against him.

Wohlschlaeger became the eighth top USOC official to resign in the wake of an ethics investigation against Ward in December. The list includes president Marty Mankamyer and ethics compliance officer Pat Rodgers.

''I dedicated myself to bettering the operations of the United States Olympic Committee and take great pride in our accomplishments,'' Wohlschlaeger said in a statement. ''It is now time for the USOC to concentrate on addressing the underlying issues with which it is confronted, including governance, organizational structure and the assurance of fair and honest treatment for all.''

Washburn hurts shoulder

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who led the Anaheim Angels in victories last year, hurt his left shoulder trying to avoid a collision during fielding practice Monday and expects to be sidelined for up to 10 days.

Washburn, 18-6 with a 3.15 ERA last season for the World Series champion Angels, was covering first base when he fell as he tried to avoid running into reliever Brendan Donnelly.

Uribe will have surgery on broken foot

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Colorado Rockies shortstop Juan Uribe will have surgery on his broken right foot Wednesday and likely be sidelined for more than a month.

A CAT scan confirmed the break. Uribe will have a screw inserted into the bone. Rockies trainer Tom Probst declined to estimate how long Uribe might be out.

Report: Checketts lines up to buy Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Former New York sports executive David Checketts has assembled part of the financing for his $620 million bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The paper reported Monday that Checketts has gained a commitment from billionaire financier George Soros, who has agreed to put up less than $100 million in equity in what would be his first investment in a sports franchise.

The Times, citing anonymous sources, also said Checketts has lined up two banks and is seeking a third to secure financing of $300 million. The Times reported the two banks are said to be J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and FleetBoston Financial Corp.

Fresno State banned from postseason

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State banned its men's basketball team from playing in the postseason this year after the school confirmed allegations of academic fraud.

The Bulldogs (20-6, 13-3 Western Athletic Conference) already has clinched the regular-season league title, but they won't be permitted to play in the conference tournament, the NCAA tournament or the NIT.

''I regret that this severe action will affect student athletes, staff and coaches who were utterly unconnected to the problem,'' university president John D. Welty said Monday. ''However, it is important that this institution guarantee its academic integrity. We simply will not tolerate academic misconduct in any form.''

In mid-February, former basketball team statistician Stephen Mintz said he was enlisted to take part in a scheme to write papers in exchange for cash for three members of the school's basketball team during the 1999-2000 season under former coach Jerry Tarkanian.

While the specific violations were not revealed Monday, Welty announced that most of the allegations were true.

''While I regret having to take an action that is so hurtful to our current team, it is consistent with NCAA precedent, and I believe it is in the best long-term interest of the basketball program and the university,'' he said.

''Doing it now puts our program in the best possible position to enter next year with a clean slate,'' he added. ''Most importantly, it demonstrates to the NCAA that we are dealing with this problem in the most serious manner.''

Mintz told The Fresno Bee in February that he wrote and delivered 17 pieces of course work in 2000 for three players -- Courtney Alexander, Terrance Roberson and Dennis Nathan -- and was paid $1,500 for his work.

Alexander, who now plays for the New Orleans Hornets, faxed a statement to a Fresno television station after Mintz went public with the charges.

''I categorically deny that Mr. Mintz ever wrote a paper for me,'' Alexander's statement said. ''All he did was type papers for me, for which he was fairly compensated. (Mintz) obviously is trying to make a name for himself at my expense.''

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