Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Popovich is NBA's Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO Gregg Popovich won the NBA Coach of the Year award Monday for leading the San Antonio Spurs to the league's best record.

Popovich, the first Spurs coach to win the award, received 40 out of a possible 121 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Golden State Warriors coach Eric Musselman was second with 26 first-place votes, and Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was third with 18.

The Spurs went 60-22 and won their third straight Midwest Division title under Popovich, who became coach in December 1996.

He gave credit for the award to his staff and players, particularly Tim Duncan.

A few years ago, we won the No. 1 pick in the lottery,'' he told reporters. Everybody raise your hand if we hadn't gotten Duncan, who thinks Popovich would still be standing here?''

Wallace, Blazers fined for violating media rules

NEW YORK Rasheed Wallace was fined $30,000 on Monday for two violations of the NBA's media interview access policies.

Wallace was fined $10,000 for failing to cooperate during the interview session following Portland's 98-79 victory over Dallas on Sunday. He was given an additional fine of $20,000 for not participating in Monday's interview period following practice.

The Trail Blazers have also been fined $50,000 $25,000 for each of Wallace's infractions for failing to ensure that players comply with media interview rules.

Miami QB meets with coach to discuss race charge

CORAL GABLES, Fla. Miami Hurricanes quarterback Derrick Crudup Jr., who claimed race played a role in the decision to give a teammate the starting job, met Monday with coach Larry Coker to discuss the issue.

Also attending the 75-minute meeting were Crudup's father, former NFL player Derrick Crudup Sr., and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner.

It was an outstanding meeting.'' Crudup Sr. said. Asked if his son will remain at Miami for the 2003 season, Crudup Sr. said, Absolutely.''

The family declined further comment, pending the release Tuesday of a joint statement by the Crudups and Coker.

School spokesman Doug Walker said those attending the meeting came to a satisfactory resolution.'' He declined to elaborate.

Crudup Jr. lost out to Brock Berlin in their battle this spring to succeed Ken Dorsey as the starting quarterback. Crudup is black and Berlin is white.

Crudup and his father said the competition was compromised by racially insensitive comments from Werner, who is white. The Crudups said Werner used terms such as redneck'' and cracker'' when referring to himself in front of Crudup Jr. during the team's quarterbacks meetings.

Coker issued a statement before meeting with the Crudups.

I am concerned about the allegations made regarding Derrick Crudup Jr. and our quarterbacks coach, Dan Werner,'' Coker said. These are serious allegations that demand serious consideration.''

Coker didn't return phone calls seeking further comment. Werner declined to comment through a school spokesman.

Several Miami players said they never heard Werner make the sort of comments that Crudup complained about.

He might have been just joking around, but I never heard anything like that,'' tight end Kellen Winslow said. Coach Werner is a good guy. He's not racist at all.''

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