Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2003

FIFA moves women's World Cup from China

ZURICH, Switzerland The Women's World Cup could be headed to the United States.

FIFA, soccer's governing body, will move the tournament from China because of SARS. FIFA's executive committee said the United States and Australia have expressed interest in staging the tournament, which is scheduled for Sept. 23-Oct. 11. Sweden and Brazil also have shown interest in being the host.

After consulting with the World Health Organization, FIFA on Saturday followed the lead of other sports organizations in moving the event out of China, which will get the 2007 tournament.

Source: Duncan wins MVP award

Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs has won the balloting for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, The Associated Press learned Saturday.

Duncan becomes the first player since Michael Jordan in 1991 and 1992 to win the league's most coveted individual award in consecutive seasons.

The San Antonio Express-News was the first news organization to learn of Duncan's selection, reporting the news on its Web site early Saturday. A basketball source with knowledge of the final vote totals, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to the AP that Duncan had indeed won the award. An official announcement is to be made Sunday on ABC.

Win gets U.S. hockey team into 2004 worlds

TAMPERE, Finland The United States defeated Belarus 4-2 at the World Hockey Championships on Saturday, narrowly securing a spot in next year's tournament.

A loss would have excluded the U.S. team from next year's championships, which act as the qualifying tournament for the 2006 Olympics.

A defeat also would have forced the Americans, who won the silver medal at the Salt Lake City Games last year, to go through a separate qualification system to get to the Turin Games.

It's a huge relief,'' said Lou Vairo, who's coaching the U.S. team for the fourth straight year. These were the worst two weeks of my life. I'm old and fat. I could have had a heart attack.''

Division II Lewis wins NCAA volleyball title

LONG BEACH, Calif. Lewis University became the first Division II team to win the NCAA men's volleyball title Saturday night, beating Brigham Young 42-44, 30-27, 30-21, 23-30, 15-13.

Determined is the only word I can use to describe my team,'' Flyers coach Dave Deuser said. They got what they wanted.''

Gustavo Meyer had a match-high 21 kills and was selected the tournament's most outstanding player. Fabiano Barreto added 18 kills and six digs, Ryan Stuntz had 15 digs and Jose Martins had 55 assists for the Romeoville, Ill., school.

The third-seeded Flyers, the first team from the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association to win an NCAA title, won 16 of their final 18 matches to finish the season 29-5.

The key was emotion,'' Barreto said. We put our hearts out on the court.''

NCAA penalizes Iowa State

DES MOINES, Iowa Larry Eustachy, already suspended by Iowa State for his behavior at late-night parties, was suspended for one game by the NCAA on Friday for a secondary rules violation.

The NCAA found Iowa State guilty because Eustachy twice paid players for making free throws. The university was ordered to suspend Eustachy for one game, but that might become moot because athletic director Bruce Van De Velde has recommended Eustachy be fired.

Iowa State had reported the violations to the NCAA and will not appeal the ruling, said associate athletic director Bill Smith, the university's compliance coordinator.

Van De Velde's recommendation to fire Eustachy followed newspaper reports that he drank and partied with college students after games in Columbia, Mo., and Manhattan, Kan.

Photos from the Columbia party show Eustachy kissing young women and being kissed by them on the cheek. Eustachy disclosed this week that he is an alcoholic and is seeking treatment.

The payments to the players the most anyone received was $20 took place during the 2002-03 season. Van De Velde said the violations, while troubling, had noting to do with his recommendation to fire Eustachy, who has until Monday to appeal.

This was not the decision maker,'' Van De Velde said Friday night.

The university reported the violations to the NCAA and sent the organization a report of its own investigation on March 27.

In that report, the university imposed its own penalties:

A letter of reprimand to Eustachy and a freeze on his salary for the fiscal year starting July 1.

A letter of reprimand to Bob Sundvold, the basketball program's administrative assistant.

Requiring the basketball staff to attend educational sessions on NCAA compliance.

Reinforcing to players the importance of recognizing potential violations and then reporting them.

The NCAA accepted those penalties and added the one-game suspension. The findings, received by the university on Wednesday, also said the NCAA was extremely concerned'' by Eustachy's actions and said he should avoid any further similar violations.''

We've self-reported and there are no major sanctions on the institution other than the suspension of our basketball coach for one game,'' Van De Velde said.

But it does put our program under a microscope and the NCAA had articulated that in their letter back to us.''

Eustachy would lose about $8,000 because of the sanctions, Iowa State said. He is paid about $1.1 million a year.

The NCAA agreed with Iowa State's findings that Eustachy paid a player, whose name was blacked out in the report, $20 for making a free throw in Iowa State's 74-70 victory over Baylor on Feb. 1.

According to the report, the player made a free throw to win the game. In the game, Iowa State secured the victory with one free throw by Marcus Jefferson and two by Jake Sullivan.

On Feb. 13, Iowa State's report said Eustachy had his team play a game of cutthroat'' free throw shooting at practice and the winner would receive $10. Five players received $10 each for winning their contests, the NCAA said.

Eustachy told a trainer to take the $10 out of the players' meal money so it would not be a violation, the report said. But the report said the trainer misunderstood and nothing was deducted from the meal money.

The university began its investigation Feb. 19 and two days later, declared the five players ineligible for the Cyclones' Feb. 22 home game with Kansas State.

But the players repaid the money and were allowed to play, the university said.

Smith said the violations were reported by someone in the athletic department, but he could not reveal that person's name.

I have to protect the confidentiality of the athletic department staff member who brought that information to me,'' Smith said.

Van De Velde said he was upset that someone other than Eustachy reported the violations.

Any time cash is exchanged and you have to learn about it through other people, then you get concerned because you wonder what else is out there that hasn't come to you from other people,'' Van De Velde said.

If a coach had come to me and said I want to tell you about this, it wouldn't have bothered as much. But I had to learn from other sources. That really concerns me.''

The athletic department brought in an outside consultant to help in its investigation. Van De Velde estimated the investigation cost the department from $5,000 to $6,000.

On Friday, students demonstrated again in support of Eustachy.

Joined by members of the basketball team, about 300 students displayed pro-Eustachy T-shirts and posters as they protested outside the office of the university president. It was their fourth demonstration in two days.

Also Friday, assistant coach Steve Barnes denied using threats or intimidation to rally support for Eustachy. Barnes was suspended with pay Thursday for making what the university said were threatening remarks against school and athletic officials in a telephone call to a player's parents.

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