Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, June 06, 2003

Report: Neuheisel says he was in gambling pool

SEATTLE Washington officials met Thursday to discuss the future of football coach Rick Neuheisel, one day after he said he participated in a college basketball tournament gambling pool the past two years.

No decision was immediately announced, and the athletic department had no comment. Interim president Lee Huntsman was in meetings with athletic officials and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that Neuheisel participated in informal NCAA basketball pools the last two years. Two NCAA investigators and one from the Pac-10 Conference questioned him Wednesday after receiving a tip that he put up $5,000 and won about $20,000 by picking Maryland in 2002, the newspaper reported.

NCAA spokesman Jeff Howard said Thursday that he could not comment.

The NCAA manual specifies that coaches, staff members and athletes may not knowingly ''solicit or accept a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item (e.g., cash, shirt, dinner) that has tangible value.''

Sources: Big East schools may want earlier exit

RALEIGH, N.C. Miami, Syracuse and Boston College may want to join the Atlantic Coast Conference sooner than expected, a potential snag in the proposed expansion plans.

An ACC source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Thursday that the Big East schools expressed interest in joining the ACC after next season instead of in 2005. Two other ACC sources confirmed the development.

The three schools might want to leave the Big East early to reduce the animosity they could face by remaining in the conference after announcing a decision to leave.

The expansion might result in legal action by the five remaining Big East football schools. A source in the Connecticut state government, speaking on condition of anonymity, said state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal may take legal action on behalf of UConn, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Blumenthal will discuss the matter Friday at a meeting with Gov. John G. Rowland and UConn officials.

Blumenthal's office would not comment. Neither would officials from UConn, the governor's office or the Big East.

Guerrero out with herniated disc

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Montreal All-Star outfielder Vladimir Guerrero has a herniated disc in his back and will probably have to go on the disabled list.

Guerrero underwent an MRI before sitting out Thursday night's game against Anaheim. He will seek a second opinion next week to confirm the diagnosis.

''If the second opinion comes back the way the first one did we'll probably DL him,'' general manager Omar Minaya said. ''We'll then see what the treatment will be and what the best method will be to get him back.''

Georgia AD's contract won't be renewed

ATHENS, Ga. Longtime Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley was unable to secure a contract extension from school president Michael Adams and will leave his job next year.

Adams, who has feuded with Dooley often since coming to the school in 1997, insisted that they stick to a deal reached in 2001 that will end Dooley's 25-year reign as athletic director on June 30, 2004.

''In any endeavor, there comes a time when a transition to new leadership is appropriate,'' Adams said. ''It is now time for new leadership in the UGA athletic department.''

Adams said the 70-year-old Dooley could stay on for a year as a fund-raising consultant, with no change in his $300,000 salary.

Griffey out of lineup a day after tweaking arm

CINCINNATI Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the Cincinnati Reds' lineup Thursday as a precaution, giving his right arm a day to recover from a slight aggravation.

Griffey tweaked the arm on an awkward swing during a 6-2 victory Wednesday night over the New York Yankees. He homered on the next pitch, then left the game.

Tests were negative, and Griffey isn't expected to miss a lot of time.

Sierra back to Yankees? Trade talk swirls

NEW YORK Eager to add a left-handed bat without paying too big a price, the New York Yankees might have found their answer: Ruben Sierra.

Speculation swirled Thursday night that the Yankees were trying to close a deal to send minor league outfielder Marcus Thames to the Texas Rangers for the switch-hitting Sierra.

Such a deal would reunite Sierra and the man he once called ''a liar'' Yankees manager Joe Torre. Back in 1996 when he was with the Yankees, Sierra thought Torre had not been truthful with him about playing time.

Thames, who hit a home run off Arizona ace Randy Johnson last year in his first major league at-bat, was pulled out of the lineup for Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. He did not play for the Clippers on Thursday night, either.

Yankees superscout Gene Michael has been following the Rangers. He met with Yankees' executives Thursday at the team complex in Tampa, Fla.

A Rangers spokesman had no comment Thursday night when asked about the possible trade.

The 37-year-old Sierra is batting .258 with three home runs and 12 RBIs. His salary this season is $600,000, more than affordable for the team with the majors' highest payroll.

The Yankees are leading the AL East, but are looking for more punch. All-Star center fielder Bernie Williams is still on crutches because of an injured knee and isn't expected to return until next month.

New York also is uncertain when first baseman-designated hitter Nick Johnson will return. He was hitting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBIs, and leading the AL in walks when he was sidelined by a stress fracture in his right hand.

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