Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003

Report: Michigan basketball tourney ban lifted

ANN ARBOR, Mich. The Michigan basketball team has won its appeal and will be eligible to play in the 2004 NCAA tournament, according to a newspaper report.

The school has been informed that its appeal of the NCAA's postseason ban was successful, a person at the university familiar with the situation told the Detroit Free Press for a Thursday story.

An announcement was expected to be made Thursday.

Iverson likely to finish his career as a Sixer

PHILADELPHIA The lights dimmed as the video scoreboard started playing Allen Iverson's career highlights.

There he was being announced as Philadelphia's No. 1 draft pick, and later holding his MVP award. There he was celebrating victories, acting silly off the court and hugging former coach Larry Brown.

The memories showed what makes Iverson so valuable and why the Sixers couldn't afford to lose him. Now, they won't have to worry about that.

Iverson signed a four-year contract extension with the 76ers on Wednesday that will keep the three-time NBA scoring champion with them through the 2008-09 season.

''I always wanted to be a Sixer. I always wanted to finish my career as a Sixer,'' Iverson said as the deal was announced at a special event for season ticket-holders at the Wachovia Center.

Terms were not announced, but a team source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday the extension would pay Iverson $76.7 million over the four years.

Pincay sues Santa Anita over career-ending injury

LOS ANGELES Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. sued Santa Anita, saying negligence at the racetrack after he broke his neck in a March 1 spill resulted in a career-ending injury.

After the accident, doctors advised Pincay that his spine wasn't stable enough to allow him to ride, and he retired in April at age 56 as horse racing's winningest jockey. With 9,530 victories, he had hoped to race another two years to top 10,000.

The Superior Court lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks unspecified damages from Santa Anita, an ambulance company used by the track, a track doctor and his assistant.

Pincay broke his neck when another horse swung wide, knocked him off his mount and rolled on him in a turf race.

Pincay's attorney Neil Papiano said Wednesday the ambulance company failed to stabilize Pincay's neck after the accident, and that the jockey was taken to the track's first-aid station instead of Arcadia Methodist Hospital, across the street from the track.

Papiano said track physician Dr. Melvin Coates was not working at the time. Papiano said he is named as a defendant because he should have been on duty.

According to the lawyer, Coates' assistant, Angel Delgadillo, treated Pincay and told him to ''take some pills and go home.''

''Unfortunately, there was a tremendous misdiagnosis. They never sent him to the hospital,'' Papiano said.

Pincay was still in pain three days after the accident when he came to the track to exercise horses. Friends told him to go to the hospital.

Papiano said doctors at Arcadia Methodist Hospital told Pincay he had a ''hangman's fracture.'' They found two breaks in the same bone in his neck. The bone is one of the uppermost seven vertebrae of the spine.

Pincay was outfitted with a halo, which immobilized his head and neck. He wore the device for two months.

Santa Anita attorney Frank DeMarco was in court Wednesday and did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. There was no answer at a phone number for the ambulance company.

Pincay broke Bill Shoemaker's record for victories in 1999. He was elected to racing's Hall of Fame in 1975, and won the 1984 Kentucky Derby.

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