Sports briefs 11/12/03

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Baseball

  • Former NL rookie of the year Vince Coleman is joining the Chicago Cubs as a minor league instructor.

    Coleman will work with outfielders and on baserunning. He led the NL in steals in each of his first six seasons in the majors, and finished his career with 752 stolen bases.

    Coleman spent 13 seasons in the majors, playing for St. Louis, the Mets, Kansas City, Seattle, Cincinnati and Detroit. He won NL rookie honors in 1985, and finished his career as a .264 hitter.

    College

    nConnecticut seniors Diana Taurasi and Alana Beard were unanimous selections for The Associated Press' preseason All-America team. Their names appeared on all 47 ballots from the national media panel voting in the weekly AP poll. Also chosen were Kansas State's Nicole Ohlde (34 votes), Penn State's Kelly Mazzante (28) and Stanford's Nicole Powell (25).

    Beard, a 5-foot-11 guard, made the preseason team for the third time, Taurasi, a 6-foot guard, for the second. Beard also was unanimous a year ago, and both were unanimous postseason All-Americans last spring.

    Taurasi was the AP's player of the year last season and led a Connecticut team that relied heavily on freshmen to its second consecutive national championship.

    Candace Parker, considered the top high school girls prospect in the country, is headed to Tennessee.

    The 6-foot-3 Parker led Naperville (Ill.) Central to the Class AA championship and a perfect record as a junior. She averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season.

    Miami coach Larry Coker benched tight end Kellen Winslow on Tuesday, punishing the team's top receiver for his behavior on the field.

    Winslow has been flagged several times for unsportsmanlike conduct this season, including twice in the last two games.

    Coker said Winslow will play Saturday against Syracuse.

    "We've got to understand we can't have that," Coker said. "It hurts our football team. The most pain you can inflict on a player is playing time, so I am going to take away some playing time."

    The grandson of legendary University of Kansas basketball coach Forrest "Phog" Allen lost his prime seats at Allen Fieldhouse, and he isn't sure how long he'll be able to keep the new seats he was given seven rows higher up.

    "I can't say for sure, but there's a possibility that we'll either lose or have to give up our tickets -- tickets that have been in our family since 1955," said Milton "Mick" Allen Jr., whose grandfather coached for 39 seasons at Kansas, where he compiled 590 victories and a national championship in 1952. And Phog Allen is the namesake for the fieldhouse.

    Football

  • Kevin Johnson, the Cleveland Browns' leading receiver since 1999, was released Tuesday by Browns coach Butch Davis, who benched the sure-handed wide receiver last week.

    Johnson signed a four-year, $13.35 million contract extension with a $3.5 million signing bonus before last season. Despite leading the Browns (3-6) with 41 catches for 381 yards this season, Johnson had his starting job taken away by Davis, who was displeased with the 27-year-old's production.

    -- From wire reports

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