Sports briefs 1/14/05

Friday, January 14, 2005


* Major league owners unanimously approved the $223 million sale of the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday from the family of commissioner Bud Selig to Mark Attanasio.

Attanasio, a Los Angeles investor, is committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee, thanks to a 30-year lease to play in Miller Park. Selig's daughter Wendy has been running the franchise since her father became commissioner.


* Milwaukee Bucks guard T.J. Ford was ruled out for the rest of the season Thursday because he's recovering from spinal surgery.

Ford, the eighth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, had surgery May 5. He was injured when he was knocked down going to the basket in a February 2004 game against Minnesota and was carried off the court on a stretcher.

* Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit against a firm that he said persuaded him to use a financial adviser who lost millions of dollars through questionable investments.

The lawsuit accuses Katten Muchen Zavis Rosenman and one of its attorneys, Sheldon T. Zenner, of negligence. It also alleges the firm had a conflict of interest when it recommended Katten Muchen client Robert Lunn as a financial adviser.

The lawsuit does not seek specific damages, but Pippen attorney Robert P. Cummins said that "to suggest that it would be in the range of $20 million would not be overstating the problem."

Pippen in November won an $11.8 million judgment against Lunn.


* Boxing promoter Don King filed a defamation suit claiming he was portrayed in a false light in an ESPN "SportsCentury" segment aired last May, and his attorney said King is entitled to damages of more than $2.5 billion.

The lawsuit says the program accused King of being "a snake oil salesman, a shameless huckster and worse," claimed the flamboyant promoter underpaid Muhammad Ali by $1.2 million and claimed King -- convicted in a 1967 beating death and acquitted in another killing in 1954 -- "killed not once, but twice."

Most of the material in the program had been printed or broadcast earlier about King, who has spent much of his career in court, but he said he had just had enough.


* Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart has delayed announcing whether he will return to Southern California for his senior season or turn pro, saying he will reveal his plans today.

The NFL deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Saturday.

Two other USC juniors, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and punter Tom Malone, also are expected to say today whether they will enter the draft.

* Illinois football coach Ron Zook rehired one of former coach Ron Turner's assistants when he appointed Mike Mallory defensive coordinator.

Mallory was on Turner's staff for four seasons and served last season as defensive coordinator. He was among the assistants let go when Turner was fired after his third straight losing season.


* Minnesota's Randy Moss was fined $10,000 Thursday by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct during the celebration of his fourth-quarter touchdown catch last week -- in which he pretended to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd.

Moss also briefly bumped the goalpost with his back end before hugging teammates in the end zone following that game-clinching score in the Vikings' 31-17 playoff victory over the Packers.


* Andre Agassi's status for the Australian Open next week was in doubt after a hip injury forced him to retire during the first set of his Kooyong Classic match against Andy Roddick.

The four-time Australian Open winner said he felt tightness in the muscle at the front of his right hip and would have an MRI to determine the damage.

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