Marshall programs placed on probation

Saturday, December 22, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marshall was placed on four years' probation Friday and will lose scholarships in its football and basketball programs for violating NCAA rules on academics and arranging work for athletes.

The NCAA inquiry stemmed from athletes receiving extra work benefits between 1996 and 2000 and others who received exam answers from a professor in 1999.

The decision by the NCAA came two days after Marshall's 64-61 victory over East Carolina in the GMAC Bowl, the highest point total in any bowl.

The chairman of the Division I Committee on Infractions said Marshall administrators were "very negligent" in assisting the investigation.

Outfielder Damon signs with Red Sox

BOSTON -- When the Red Sox traded Carl Everett to the Rangers, Johnny Damon knew he wanted to play in Boston.

Damon got his wish Friday when he agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Red Sox.

"After the Everett trade I knew Boston had a void for a leadoff hitter and a center fielder, so this is perfect," the outfielder said at a news conference.

Damon, 28, was among the top hitters on the free-agent market, batting .256 with nine homers and 49 RBIs for the Oakland Athletics last season.

Soviet figure skater found dead at 38

MOSCOW -- Figure skater Kira Ivanova, a bronze medalist at the 1984 Olympics, was found dead in her apartment, the chairman of the Russian Figure Skating Federation said Friday. She was 38.

Ivanova's neighbors found her covered with knife wounds, said figure skating official Valentin Piseyev. He said police told him she was killed several days ago.

She had been battling alcoholism in recent years, he said.

-- From wire reports

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