FanFare 7/3/02

Wednesday, July 3, 2002



  • Two days after his team won the United States Basketball League title, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar resigned. Team spokesman Eric Newendorp said that the NBA Hall of Famer and team owner James Sears Bryant reached a "mutual decision" that Abdul-Jabbar would end his involvement with the team. He declined further comment.


  • Felix "Tito" Trinidad is retiring, a legal representative for the former middleweight and welterweight champion said. The 29-year-old Trinidad had a successful career of multimillion dollar fights in three weight classes.


  • The NCAA extended Minnesota's four-year probation by two years and cut one women's basketball scholarship for violations under former coach Cheryl Littlejohn. The women's program escaped the "death penalty," a two-year shutdown that could have been imposed under NCAA rules for repeat violators. The original probation was imposed after academic cheating was uncovered in the men's program in 1999,


  • The Bengals reached a contract agreement with unrestricted free agent Michael Westbrook, ESPN reported. Westbrook will sign a three-year, $4.5 million contract and the deal includes a $350,000 signing bonus.


  • Tiger Woods withdrew from this week's Western Open at Lemont, Ill., citing an unspecified illness. Woods made the announcement on his Web site. He notified the PGA of his decision about Tuesday morning, Western Open spokesman Gary Holloway said. The $4 million tournament begins Thursday.


  • Indy 500 fans will know today whether Helio Castroneves really won his second straight title. Indy Racing League president Tony George will present his ruling on the disputed finish to the May 26 race at a news conference this morning. Team Green owner Barry Green appealed after Castroneves was declared the winner over his driver, Paul Tracy.


  • Spanish national team coach Jose Antonio Camacho resigned, 10 days after the side was eliminated from the World Cup. Camacho's contract was scheduled to run until the Euro 2004 championship in Portugal.


    Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "The NBA will bring in instant replay next season. Commissioner David Stern wants to take 'referees off the hook' and let them get back to concentrating on not calling fouls on superstars."

    Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, on California's punishment by the NCAA: "Isn't banning a team that finished 1-10 last year from playing in a bowl game akin to telling Anna Kournikova she's ineligible to play in the Wimbledon final?"

    From Michael Ventre of "Jeff Gordon hasn't won a race since Sept. 30 but insists his impending divorce has nothing too with his slump. Yet in an effort to recapture his old form, Gordon is considering a technique whereby he imagines his wife sitting in the passenger seat, insisting he stop for directions."

    -- From wire reports

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