FanFare 9/18

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

College

The NCAA rejected Kentucky's request to lift a one-year ban on postseason play levied against the football program.

Kentucky sought to have the ban lifted, but the appeals committee on Tuesday upheld all penalties against the program after internal and NCAA investigations unearthed dozens of recruiting violations.

Also on Tuesday, the NCAA rejected Alabama's request that it ease sanctions against the football program.

Alabama sought restoration of six scholarships and its bowl eligibility, but the appeals committee upheld all the penalties imposed after the program was cited for illegal recruiting by boosters and other infractions.

Kentucky appealed its ban in February, claiming that the penalty was too harsh because the violations did not give the school a clear competitive advantage.

The NCAA stated in its report that the penalty was based primarily on Kentucky having obtained a "significant and protracted recruiting advantage" as a result of the violations.

Motorsports

Once an outspoken critic of the Indy Racing League, Michael Andretti is the series' newest owner and driver.

Andretti, the winningest driver in CART history, switched to the rival series Tuesday, convinced the IRL is becoming the dominant, most competitive series in American open-wheel racing.

"Things change. Life changes," Andretti said. "We have to go where we feel the momentum is in auto racing."

Andretti will join the IRL with Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan as his teammates for the 2003 season.

Like most of the top teams and drivers, Andretti stayed with CART after Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George founded the IRL in 1996.

Among the IRL's latest coups were the arrival of Penske, which dominated CART and has won the Indy 500 a record 12 times, and the decision by CART's top two engine manufacturers, Honda and Toyota, to jump to the IRL for next year.

Verbatim

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, sizing up Florida's game at No. 4 Tennessee on Saturday: "Ron Zook needed an unlisted number after a 41-16 loss to Miami in his second game as Florida's head coach. He might need the Witness Protection Program after playing in Knoxville."

-- From wire reports

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