Ex-Pitt assistant's suit vs. paper to be retriedThe...

Sports briefly

January 15, 1991

Ex-Pitt assistant's suit vs. paper to be retried

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to kill a libel lawsui against a Lexington, Ky., newspaper stemming from its Pulitzer Prize-winning reports on recruiting scandals in college athletics.

The justices, without comment, left intact a ruling that forces the Lexington Herald-Leader to defend itself at trial against libel allegations by Reggie Warford, a former University of Pittsburgh assistant basketball coach.

The newspaper in October 1985 ran a series of articles on recruiting by major universities and colleges. Edited versions of the series were republished by the newspaper in a special "NCAA reprint" in January 1986 for members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and various media outlets.

Warford, who at the time was an assistant basketball coach at Pitt, sued over two references to him contained in the 1986 reprint.

Both references said Steve Miller, a Lexington high school star named Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball" for 1983-84, had accused Warford of offering him money if he attended Pitt.

A state trial judge ruled that Warford was a "public figure," and a 1989 trial threw out the lawsuit. The Kentucky Supreme Court, however, reversed the judge's ruling last April and ordered a retrial.


Pete Rose reported for duty at a school near his inner-city roots yesterday to begin court-ordered community service as a gym teacher's assistant.

The former Cincinnati Reds manager began his 1,000 hours of community service by helping students at Heberle Elementary School in gymnastics exercises. Baseball's career hit leader also talked to one class about baseball.

* Four days after he was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, Ferguson Jenkins' 31-year-old wife, Maryanne, died at an Oklahoma City hospital. Mrs. Jenkins died Saturday at Oklahoma Memorial Hospital from injuries sustained in a Dec. 9 automobile accident in Logan County, officials said. The funeral is planned for tomorrow.

Sullivan Award

Three repeat finalists -- speed skater Bonnie Blair, pentathlete Lori Norwood and wrestler John Smith -- are among the 10 candidates for the 1990 award.

The award, given to the nation's outstanding amateur athlete, is sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Union. The winner will be announced March 11.

The other finalists are swimmer Mike Barrowman of Potomac, basketball player Theresa Edwards, boxer Eric Griffin, Notre Dame football player Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, distance runner Lynn Jennings, figure skater Jill Trenary and skier Donna Weinbrecht.

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