Blockbuster Bowl seeking ACC tie-in
The Blockbuster Bowl will be courting the Atlantic Coast Conference for a possible conference champion tie-in when the ACC holds its annual winter meetings next week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The conference has one year remaining on its four-year agreement with the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The Citrus Bowl, played Jan. 1, expects to pay out about $1.35 million per team. The Blockbuster Bowl, which played its first game Dec. 28, and expected to pay out about $1.3 million per team, hopes to move from syndication to national television, possibly on New Year's Eve.
"We've heard from a number of people," said Tom Mickle, an assistant ACC commissioner. "We've heard from the Blockbuster and the Fiesta, and we're going to listen to what the Citrus has to say."
The ACC had a 3-1-1 record in bowl games last season and will be joined in future seasons by Florida State.
"We still like the idea of being open," Blockbuster Bowl president Richard Giannini said. "We like the Southeastern Conference very much. We like the ACC very much. We like the University of Miami."
* Quarterback David Klingler, who set or tied 33 National Collegiate Athletic Association records last season, said he will return for his senior year at Houston instead of entering the National Football League draft.
Today is the NFL-imposed deadline for underclassmen to declare their intention to enter the April 21 draft.
* Though it seems certain that Southern Cal quarterback Todd Marinovich will enter the draft before today's deadline, a news conference reportedly scheduled for yesterday didn't take place. The man who reportedly will handle his contract negotiations, Mike Barnett, told Southern Cal sports information director Tim Tessalone that no such arrangement had been completed.
* Buddy Ryan proclaimed himself a strong candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coaching job after a 2 1/2 -hour meeting with owner Hugh Culverhouse. "[Tampa Bay] is really the job I'd like to have, because I think I can turn this thing around in a New York minute," Ryan said. Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach Gary Stevens also interviewed with the Bucs.
New York Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick, scheduled to meet today for the Buccaneers job, interviewed for the Cleveland Browns job. Cleveland also has interviewed former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur and Los Angeles Raiders assistant Mike White. Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bill Cowher is expected to interview today.
* The Philadelphia Daily News reported that the Atlanta Falcons have offered the New England Patriots the No. 3 and No. 13 picks in the first round for the first selection in the draft, which they would use to take Notre Dame wide receiver Raghib "Rocket" Ismail.
Denver Nuggets coach Paul Westhead filed a $1 million defamation suit against an attorney for the family of Hank Gathers, who died of a heart disorder while playing for Westhead on March 4 at Loyola Marymount. The lawsuit, filed against Bruce G. Fagel in Philadelphia, claims Fagel has made false allegations about Westhead's connection to Gathers' death, including "that if it were not for Paul Westhead, Hank Gathers would be alive today."
* Philadelphia 76ers forward Charles Barkley, who before yesterday had said a stress fracture in his left ankle would keep him from playing until at least Feb. 12, revised his status by saying he might play tonight.
Heavyweight Tony Tucker, 32, who scored a first-round victory in Inglewood, Calif., on Monday night, tested positive for marijuana in his post-fight drug test, the state athletic commission said. Tucker (39-1), the International Boxing Federation champion until 1987, stopped Lionel Washington in 1 minute, 11 seconds. If Tucker's backup sample also tests positive, he must appear at the March 15 commission meeting, where he could face a continued suspension and a fine.
The Baltimore Boars Rugby Club will hold its first practice tomorrow at noon at Lake Clifton-Eastern High School. Anyone interested in playing is encouraged to attend. Call Ken Davis at 252-7950 or Randy Smith at 576-1626.