Seton Hall player quits over flag controversy
Marco Lokar quit the Seton Hall basketball team and withdrew from school yesterday, citing harassment that resulted from his decision not to wear an American flag on his basketball uniform. Lokar said he plans to return to his native Italy.
Lokar said his pregnant wife was upset by threatening telephone calls they received. "I have received many threats," he said in a statement, "directed both toward me and my wife, Lara, so that our life has become very difficult here. In order to complete her pregnancy in tranquility and peace, we have decided to return to our hometown, Trieste."
Coach P.J. Carlesimo, whose team is one of many wearing the flags to show support for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf war, and athletic director Larry Keating expressed sorrow that the flag controversy prompted the sophomore guard to leave school, but said he would be welcome to return next year. The scholarship remains intact, they said. "From a Christian standpoint, I cannot support any war, with no exception for the Persian Gulf war," Lokar said.
The agent for Dwight Gooden notified the New York Mets what it will take to keep the pitcher away from free agency: "approximately the same" four-year, $21.561 million extension Roger Clemens gained from the Boston Red Sox. Gooden and his agent, Jim Neader, indicated the price tag comes with little room for negotiation.
* Richie Phillips, executive director of the Major League Umpires Association, said he fears a spring-training lockout of umpires by major-league owners despite contract negotiations that he described as on schedule.
Pam Shriver of Lutherville fell to top-seeded Martina Navratilova in the second round of the Virginia Slims of Chicago, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. Navratilova defeated Shriver for the 26th consecutive time to improve her record against Shriver to 36-3. They last played each other in last year's Chicago semifinal. No. 4 seed Jennifer Capriati also advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Tami Whitlinger, 6-4, 6-1.
* Andre Agassi, No. 4 in the world, was upset in the first round of the Donnay Indoor Championship in Brussels, Belgium, falling to German Christian Saceanu, ranked 153rd, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7). Boris Becker, playing to hold on to his No. 1 world ranking, beat Alexander Volkov, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The Twin 125-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway today could result in no day on the track Sunday for the Daytona 500. One poorly timed pit stop, one tactical error, one mishap can knock a driver out of the 500 -- or so far back in the grid that he has little chance. The third through 30th starting positions for Sunday will be determined today.
Last year, Ken Schrader won the pole position, but had to start the 500 in the last position after he wrecked his qualifying car in the Twin-125s. Drivers with subpar qualifying times do not have the luxury of being conservative. After the top 30 positions are decided today, the 10 next fastest cars will fill Sunday's field.
Superstar Diego Maradona's name came up in wiretapped phone conversations between suspected drug dealers, a Naples, Italy, prosecutor said.
"There appeared to have been, on the part of Napoli player Diego Armando Maradona, a request for 'stuff,' not better specified, and for women [who are] under investigation," prosecutor Vittorio Sbordone said. Police Major Vittorio Tomasone also was quoted as saying that there was other evidence to indicate that Maradona had contact with members of a drug-trafficking ring.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association denied Robert Morris College's appeal of penalties against its men's basketball program, a move that upheld the Colonials' ban from the upcoming Northeast Conference tournament. Robert Morris spokesman Bill Backa said the college was considering taking legal action to challenge Tuesday's decision, but didn't specify what steps were under consideration.
Kelly Ann Szmurlo won the first senior compulsory figures gold ever awarded in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis. Szmurlo, 22, of Franklin, Wis., competed in four senior nationals, quit last year and came back when figures became a separate event, held only in this competition.
Bits and pieces
Parkville Recreation and Parks Council lacrosse registration for boys and girls 6 to 14 will be held Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.-8 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 10 a.m.-noon at Parkville Middle School. . . . The South Atlantic Boxing Federation East Coast Region 2 Boxing Championships will be held at the Naval Station in Annapolis tomorrow (8 p.m.), Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.). Tickets are $4 per session and $10 for the tournament for adults and $1 and $2 for those 17 and under. . . . The Baltimore Men's Senior Baseball League, comprised of a junior league for players 23-29 and a senior league for players 30 and over, is organizing its 1991 schedule. Those interested in forming their own teams and others interested in playing for a team should call Gary Bishop at 668-0620.