Maradona tells paper his pro career is overDiego Maradona...

Sports briefly

April 04, 1991

Maradona tells paper his pro career is over

Diego Maradona was quoted yesterday as saying he will not play professional soccer again, and Argentina's president said that he would not make a quick judgment on the fallen star's future.

A day after Maradona returned home to Argentina, officials in Europe and South America continued to debate what should happen to the 30-year-old forward, who faces a suspension of six months to two years because of cocaine use.

In a interview published in yesterday's Corriere della Sera, a daily newspaper in Milan, Italy, Maradona said his career was over.

"I had enough. I am tired of struggling. I am retiring for good," he said. The newspaper said Maradona made his remarks during an interview on his flight home.

Meanwhile, dozens of fans gathered near Maradona's house in Buenos Aires and chanted his name as they used to when he played in Argentina. Argentine President Carlos Menem, who named Maradona his sports ambassador last year, said he would not rush to judgment.

"Until there is a legal sentence, you have to presume his innocence," Menem said.

Pro basketball

Dallas Mavericks forward Roy Tarpley admits he violated the provisions of his drug treatment after-care program by drinking on the night of his arrest on charges of drunken driving, but denies he was intoxicated.

Tarpley, who has twice violated the National Basketball Association's anti-drug policy and is recuperating from a season-ending knee injury, also said that if he drinks again, he won't leave the house.


The Metro Conference, forced to expand because of the departure of four of its members for other leagues, announced the addition of North Carolina-Charlotte, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth. All three left the Sun Belt Conference, reducing it to four members and enhancing the possibility of a merger with the seven-member American South Conference. The National Collegiate Athletic Association stipulates that a conference must have a minimum of six members.

* The hiring of a former Syracuse University player as a graduate assistant has been added to the alleged improprieties the university is investigating in its basketball program, a school spokesman said.

Marty Byrnes, a star forward on coach Jim Boeheim's first teams at Syracuse in the late 1970s, held neither an undergraduate degree nor was enrolled in graduate school when he became a graduate assistant for the 1989-90 season, according to a report in yesterday's editions of The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard.

* Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson said he met late last night in Tulsa, Okla., at his hotel with University of Tulsa president Robert Donaldson and athletic director Rick Dickson, but said no contract package was offered.

"There was nothing presented for me to make any decisions on," Richardson said. "Hopefully, I'll know more or less tomorrow what I have to do."

Richardson said he wanted to make a decision quickly.


Four-time champion Bill Rodgers, along with two other highly regarded runners, Steve Jones of Wales and Sylvie Bornet of France, have dropped out of the April 15 Boston Marathon because of injuries. Rodgers, 43, the Boston winner in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980, has an inflammation of the muscle below the left arch, a meet official said yesterday. The injury kept Rodgers out of the New York City Marathon in November, a race he also won four times.

Pro football

Security was tightened at the drug trial of Minnesota Vikings kicker Donald Igwebuike in Tampa, Fla., just as testimony by the government's key witness turned to the player's alleged involvement in a smuggling attempt.

Ibezim Ofedu, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Igwebuike to bring heroin into Florida from Nigeria, had been on the stand for less than an hour when U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich ordered a recess.

Once court resumed, each person entering the courtroom was asked to show identification. U.S. marshals wrote down everyone's name, address and telephone number and also asked if they were spectators or reporters.

* The Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers will meet Aug. 3 at Olympic Stadium in Berlin for the second American Bowl game in Germany.

* Hugh Culverhouse, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, underwent surgery for a malignant lung tumor, a spokesman for the team said. Culverhouse is expected to remain under care at St. Joseph's Hospital for about a week. Tests so far indicate that the malignancy, a very small tumor, did not spread beyond the tissue removed -- an upper lobe on his right lung, doctors said.


Fifth-seeded Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria was upset by Federica Bonsignori of Italy in the second round of the Family Circle Magazine Cup in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Another seed, No. 12 Isabel Cueto of Brazil, was also ousted, falling to unseeded Halle Cioffi, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

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