Hornets replace Littles with Bristow
Gene Littles was replaced as coach of the NBA Charlotte Hornets by vice president and player personnel director Allan Bristow in a major front-office shake-up yesterday.
Littles will become a vice president and special assistant to club president Spencer Stolpen. Dave Twardzik, formerly director of scouting for the Hornets, becomes player personnel director in place of Bristow.
Bristow, 41, who was an assistant to former Denver Nuggets coach Doug Moe for six seasons, has no head coaching experience in the NBA. He becomes the third coach for the Hornets, who began play in 1988.
Littles, 48, who replaced Dick Harter in the middle of the 1989-90 season, posted a 37-87 record as coach. Last year, the team won a club-high 26 games under him.
Three former St. John's University lacrosse players who had been accused of a sexual attack were acquitted of all charges.
Walter Gabrinowitz, 23, Andrew Draghi, 22, and Matthew Grandinetti, 22, were accused of plying the woman with liquor and then forcing her to perform sex acts as she faded in and out of consciousness at a party in March 1990.
* Two former Southern Cal football players and another man pleaded guilty to lesser charges and were sentenced to 15 years prison for a series of robberies and beatings last April.
The players, Howard McCowan, 19, of Carson, Calif., and Marcel Brown, 20, of San Diego, were redshirt freshmen last year and expected to play pivotal roles in USC's football program. Brown's childhood friend, Garylan Coleman, 19, of San Diego also was sentenced.
The plea bargains were accepted shortly before the jury trial was to begin in Santa Monica Municipal Court. In most of the attacks, the victims' automatic-teller machine cards were taken.
Steffi Graf and Jennifer Capriati helped propel their countries into the second round of the Federation Cup tennis tournament, and then took time to criticize absent top-ranked Monica Seles for playing in a lucrative exhibition tournament in New Jersey last week after deciding to withdraw from the Federation Cup.
"You just can't do it. There are a few things that aren't quite right about it," said Graf. "I don't know what kind of injuries she's got, but it is not possible to let her play an exhibition event if she says she can't play the week after."
Capriati, who beat Seles in the final of the Pathmark Classic exhibition tournament Sunday, said: "She looked fine to me. If she was hurting, she shouldn't have played."
Meanwhile, in Federation Cup play in rainy Nottingham, England, Capriati and Texan Zina Garrison claimed a first-round victory over the Netherlands. Graf and her third-seeded German teammates cruised to a 3-0 win over Greece.
* Defending champion Michael Chang and U.S. Open titlist Pete Sampras both lost their opening matches at the $1.2 million Canadian Open in Montreal.
Chang lost to little-known Italian Stefano Pescosolido, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-3, while Sampras, the fourth seed, fell to Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8).
Patrick McEnroe and Jimmy Arias moved into the third round. McEnroe beat fellow American Todd Witsken, 6-1, 6-1, while Arias had seven match points before defeating Canadian Grant Connell, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (13-11).
The Boston Bruins filed tampering charges with the NHL against St. Louis over the Blues' signing of right wing Dave Christian to an offer sheet worth $1.5 million over three years.
According to the NHL office, Christian is not on its list of free agents. But in Christian's opinion, he is a Type III free agent, which means the Bruins could match the offer and retain him or get compensation from the Blues.
World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Ray Mercer will not fight Aug. 9 as scheduled because he aggravated an ankle injury, his manager announced. Mercer originally had been scheduled to fight Bruce Seldon, but before he withdrew, it was announced that he would fight unbeaten contender Riddick Bowe.
Bowe stopped Phil Brown in the third round of a fight last night.
Manager Marc Roberts said Mercer would gladly fight Bowe in what would be a bout between two top heavyweight contenders, who were Olympic teammates in 1988.
* The divorce of heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and ** his estranged wife, Paulette, is official.
The terms of the new agreement are confidential but reportedly factor in the boxer's future earnings. It also calls for the Holyfields to share joint custody of their three children.
* George Foreman will fight Boone Pultz on Sept. 7 in Nassau, The Bahamas, in his first bout since his unsuccessful bid for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
Track and field
Merlene Ottey, Tony Dees and Jose Luis Barbosa recorded the best times in the world this year at an international track meet in Vigo, Spain.
Dees edged fellow American Greg Foster to win the 110-meter hurdles in 13.05 seconds. Ottey won the women's 100-meter race in 10.79 seconds, and Barbosa won the 800 meters in 1 minute, 43.87 seconds.
Rich Daly, an assistant basketball coach at Missouri, charged with unethical conduct because he was unable to recall a recruiting trip to Detroit, was cleared by an NCAA committee after the committee discovered that Missouri coach Norm Stewart's name -- not Daly's -- was on a flight log in question.
Daly resigned after the NCAA made its original ruling last month but Stewart has indicated he would reinstate Daly if he was cleared by the NCAA.
Bobby Phillips of Baltimore won the Masters division in the 40-mile criterium competition at the U.S. Cycling championships San Diego on Sunday.