Sorry, Joe, Bush rooting for Oilers
President Bush says he will be rooting for his adopted hometown team -- the Houston Oilers -- today against the Washington Redskins. Bush, who calls Houston home, phoned coach Jack Pardee Friday to wish the Oilers well in their game against Washington, a favorite among many politicians.
"He told me that, even though he thinks a lot of [Redskins coach] Joe Gibbs, he's pulling for the Oilers," said Pardee, a longtime friend of the president. Bush was in Houston and Dallas last week to attend two fund-raising dinners for his re-election campaign.
Later Friday, after stressing during interviews with several Houston television stations that he wants the Oilers to win the Super Bowl, Bush conceded he will "go back and take the flak in D.C. tomorrow. I may catch a little hell in Washington. But, look, this is my home, and that's who I'm for," he said.
The Chicago White Sox decided not to exercise their $2.28 million option on Carlton Fisk and will allow the 43-year-old catcher to become a free agent. The White Sox also decided to exercise their $800,000 option on pitcher Charlie Hough, 43. They could have given him a $100,000 buyout instead.
"We want Carlton Fisk to remain a member of this ballclub and we are working to sign him to a contract for the 1992 season," general manager Ron Schueler said. Fisk (.241, 18 homers, 74 RBI), whose option called for a $1.25 million base, increased it by $750,000 with performance bonuses for games and another $228,000 with attendance bonuses.
Goaltender Jon Casey rejected the Minnesota North Stars' four-year, $3.6 million salary offer and didn't show up in time to start last night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Casey, 29, was one of the heroes of last season's improbable drive to the Stanley Cup finals.
North Stars general manager Bob Clarke said Casey's brief holdout surprised him and said he thought Casey's agent, Ron Simon, had recommended that the goalie accept the offer.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Barry Foster said he will miss tonight's game against the Denver Broncos because of a nagging ankle injury. Foster's backup, Warren Williams, gained 26 yards on nine carries in the Steelers' loss to the Cleveland Browns last week, a game Foster also missed because of the injury. The Steelers gained only 75 yards in 23 attempts as a
team against the Browns.
Pete Sampras and Guy Forget advanced to today's final of the Paris Open and set up a possible preview of the Davis Cup final. Sampras came from behind to defeat Michael Chang, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, in an All-American semifinal before Forget of France beat Sweden's Jonas Svensson, 7-5, 6-4.
Sampras and Forget are almost sure to be picked up to represent their countries in the Davis Cup championship matches Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Lyon, France. The final also will be a rematch of their title match in the ATP Championship in August in Mason, Ohio. Forget won in what has been his biggest victory yet.
An NCAA investigator listened to taped conversations between former Auburn football player Eric Ramsey and assistant coaches, an NCAA official said. Ramsey has alleged that coaches and boosters gave him money and benefits not allowed by the NCAA, but NCAA director of enforcement Rich Hilliard declined to comment on the contents of the tapes or the investigation.
Field investigator William S. Saum heard tapes of Ramsey talking with former receivers coach Larry Blakeney, now-retired recruiting coordinator Frank Young and secondary coach Steve Dennis, The Birmingham News reported. Saum is handling the NCAA's preliminary investigation of Auburn.
Vikki Bernhardt of Towson State won the women's 5,000-meter East Coast Conference championship at UMBC in 19 minutes, 26 seconds. Buffalo won the team competition with 26 points, finishing ahead of Central Connecticut (62) and the Tigers (71).
Rider won the men's competition with 37 points, finishing ahead of second-place UMBC (48). Buffalo's Eric Niles won the 8,000-meter race in 26:07.
* Senior Laura Gomez-Henes completed the 5-kilometer cours in 16 minutes, 24 seconds, to win the Atlantic Coast Conference women's title and lead North Carolina State to the team title at Chapel Hill, N.C. In the men's competition, the Wolfpack placed five runners in the top 15 to top defending champion Wake Forest by nine points for the team title. Clemson junior Cormac Finnerty captured the individual title in 24:04.
The Maryland men and women's teams each finished eighth among nine teams.
The set of strict ethics rules proposed by interim U.S. Olympic Committee president William Hybl have been approved by the executive committee, and $100,000 was appropriated to implement the new regulations, Hybl said. The new rules, which will be voted on by the USOC Board of Directors today, were passed unanimously, Hybl said.