Fraschilla, St. John's reach agreement on coach's departure

Sports Digest

May 14, 1998

College basketball

Just two months after leading St. John's to its first NCAA tournament berth since 1993, Fran Fraschilla and the Red Storm have parted ways.

St. John's said yesterday that it had reached an agreement with the coach to end their relationship because of "fundamental differences over the management of the basketball program." The school did not give specifics, but said the decision had nothing to do with any unlawful conduct, violations of NCAA regulations or financial improprieties.

Fraschilla, 39, had two years left on the contract he signed with St. John's when he was appointed coach for the 1996-97 season.

There had been speculation that St. John's was upset with Fraschilla for his interest in the coaching job at Arizona State while he was trying to negotiate a contract extension at St. John's.

Athletic director Edward J. Manetta Jr. said Ron Rutledge, an assistant at St. John's for the past 19 seasons, was appointed as acting administrator of the program until a replacement is found and that the search would begin immediately.

Coppin State: Jennie Hall will remain as interim women's coach for the 1998-99 season, athletic director Fang Mitchell said. Hall was an assistant to Britt King for one season before King resigned Monday to become coach at Fresno State.

South Carolina State: Men's coach Cy Alexander, who interviewed for vacancies at Southern Illinois and Howard, will sign a new contract and stay with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school. Former heavyweight champions George Foreman, 49, and Larry Holmes, 48, have signed contracts for a bout to be held between Oct. 3 and Jan. 10 in Houston, Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas or New York.

The purses reportedly will be $10 million for Foreman, $4 million for Holmes.

Foreman (76-5, 68 KOs) last fought Nov. 22, losing a controversial decision to Shannon Briggs. Holmes (66-6, 42 KOs) won a controversial decision over Maurice Harris in his last bout July 29.

Philadelphia card: Middleweight David Reid (9-0) and former welterweight and junior middleweight champion Simon Brown (47-7) of Mount Airy will meet June 27 in the main event of the first fight show held at the Apollo of Temple. In addition, Shane Mosley will defend his IBF lightweight title against Ivan Robinson.

Soccer

Shannon Cirovski named to coach Under-18 girls

Shannon Higgins Cirovski, who has headed the girls Olympic Development Program in Maryland for four years, was named by the U.S. Soccer Federation to coach a new Under-18 girls national team.

Cirovski, a former national team star who is married to University of Maryland men's coach Sasho Cirovski, is quitting after seven years as coach of George Washington's women's team to take the new, full-time position, which means she will be an assistant coach, too, on other national women's teams.

Her appointment gives Maryland two coaches of American national youth teams. Ellicott City's John Ellinger coaches the American Under-17 boys team.

World Cup: Defender Thomas Dooley, at 37 the oldest player on the U.S. team, will be the American captain at this summer's tournament in France. Dooley replaces John Harkes, who was cut from the team last month by coach Steve Sampson.

Europe: Gianfranco Zola scored 18 seconds after entering the game late in the second half, and Chelsea beat Vfb Stuttgart, 1-0, to win the European Cup Winners Cup in Stockholm, Sweden.

Et cetera

Sampras wins in Italian, sets up match with Chang

Top seed Pete Sampras had some trouble but posted a straight-sets victory over Magnus Norman to advance to the third round of the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome.

Sampras needed a 10-8 tiebreaker win to claim the first set, 7-6, and closed out Norman 6-4 in the second to set up a third-round match with Michael Chang, the 15th seed. Chang was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over Arnaud Clement.

More tennis: Martina Hingis, the world's No. 1 women's player and unbeaten on clay this year, blew past Silvia Farina of Italy, 6-0, 7-5, to reach the third round of the German Open in Berlin. Sixth seed Mary Pierce was forced to withdraw with a strained left thigh while trailing Barbara Paulus 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 1-3, but the injury is not expected to sideline Pierce from the French Open, which begins in two weeks.

Golf: Defending champion Bernhard Langer pulled out of the Benson and Hedges International in Oxford, England, because of a neck injury. He returned to his native Germany for treatment by a specialist.

Obituary: Former Alabama State basketball coach James Oliver died in Montgomery, Ala., after a long battle with kidney problems. He was 54. Oliver coached the Hornets from 1978 to 1995, compiling a 291-191 record.

College baseball: Sophomore Michael Steller (McDonogh) pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out four and walking one, as George Mason defeated North Carolina-Wilmington, 5-0, in the second round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in Kinston, N.C.

High school basketball: Edgewood High guard Keith Winder has signed with Brevard College in North Carolina.

Baseball camp: The Cal Ripken Sr. Baseball School will hold two one-week sessions at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg starting June 26 and July 3 for players ages 8 to 18. The school offers instruction in all phases of the game by professional, college and high school coaches. Call 410-272-7443 days or 301-791-3512 or 301-447-6371 nights.

The quiz

Kingpins

Mike Aulby earned his 26th PBA title on Saturday. He is tied with Dick Weber, Don Johnson and Walter Ray Williams for the third most titles in PBA Tour history. Who won 41? Who won 34? (Answer, 12D)

Quiz answer

Earl Anthony (41) and Mark Roth (34).

From staff and wire reports

Pub Date: 5/14/98

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