College basketball Howard's Saulny loses job after...

Sports Digest

January 08, 2000

College basketball

Howard's Saulny loses job after probe showing violations

Kirk Saulny was fired yesterday as men's basketball coach by Howard University after an investigation determined he had broken NCAA and school rules.

Robert Frelow, a university spokesman, said two unnamed assistants also were fired. According to a university statement, two players also were declared ineligible for the spring semester as a result of the investigation.

Saulny, 40, who went to Howard in June 1998 after four seasons on the staff at North Carolina-Wilmington, was 0-9 in his second season with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school after going 2-25 last season.

Rutgers: The school asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against coach Kevin Bannon over a nude practice, calling the suit "an overt publicity stunt." Former players Earl Johnson and Josh Sankes and former team manager Juan Pla sued Bannon and the university on Nov. 30 for violating their civil rights during a Dec. 27, 1997, foul-shooting contest in which an article of clothing was removed for every missed shot. According to legal documents, Bannon said Johnson intentionally missed free throws so he would run nude. Two assistant coaches, meanwhile, say Johnson's father, Earl Sr., threatened to go public about the nude contest if his son didn't receive more playing time.

Superior-Wisconsin women: The university postponed two games after one player was killed and another critically injured in an auto crash on their way to the funeral of the father of a third. Calah A. Matthias, 20, died Thursday, hours after scoring a career-high 18 points. Matthias was driving a car that skidded on slush and ice and crashed into a semitrailer truck. Teammate Jessica Reed, 22, is in critical condition at St. Luke's Regional Trauma Center in Duluth, Minn.


Substitute U.S. women's team rolls in Australia Cup opener

Even without its top players, the U.S. women's team had no problem with the Czech Republic.

In the Americans' first game since their World Cup stars began a boycott over wages, they routed the Czech Republic, 8-1, in the opener of the four-nation Australia Cup in Melbourne.

Jenny Mascaro and Sherrill Kester scored twice each for the Americans, who used a roster of mostly college stars after their well-known players said they wouldn't appear unless the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to higher salaries.

The 18 women on the U.S. roster had combined for just one previous international goal. Defender Thori Staples Bryan (Joppatowne, North Carolina State), trying to regain a place on the national team, was the most experienced starter for the United States; she played the first half.

Maradona: Former Argentine star Diego Maradona, who tested positive for cocaine after he was hospitalized this week in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, has a serious heart condition, Dr. Frank Torres said. Torres said he had consulted with Maradona's personal physician, who said the condition had not been detected in previous checkups.

Auto racing

Schmidt upgraded to serious;

Newman crashes at Daytona

Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt was upgraded from critical to serious condition after spinal surgery but remained paralyzed 24 hours after breaking his neck during a testing session.

Dr. Henry Bock, the IRL's director of medical services, said it's too early to determine whether the paralysis is temporary or permanent. The 35-year-old driver from Las Vegas underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae on Thursday night at Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center.

Doctors placed pins in Schmidt's upper spine to fuse the damaged vertebra and relieve pressure.

Newman crash: Actor Paul Newman bruised his ribs after his race car crashed into a tire barrier at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Newman, 74, who plans to run the Daytona 24-hour race next month, was treated at Hallifax Medical Center for bruised ribs on the upper left side of his chest.


PGA veteran Acton dead of cancer at the age of 54

Rick Acton, a 27-year member of the PGA, died of liver cancer in Redmond, Wash. He was 54.

Acton, head pro at Sahalee Country Club from 1984 to 1996, was an 11-time Hudson Cup Team member and played in nine PGA championships and four U.S. Open championships. He had three top-five finishes on the PGA Tour.

Playing on the Senior Tour in 1996-97, he earned $692,128.

The quiz

Looking back at 2,000

There have been 366 Division I men's basketball players to score at least 2,000 points. Name the first: Hint: He attended college in Maryland. (Answer, 5C)

Quiz answer

Baltimore's Jim Lacy, who finished his career at Loyola College in 1949, with 2,154 points.

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