College basketball Drexler quits as coach at Houston...

Sports Digest

March 31, 2000

College basketball

Drexler quits as coach at Houston; Knight, AD had shouting match

Clyde Drexler ended a two-year stint as Houston's men's coach, returning to private life after an All-Star career as an NBA player.

Drexler said he made a difficult choice between basketball and parenting.

"It could not get any harder. You just can't do both," he said. "Because coaching is a challenge, it makes you want to come back. But if you do, you know you're going to be negligent in other areas.

"I don't want my kids to grow up and not have an active part in their upbringing, and that's what it comes down to," said Drexler, whose teams finished 10-17 and 9-22.

Drexler came to Houston in 1998, hoping to take the school back to the basketball prominence it enjoyed in the early 1980s when Drexler was a member of two of the famed Phi Slama Jama teams that went to the Final Four three straight years.

Indiana: Coach Bob Knight angrily ordered athletic director Clarence Doninger away from the team locker room after a recent loss, and a resulting shouting match became so confrontational that a friend stepped in to separate them.

The incident between Knight and Doninger after a loss last month to Ohio State ended without violence. But Doninger considered it serious enough to report it to top university administrators, the Indianapolis Star has learned.

Brad Bomba Sr., a team doctor and a longtime friend of Knight's, said in an interview that he got between Doninger and Knight to defuse the situation.

The incident was unusual, even by Knight standards: a public tirade against a top university official instead of the players and referees who have been his targets before.

Arizona: Saying he was torn in both directions, center Loren Woods announced that he would not leave school for the NBA and would return for his senior season. Woods led the Wildcats in scoring at 15.6 points a game and tied an NCAA record with 14 blocks against Oregon, but he missed the final seven games because of a compressed disc in his lower back, an injury that would have prevented him from participating in any full-scale tryouts for NBA teams.

Iowa State: Junior point guard Jamaal Tinsley, who led the team with 244 assists and 98 steals, said he will return to the school next season instead of entering the NBA draft.

DePaul: As expected, junior guard Paul McPherson announced that he will forgo his senior season and declare for the draft. He averaged 11.2 points.

NABC Roundball Classic: St. John's guard Bootsy Thornton (Dunbar) was among 12 college seniors selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for a game against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Boxing

Juarez, D.C.'s Vinson among 7 from U.S. to make Olympics

World champion Ricardo Juarez led a parade of seven U.S. boxers into the Olympics with semifinal victories at an Americas qualifying tournament in Tampa, Fla.

"There can't be any better feeling than, as of now, you're going to Sydney, Australia," Juarez, of Houston, said after battering Andres Ledesma of Colombia, 17-3, at 125 pounds. "I've been dreaming about it since I was a kid."

Also qualifying were Jose Navarro, 112, of Los Angeles; Clarence Vinson, 119, of Washington; Marshall Martinez, 132, of Fontana, Calif; Ricardo Williams, 139, of Cincinnati; Jermain Taylor, 156, of Little Rock, Ark.; and Jeff Lacy, 165, of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Vinson took a standing 8-count in the third round, then knocked down Carlos Mesa of Colombia in the fourth round en route to a 15-6 victory at 119 pounds.

Swimming

Baltimore's Phelps, 14, third in 200 butterfly at nationals

Michael Phelps, 14, of Baltimore finished third in the men's 200 butterfly at the national championships Wednesday in Federal Way, Wash. His time was 1 minute, 59.02 seconds.

Phelps dropped nearly 5.5 seconds off his personal best.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Peirsol of Irvine, Calif., won the 200 backstroke in 1: 57.03, breaking his national age-group record of 1: 59.77, set last summer.

Tennis

Kournikova, mom won't face charges in plane dispute

Tennis star Anna Kournikova and her mother won't be charged for their part in a dispute on a recent airline flight, the FBI said.

The incident occurred March 19 while Kournikova and her mother were on an American Airlines flight to Miami.

The crew told police that Kournikova refused to put her miniature Doberman pinscher in its carrying case, as Federal Aviation Administration rules require, and the pilot had to intervene. Police sent a report of the incident to the FBI, which determined that no further investigation was necessary, an FBI spokesman said.

Et cetera

Colombian cyclist Rincon freed after second abduction

Retired Colombian cycling hero Oliverio Rincon, abducted for the second time this year by leftist guerrillas, was freed after 24 hours, Bogota authorities said.

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