Pro football XFL's Week 7 rating is lowest in history...

SPORTS DIGEST

March 21, 2001

Pro football

XFL's Week 7 rating is lowest in history for a `Big 3' network

The XFL has hit a new low for prime-time programming.

The national rating for the league's Week 7 broadcast on joint owner NBC was a 1.6, which is believed to be the lowest prime-time night among the big three networks in Nielsen Media Research history.

It's also well below the worst previous evening sports broadcast on NBC, ABC or CBS. That dubious distinction had been held by Game 3 of last season's Stanley Cup Finals, which drew a 2.3 on ABC.

Ratings are the percentage of U.S. television homes tuning in.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Running back Lawrence Phillips, who signed with the Florida Bobcats on March 13, left the team over the weekend without telling anyone.

Swimming

Third in Div. III, Hopkins gets 8 All-America berths

The Johns Hopkins men's swimming team finished with six individual All-Americans and two All-American relay teams on the final day, as the Blue Jays finished third in the final team standings at the NCAA Division III championships Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.

Sophomore Scott Armstrong placed second in the 1,650-yard free (15:33.61), swam the third leg of the second-place 800 free relay (6:47.83) and the anchor leg of Hopkins' sixth-place 400 free relay (3:07.46). Sophomore Justin Brannock swam the first leg of the 800 free relay and the 400 free relay and added a fourth-place finish in the 100 free (45.83) Sophomore Dave Lofthus placed seventh in the 200 back (1:52.42) and also swam the second leg of the 400 free relay.

Other Blue Jays who earned All-America honors on the final day included senior Kamal Masud, freshman Oliver Buccicone, freshman Scott Pitz, senior Will Freund and freshman Kyle Robinson.

Soccer

U.S. wins, secures berth in FIFA World Youth event

The United States assured itself a spot in this year's FIFA World Youth Championship for players under 20, routing host Trinidad and Tobago, 5-1, in Tunapuna.

U.S. MEN: Joe-Max Moore, who hasn't played in nearly a month because of an injured calf, was dropped from the U.S. roster for the World Cup qualifier at Honduras on March 28.

Et cetera

Sentinel wants to reopen Earnhardt photo mediation

The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel will seek changes to a legal settlement giving the newspaper limited access to autopsy photos of stock-car legend Dale Earnhardt, but the lawyer for the racer's widow said he's not interested.

A disclosure Monday that some of the photos were shown to a doctor who serves as a medical expert for the NASCAR racing organization raised questions of why the newspaper's access to these public records should be restricted, Sentinel lawyer David Bralow said.

"We think we should have been told that NASCAR's expert has seen these photos," Bralow said. "The omission of that information concerns us, and we're looking forward to the opportunity of going back into the mediation process to address these concerns."

STADIUMS: Bowie-based Global Stadium Services is providing its expertise in field renovations to Major League Baseball for the international opener between the Rangers and Blue Jays on April 1 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Purchased by Comcast Spectacor during the acquisition of the Bowie Baysox, Frederick Keys and Delmarva Shorebirds, the organization has also worked with facilities in Venezuela and Mexico during major-league exhibitions this spring. It has supervised the upgrading of dugouts, batting cages and other equipment to meet qualifications.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Annett Davis and Jennifer Johnson Jordan, who formed the top-seeded U.S. women's team at the Sydney Olympics, are both pregnant and will miss the 2001 season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: New Mexico State (9-3 last season) will play Louisville (3-8) in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge Football Classic on Aug. 23 in Louisville, Ky., in what would be the first game of the season.

BASEBALL: Thom Loverro, author of "Home of the Game: The Story of Camden Yards," will be at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Orioles Museum 1 to 3 p.m. March 31 to sign copies of his book.

The quiz

Illinois' Bill Self can become the third former Tulsa coach to win the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Name the two who have done it. (Answer, 10d)

Quiz answer

Nolan Richardson (Arkansas) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky). From staff and wire reports

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