Sports Digest

SPORTS DIGEST

October 28, 2005

Eagles' Christian-themed talk draws criticism in Delaware

The principal of a public high school in Newark, Del., apologized to parents for allowing a Christian-themed assembly that featured two Philadelphia Eagles players, saying he was misled about what the presentation would cover.

Principal Emmanuel Caulk of Newark High School wrote in a letter that he expected the talk by players Tra Thomas and Thomas Tapeh to focus on "values, choices and challenges that adolescents face in today's society."

He said promotional material used the name "Tra Thomas Promotional Tour," and he did not know Thomas was founder and spokesman for Athletes United for Christ.

A projection of that organization's logo was shown throughout Tuesday's assembly, and the athletes urged students to attend an upcoming rally and concert at a Philadelphia-area Christian center.

Some students and parents complained.

"As a parent of a child in a public school, I am uncomfortable with the fact that an evangelical organization can come into a public assembly that is a promotional event for an evangelical Christian concert," Becky Ashley told The News Journal of Wilmington.

Thomas said he assumed everyone knew his promotional tour was connected to his organization, but he has heard similar complaints after speaking at other public schools.

"What we're trying to do is to help the kids make better decisions in life. I guess I understand," why some people objected, he said, "because you have other religions there. But we're not preaching to the kids."

Pro football

Broncos' Carswell critical after crash

Broncos offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell was in critical but stable condition with an excellent prognosis after he was involved in a crash that ripped the driver's side door off his car while on his way to team headquarters. The 12-year veteran fractured multiple ribs, ruptured his diaphragm and spleen and sustained internal injuries. He was in intensive care at a suburban Denver hospital after a five-hour operation to remove his spleen and repair internal organ damage. Coach Mike Shanahan said the operation "went as well as it could possibly go."

Colleges

NCAA wants to start incentive fund

The NCAA wants to reward academic achievement with money. The committee on academic performance recommended establishing a $10 million annual incentive fund that would reward schools with teams that consistently excel or demonstrate significant improvement in the classroom.

Olympics

Women's boxing rejected by IOC

The IOC rejected women's boxing and approved open-water swimming and women's steeplechase for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The International Olympic Committee executive board ratified the recommendations of its program commission for events and disciplines within the 28 existing sports in the Summer Games. Also approved were increases in women's teams in soccer, field hockey and handball from 10 to 12 and the replacement of doubles with team events in table tennis.

Track -- Sprinter Jerome Young was formally stripped of his gold medal from the 2000 Olympics for a positive doping test. The International Olympic Committee also reinstated Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle's bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Games.

Skiing -- Bode Miller will be asked by the IOC athletes' commission why he favors liberalizing anti-doping rules in sports. Miller, who last year became the first American male in 22 years to win the overall World Cup ski title, has argued in favor of liberalizing doping - angering coaches, officials, skiers and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Pro basketball

Magic's Hill out with sports hernia

All-Star forward Grant Hill was expected to miss three to six weeks after he has surgery for a sports hernia. Hill, the Orlando Magic's second-leading scorer last season, saw several specialists after he was pulled from the lineup Oct. 19.

Wizards -- The team exercised a fourth-year option on swingman Jarvis Hayes, keeping him under contract through the 2006-07 season.

Baseball

Schmuck is named BBWAA president

Peter Schmuck of The Sun was elected president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland was elected vice president. Jack O'Connell was re-elected BBWAA secretary-treasurer. Appointed to the board of directors were Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, outgoing president T.R. Sullivan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Et cetera

Martin to drive for Roush in 2006

Any chance Mark Martin had of retiring this year from the Nextel Cup series ended when Roush Racing said he will drive in 2006. Martin had accepted that he'd probably have to race next season, but had held out faint hope that Roush could find a suitable replacement for him in the No. 6 Ford.

Lacrosse -- Sue Heether, who played on three World Cup championship teams and was an All-America goalie at Loyola, was named head coach of the U.S. women's team. A goalie on U.S. teams that won World Cup titles in 1993, 1997 and 2001, Heether replaces Sue Stahl, who retired after 17 years as head coach. Stahl led the U.S. to four world titles as well as a runner-up finish this summer.

High school soccer -- The River Hill boys team was declared Howard County champion for a sixth time with math figuring in as much as the games played or not in the regular season's final week. With River Hill's game at Glenelg on Tuesday canceled because of poor field conditions, the No. 4 Hawks finished the county schedule with an 8-1 mark that gave them an .889 winning percentage, which is the first criterion used in declaring champions.

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