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CELTICS' PARQUET FLOOR: Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach can't remember who first suggested bringing along the parquet floor when the team moves to its new arena.

But he remembers that it wasn't discussed for long.

"That floor is the most famous basketball floor in the world -- the Boston Garden Parquet," Auerbach said Thursday, when the floor was assembled on the FleetCenter deck for the first time.

"A lot of teams have copied the parquet floor. Well, we were the first. There's no way we would play without that floor."

The World War II-era court of oak and red pine that has supported the team through 16 NBA titles was brought to the new building in its 256 constituent pieces and assembled in a few hours.

COLEMAN WANTS OUT: Derrick Coleman wants to leave the New Jersey Nets as soon as the NBA lockout ends.

The New York Times reported the star forward will ask his agent to pursue a trade because he is not satisfied with the direction of the team and cannot be persuaded to stay.

Coleman, 28, averaged 20.5 points and 10.6 rebounds last season. He has four years remaining on a contract that pays him an average of $7.5 million per season.

NCAA EYEING AGGIES: The NCAA has notified New Mexico State officials of "specific alleged violations" that could warrant penalties for the men's basketball program.

In a letter dated Sept. 5, NCAA Assistant Executive Director David Berst -- who oversees enforcement and eligibility -- said an investigation into the New Mexico State program was almost complete.


SANDERS APPEARANCE: Deion Sanders, Dallas' newest Cowboy, made a brief appearance at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters before going to a local hospital to have his injured left ankle examined.

Sanders underwent an MRI test at Baylor University Medical Center. Results were not immediately available.

Sanders said he needs arthroscopic surgery on the ankle following the baseball season. The Cowboys are leaning against the operation.

Also, in a radio interview, he downplayed reports that he's considering giving up baseball.

WHITE STILL MUM: When Oakland Raiders coach Mike White still wouldn't take questions from reporters, they declined his offer of another monologue.

On Wednesday, White refused to answer questions, instead speaking to reporters for 12 minutes. The silent stance this week possibly is because of probable questions about Art Shell, the Chiefs' offensive line coach and the man White succeeded as Raiders coach during the offseason.

Also, Mike Silver, the Sports Illustrated writer banned from the Raiders' facility earlier in the week, was allowed to return. The Raiders, quite possibly under pressure from the NFL, lifted the ban.

BOSELLI BACK: Tony Boselli, the rookie offensive tackle who missed the Jacksonville Jaguars' entire preseason and first two games with an injured left knee, has resumed practicing full-time and should play Sept. 24 against Green Bay.

Boselli was the second overall selection in April's draft out of USC.

TOMEY TO MISS GAME: Arizona coach Dick Tomey will miss Saturday's game at Illinois to attend the funeral of Wildcats senior tight end Damon Terrell, who died last week.

Terrell, 21, died Sept. 7 after a four-week hospitalization. He collapsed Aug. 10 during preseason conditioning and his damaged spleen was removed the next day.

BOISE ST. CRACKDOWN: Athletes who get into trouble with the law will face immediate punishment, the president of Boise State University said.

Charles Ruch issued a new policy Thursday for student-athletes after disclosures that since 1992, 17 football players were charged with crimes ranging from battery to alcohol-related offenses.

The new policy requires every student competing on a Boise State team to disclose any criminal history by next Friday. Students accused of crimes must notify their coach within 48 hours, and coaches must file a report with the athletic director on reference checks on athletes they are recruiting.


NO PROGRESS: Exactly one year after the World Series was canceled for the first time since 1904, baseball owners emerged from three days of meetings with no clear ideas on how to get a labor deal before the 1996 season is threatened.

Acting commissioner Bud Selig and negotiating committee chairman John Harrington both expressed optimism, but couldn't point to any event that would push players and owners toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

NEW JERSEY STADIUM: New Jersey has drafted a proposal to build a 50,000-seat baseball stadium in the Meadowlands sports complex for the New York Yankees, The New York Times reported today.

SIERRA WANTS MORE P.T.: Unhappy with his playing time, Ruben Sierra had his agent call New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter to discuss the matter. And that, it turned out, caused even more trouble.

Showalter was in his office at Camden Yards before the Yankees played Baltimore when the phone call came from agent Jose Masso. Showalter ended up slamming down the phone in front of reporters, his face turning red.

Showalter said the agent should have called general manager Gene Michael if they have a problem.


DEVILS' DEADLINE: The New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority agreed to extend the deadline for 30 days to reach an agreement that would keep the team from moving.

SEMAK TRADED: The New York Islanders acquired center Alexander Semak from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 1997 fifth-round draft choice.

Semak's best season was 1992-93 with the New Jersey Devils when he had 37 goals and 42 assists.

The Islanders also signed two defenseman -- Dennis Vaske and Jason Holland.

Prep sports

NEW HIGHLAND COACH: Highland High School has named Bob Durham as its new girls basketball coach. Durham has been an assistant boys basketball coach for nine years and helped the Rams to two state titles during that time.

Durham replaces Karen Bowns who is taking a sabbatical from coaching this year. "We're excited to have someone with the experience of Bob Durham coaching the girls," said Highland Chuck Shackett.

HILLCREST HONOREE: Misty Lundberg, a senior at Hillcrest High School, has been named a national All-American by the National Softball Coaches Association. Lundberg was selected to the second team after being a West Region first-team selection earlier this year.

The outfielder recorded a .424 batting average last season with six doubles, five triples, three homeruns and 31 stolen bases in leading Hillcrest to a second-place finish in the 5A state tournament.

Sixteen players were selected to both the first and second teams.