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Sports briefs

Football

PHILLIPS PLEADS INNOCENT: In Omaha, Neb., St. Louis Rams running back Lawrence Phillips pleaded innocent to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a party last month at an Omaha hotel that police said got out of hand.

Phillips, 21, was scheduled to be in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine if a 1996 incident in California violated his Nebraska probation. He was placed on probation for a 1995 assault on his former girlfriend in Lincoln.

Phillips was accused of drunken driving in California before his Nebraska probation was completed. He pleaded no contest to the California charge and was placed on three years probation in that state.

USU PLAYER ARRESTED: A Utah State football player has been arrested after a police officer was struck in the face while breaking up a fight outside a fraternity house.

The incident occurred just after midnight Saturday when police responded to reports of a fight at the Phi Kappa Alpha house.

Officer Tyson Budge said he was struck in the nose.

Jordan Bauerle, 19, a freshman offensive lineman from Las Vegas, Nev., was booked into the Cache County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault on a police officer and two other men, and illegal possession of alcohol.

Basketball

OHIO ST. FIRINGS: Ohio State made sweeping changes in its programs, firing coaches Randy Ayers and Nancy Darsch after they failed to finish in the top half of the Big Ten for the fourth year in a row.

The men's team is coming off consecutive 10-17 seasons, including 5-13 in the Big Ten this season. The women finished 12-16 overall and 3-13 in conference play. Ayers and Darsch each had two years left on their contracts.

SETON HALL CHANGES: George Blaney was fired as Seton Hall's coach and athletic director Larry Keating resigned, less than a week after the team finished its second straight losing season. Blaney was 38-48 in three seasons at Seton Hall, including a 19-35 Big East mark.

HARRICK, UCLA SETTLE: Jim Harrick, fired as UCLA coach for lying about an expense report, has accepted the school's offer to settle the remaining four years of his contract and will not sue, athletic director Peter Dalis said.

Harrick will apparently receive his $140,000 base salary for the 1996-97 season as stipulated in his contract in the event of firing, but not the rest of his compensation package, about $440,000 per year.

BROWN SERVICE: Teammates, relatives and fans gathered for an emotional funeral service in Indianapolis for former Indiana Pacers forward Roger Brown, who helped lead the team to three ABA championships. About 1,000 people attended the service at Market Square Arena for Brown, who died of cancer March 4.

Baseball

AWARD FOR TUTU: Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu was given an award for humanitarianism during the annual Jackie Robinson Foundation dinner, which this year celebrated the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking major league baseball's color barrier.

The dinner was attended by Boston Red Sox star Mo Vaughn, who took time off from spring training, basketball player David Robinson, film director Spike Lee, track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee and several former baseball players, including Yogi Berra, Joe Morgan and Ralph Branca.

NIKE SPEAKS: Saying baseball "screwed up" by allowing the New York Yankees to make their own deal with adidas, Nike chairman Phil Knight said his company will not rush out to sign teams.

The Yankees and adidas last week agreed to a sponsorship contract worth about $95 million over 10 years. The move came four months after baseball owners rejected 10-year, league-wide agreements with Nike and Reebok.

HEART OK: A first round of tests Monday on Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jason Schmidt showed no abnormalities with his heart.

Schmidt left the team's spring camp in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday after a routine examination and heart monitor readings revealed an irregular heartbeat. He was scheduled to undergo more tests today.

Schmidt, 24, was acquired in a trade from Atlanta on Aug. 30.

Tennis

NEWSWEEK CUP: In Indian Wells, Calif., Spain's Francisco Clavet beat two-time champion Jim Courier 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Newsweek Cup.

Australia's Sandon Stolle also advanced, beating Spain's Felix Mantilla 0-6, 6-3, 6-3. In the third round of the women's Evert Cup, top-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain beat Asa Carlsson of Sweden 6-1, 6-3.

COPENHAGEN CUP: In Copenhagen, Denmark, Slovakia's Jan Kroslak beat fourth-seeded Alex Radulescu of Romania 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the Copenhagen Open. No. 5 Thomas Johansson of Sweden beat Johan van Herk of Belgium 6-4, 7-5.

TANNER SURRENDERS: Former tennis star Roscoe Tanner surrendered to authorities to face prosecution for failing to pay child support. Tanner, 45, was photographed, fingerprinted and released after posting $10,000 bail for willful non-support of a child he fathered with Connie Romano.

Hockey

MCNALL BEGINS TERM: Former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall began a 70-month term at the Federal Prison Camp at Lompoc for his role in a scheme to bilk banks, a securities firm and the team of more than $236 million.

Boxing

FOREMAN DEFENSE: George Foreman, 48 and more than two years removed from his knockout of Michael Moorer, will defend the World Boxing Union heavyweight title against Lou Savarese on April 26 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Foreman stopped Moorer in November 1994 to gain the WBA and IBF titles but was stripped of the crowns after refusing to face mandatory opponents. Foreman has fought twice since then, outpointing Axel Schultz in April 1995 and Crawford Grimsley last November.

"I still consider myself the heavyweight champion of the world, and there's no limit what I can still accomplish in boxing," Foreman said Tuesday during a news conference at the World Trade Center.

Foreman (75-4) will reportedly be paid about $4 million, while Savarese (36-0) will receive about $500,000. HBO will televise the fight.

HOLYFIELD GIVES BACK: Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has entered a new arena - corporate America.

On Monday, he rededicated an organization he set up five years ago to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a public foundation, expanding its mission to educate, inspire and assist individuals and families.

"Nobody goes somewhere without an opportunity," Holyfield told a group of business executives, athletes and politicians. "Somebody has to spend some money. I'm in a where I can give something back."

The Holyfield Foundation will establish scholarships and community service awards and focus on four areas: literacy, health issues, communications and community empowerment.