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49ERS CUT STARS: Rod Woodson and Kevin Greene, former Pro Bowlers who helped the San Francisco 49ers defense attain a No. 1 ranking last season, were waived Monday in a dramatic cost-cutting move.

The 49ers gained $5.9 million in salary cap space by releasing the two, both of whom starred elsewhere and had productive campaigns for San Francisco in their only season with the team.

"Even though we anticipate an increase to the salary cap, it won't be enough to allow us to keep Rod and Kevin at their current salaries," general manager Dwight Clark said in a statement.

Clark left the door open for the possible return of the players at lower pay.


MASON IS BACK: Anthony Mason is about to find out if his latest brush with trouble has soured New York's opinion of him.

During his time with the New York Knicks, Mason's hard play endeared him to fans at Madison Square Garden. They loved his ruggedness under the boards and his amazing ballhandling skills for such a strong man. Knicks fans even continued to cheer for Mason when he returned with the Charlotte Hornets.

Tonight, he might not be welcomed back quite so warmly when the Knicks and Hornets play.

Mason will be playing for the first time since he was arrested last weekend for allegedly having sex with 14- and 15-year-old sisters.

Mason, who says he is not guilty, was charged Sunday with statutory rape, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child following accusations by the girls that he and a cousin had sex with them. Mason faces up to four years in prison if convicted.


MARTIN TRIAL RESUMES: The PGA Tour is hammering to the end the argument that giving Casey Martin a cart to play professional golf would hand him an unfair advantage and fundamentally alter the game at the highest level.

Judy Bell, president of the United States Golf Association, and Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, planned to testify today in U.S. District Court as the tour winds up its case.

"The issue is whether the court can order a modification of the rules of this competition be made to accommodate Mr. Martin," PGA Tour lawyer William Maledon said Monday. "The (Americans with Disabilities Act) specifically says no, it cannot be done; indeed, it forbids it be done, if to do so fundamentally alters competition.


GRAF WITHDRAWS: Steffi Graf suffered another setback in her comeback from a knee injury after a calf injury forced her to withdraw from the Paris Open.

Graf, the top-ranked player in the world for 374 weeks in the 1990s, strained her left calf while practicing at Roland Garros Stadium on Sunday night.