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HIGGINSON REJECTS OFFER: Bobby Higginson rejected a contract offer from the Detroit Tigers, moving one step closer to testing the free-agent market after the season.

Higginson, who has one year left on his contract, has said if a contract extension is not completed before the season begins, negotiations will be stopped.

REDS AGREE TO TRADE: Cincinnati tentatively agreed to trade Drew Henson back to New York along with outfielder Michael Coleman in exchange for outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

Cincinnati acquired the thrid baseman last July as part of the deal that sent pitcher Denny Neagle to New York. The Yankees drafted Henson out of high school in 1998 but dealt him to Cincinnati after he refused to commit to one sport.

Henson, a Heisman Trophy contender and likely first-round NFL draft pick in 2002, led Michigan to a 9-3 record and No. 11 ranking last season.


COACHING CHANGES: Tennessee men's basketball coach Jerry Green resigned following a 22-11 season and a trip to the NCAA tournament. Green, who replaced Kevin O'Neill as coach in 1997, took the Vols to the NCAA tournament fourth straight year. He was 89-36 in four seasons, the best winning percentage since Ray Mears, who coached from 1962-77.

Kevin Bannon was fired as Rutgers men's basketball coach after failing to lead the team to the NCAA tournament in his four years. Bannon was 59-60, including 11-16 this season.

Leonard Perry, a former star guard at Idaho, was hired as the school's men's basketball coach. Perry, an assistant at Iowa State for three years, replaces David Farrar who was fired after five seasons.

GRIZZ MAY BE TO LOUISVILLE: The owner of the Vancouver Grizzlies has been offered $100 million from the parent company of KFC to bring his franchise to Louisville, two local lawmakers said.

Louisville-based Tricon Global Restaurants would pay Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley $5 million a year for 20 years, according to Reps. Larry Clark and Mary Lou Marzian.


XFL RATINGS DOWN: The XFL 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, believed to be the lowest prime-time night among the big three networks in Nielsen Media Research history.

EARNHARDT'S AUTOPSY: Lawyers for Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel were headed back to mediation four days after they reached an agreement over access to the racing star's autopsy photos.

The mediation will allow the newspaper to address its concerns about a Daytona International Speedway doctor having viewed the photos before they were sealed, Sentinel attorney David Bralow said.

Volusia County officials had contended that nobody other than the medical examiner's staff had viewed his autopsy photos. But a visitor's log obtained by the Sentinel showed that Bohannon looked at the photos for 35 minutes on Feb. 21, three days after Earnhardt's death.


MOORE CUT FROM U.S. TEAM: 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.

Moore has started five consecutive World Cup qualifiers for the Americans, most often pairing up front with Brian McBride. Moore was hurt in last month's 2-0 win over Mexico, the opener of the final round of qualifying from the North and Central American and Caribbean region, and hasn't played since.