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GOPHER OUT: Minnesota point guard Adam Boone could miss the 2004-05 season after having surgery Thursday to repair a torn biceps tendon in his right arm. Boone, a fifth-year senior from Minneapolis, is expected to miss at least three months. He was injured twice in preseason workouts.

"I'm obviously disappointed," Boone said in a release. "But everyone has to deal with adversity in their life. I have confidence in my teammates that they will move forward and I'll be with them any way I can all season long."

Boone, who redshirted the 2002-03 season after transferring from North Carolina, plans to appeal to the NCAA for another season of eligibility, team spokesman Kyle Coughlin said.


TANGUAY OFF TO EUROPE: Star wings Alex Tanguay of the Colorado Avalanche and Richard Zednik of the Montreal Canadiens are the latest NHL players to head to Europe during the lockout.

There are 194 NHL players in Europe, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation. Most have lockout clauses for if and when the labor dispute ends.

Tanguay signed with Lugano in Switzerland. He is to arrive Sunday and play his first game next week, Lugano coach Larry Huras said. Zednik with Zvolen in his native Slovakia.

PLAYERS ON TOUR: Three teams of locked-out NHL players will play for free while touring Quebec in a 4-on-4 hockey series from which all proceeds will go to children's charities.

The 32-stop tour, funded by sponsors, will not allow hitting or fighting. Fans will pay $20 per ticket. The first stop is Oct. 23 in Sorel, Quebec.

The tour is being organized by Joel Bouchard of the New York Rangers. Montreal's Jose Theodore and Roberto Luongo of Florida will suit up for one team. Another squad features Tanguay, Philadelphia forward Simon Gagne and Columbus goalie Marc Denis, while a third includes Minnesota's Alexandre Daigle and Anaheim goaltender J.S. Giguere.


DELAY ADDED: NBC is adding a 5-second delay to its NASCAR telecasts after Dale Earnhardt Jr. used a vulgarity during a postrace TV interview last weekend.

"We're disappointed for our viewers to have to do this, but the delay provides a level of protection against anything inappropriate going out over the air," NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said Thursday.

Earnhardt was docked 25 Nextel Cup standings points and fined $10,000 for his slip in an NBC interview after his victory at Talladega Superspeedway, dropping him to second place with seven races left in the season. He will appeal the point penalty.

Federal regulators have cracked down on objectionable content on TV and radio since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl. CBS was fined a record $550,000 by the FCC for Jackson's breast-baring incident.

Networks have installed delays of up to 10 seconds for some programming, and ABC's "Monday Night Football" is using a 5-second delay this season. But, until now, NBC had decided not to give itself a chance to censor its NASCAR telecasts.

"NASCAR wholeheartedly supports NBCs decision of instituting a 5-second delay beginning this weekend," said NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo. "We are confident that NBC will continue to deliver exciting competition content for fans week in and week out regardless."


T-SHIRT FLAP: Abercrombie & Fitch's latest T-shirt is getting poor marks from USA Gymnastics.

USAG president Bob Colarossi is asking the clothing retailer to stop selling a T-shirt with the slogan "L is for Loser" next to a picture of a gymnast on still rings. USAG also asked members to boycott the store until the T-shirt is pulled.

"No individual, regardless of race, gender, age, intelligence or athletic ability, can or should be deemed a loser," Colarossi wrote in a letter to Michael Jeffries, chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch.

"Athletics as a whole, and gymnastics in particular, provides a great foundation in physical fitness and offers skills for a lifetime," Colarossi wrote. "USA Gymnastics feels that A&F has promoted this latest product in hopes of generating public outcry, attention, and media exposure for their brand."

This isn't the first time Abercrombie & Fitch's T-shirts have caused a stir. West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise sent two letters to Jeffries earlier this year to protest T-shirts making fun of his state.