MONTANA AD QUITS: Montana athletic director Wayne Hogan resigned Wednesday amid reports that the athletic program faces a nearly $1 million deficit due to high spending and accounting errors. Hogan took full blame for any mistakes when he announced the move in a news conference at the school.
"It makes no sense to continue to play the game of who's to blame. The buck stops here," Hogan said. "Human error and the mistakes that were made in my department . . . are inexcusable. They have brought great embarrassment to the athletic department and to the University of Montana, and for that I am deeply sorry."
FIGHTER DIES: A Peruvian boxer died Wednesday, four days after collapsing following a title fight, a spokesman for the fight's promoter said. Luis Villalta, 35, lost consciousness in his dressing room minutes after losing the 12-round bout to Ricky Quiles on Saturday night. Villalta's wife and father were at the fighter's bedside when he died, said Warrior's Boxing spokesman Peter Kahn. Although Villalta was not knocked down in the fight, he did absorb heavy shots in the final two rounds.
SUSPENDED PLAYER SUES: A suspended St. John's basketball player contended Wednesday he got $300 almost every month from a member of the team staff. In a statement read to reporters by one of his attorneys, Abraham Keita also said he is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the university.
U.S. IN: The U.S. women's team qualified for the Athens Olympics, getting goals from four different players in a 4-0 victory Wednesday over Costa Rica. Mexico also got an Olympic berth with a 2-1 victory over Canada.
BRUINS ACQUIRE GONCHAR: The Boston Bruins acquired defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Washington Capitals on Wednesday in a bid to add scoring punch to their power play. The Bruins dealt Shaone Morrisonn and first- and second-round selections in the 2004 draft for the 29-year-old Gonchar, general manager Mike O'Connell announced.
NEDVED DEALT: The New York Rangers traded center Petr Nedved and goalie Jussi Markkanen to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday for forward Dwight Helminen, goalie Stephen Valiquette and a second-round pick this year.
WARRANT OUT FOR PHILLIPS: An arrest warrant was issued for former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips after he failed to appear for a court hearing on assault charges. The 1996 first-round draft pick is charged with sexual assault, assault and issuing threats against a woman in Montreal in November, prosecutor Lucio Garcia said. Phillips, who also played in the Canadian Football League, appeared in court in December, was released on bail and ordered to return to court Tuesday.
MANCHESTER UNITED IS TOPS: Manchester United is the world's richest sports franchise, beating out the New York Yankees. Figures released Wednesday by sports business group Deloitte & Touche showed Manchester United had revenues of $289 million for the 2002-03 season. The Yankees were second with $280 million. The Washington Redskins are the second-richest sports franchise in the United States, with an income of $227.3 million, according to Deloitte & Touche, good enough for fifth on the world list.
TRANSSEXUAL TO COMPETE: Mianne Bagger brings a new twist to gender blending in golf. After a year in which seven women competed in men's tournaments, Bagger will make history this week at the Women's Australian Open as the first transsexual to play in a pro golf tournament. Bagger sees it only as an opportunity.
"It's my dream to play top-level golf," she said.