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'CELEBRITY' DEALS ENDED: University of Connecticut coaches are to be treated the same as other state employees concerning rules on gifts and outside work.

The ruling by the state's ethics commission Monday in Hartford, Conn., ends a policy that allowed "celebrity" state employees to bypass rules governing the conduct of Connecticut state employees. The decision will allow the coaches to keep previously approved endorsement deals but subjects future contracts to stricter review.

The review followed reports that UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun and women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma were paid by Nike, partly for providing their teams with Nike gear in apparent conflict with state ethics laws.


BENGALS CLAIM KRENZEL: The Cincinnati Bengals claimed quarterback Craig Krenzel off waivers from the Chicago Bears on Monday, bringing him back to the state where he won a national championship in college.

Krenzel, a fifth-round draft pick in 2004 out of Ohio State, appeared in six games last year and became the first Bears quarterback in nearly 40 years to start his career with three straight victories. But he lost his last two starts and Chicago waived him last week.

PRESEASON TV PLANS: The NFL Network will televise 55 games during the 2005 preseason. The network will use the television feeds of local broadcasts, using the road team announcers for one half and the home team crew for the other. Of those 55, six will air live.

In addition, NFL Network will present a live look-in show that moves around to NFL preseason games in progress. Seven of those shows will air during the preseason, featuring action from four to nine games taking place simultaneously.

BROWNS SIGN QB: Needing a veteran quarterback as protection for Trent Dilfer, the Cleveland Browns signed former Atlanta backup Doug Johnson to a one-year contract Monday.

Johnson spent last season with Tennessee. He signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2000 and made 11 starts in four seasons before being released and signed by Jacksonville.


95-YEAR-OLD BREAKS MARK: A 95-year-old Japanese man who took up track only three decades ago has run the 100 meters in 22.04-seconds, a record for his age bracket, according to media reports in Tokyo. Kozo Haraguchi looked sturdy and fit as he dashed Sunday at an outdoor track slick with rain in the southern Japanese city of Miyazaki.