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College hoops

BENCH DECORUM: Cursing or venturing onto the court could draw college basketball coaches a quick technical foul this season.

The NCAA is making bench decorum a point of emphasis for 2007-08 and warns coaches to expect a whistle without warning for a variety of unsportsmanlike actions.

Referees who are consistent in enforcing the rules will be rewarded.

"The bench decorum rules, which include staying in the prescribed coaching box, have been interpreted in various ways for some time," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said Thursday. "This initiative for strengthened, consistent enforcement has significant ramifications. Coaches and game officials who do not strictly adhere to the rules will be penalized."

The actions that can draw a technical include disrespectfully addressing an official or attempting to influence an official's decision, using abusive or profane language, taunting an opponent, inciting undesirable crowd reactions and coming onto the court without permission of an official to attend to an injured player.

The rules will also apply to assistant coaches, other team personnel and players on the bench.

3 BULLDOGS SUSPENDED: Three Georgia basketball players, including the Bulldogs' top two returning scorers, will be suspended for the start of the season.

Coach Dennis Felton said Thursday that guard Mike Mercer has been suspended for at least 15 games, forward Takais Brown has been suspended for at least nine and center Albert Jackson will have to miss six. All three are being disciplined for violating Georgia's class attendance and academic appointment policy.

Brown led the Bulldogs with 14.2 points per game last season, while Mercer averaged 13.7.

Olympics

DUCAT PRICES: It will cost sports fans up to $775 a seat to watch the men's gold medal hockey game at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Officials organizing the Games announced ticket prices Thursday, saying their goal is to make sure people in all income brackets can enjoy some Olympic events.

Still, in-demand events will be pricey.

Men's gold-medal hockey tickets start at $350, while tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies will range from $175 to $1,100. Tickets for the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games range from $26 to $650 but are selling online at several times their face value.

"It's about much more than the ticket — it's the entire Olympic experience that will likely not come our way in Canada for many years to come," said John Furlong, chief executive officer of the organizing committee known as VANOC.

Tennis

BLAKE REACHES QUARTERS: Two-time defending champion James Blake beat Frank Dancevic 6-3, 6-2 Thursday at the Stockholm Open, setting up a quarterfinal meeting against Jarkko Nieminen in a rematch of last year's final.

The top-seeded American improved his record to 12-0 at the Royal Tennis Hall.