The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on January 26, 1996 · Page 9
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 9

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Friday, January 26, 1996
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Page 9
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THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Sports Inside: NBA All-Stars The NBA announces the teams for the All-Star game Feb. 11. NBA, B6. Section Scoreboard 2 Hockey .3 Baseball 6 Acting Editor: Sue Lancaster, 768-8437 Friday January 26, 1996 WMMO nfl fnwnft I liMQ)i) q)(D Bearcats hold off DePaul, 71-61 XU wins squeaker Freshman Lenny Brown's off-balance, pull-up jumper with 3.5 seconds left gave Xavier a 60-59 victory over visiting La Salle Thursday night at the Gardens. Page B6 C-USA. DePaul is 7-10, 0-6. The game was in serious doubt until UC put it away with a 7-0 run after DePaul pulled within 59-57 with 4:45 to go. "We aren't playing for fun anymore," said Burton. "When everybody starts playing for fun, we're going to be OK." It was a strange night. UC did not score a 2-point field goal until the game was 28 minutes and 46 seconds old. It came when Bobby Brannen rebounded a missed 3 and put it in. By then, the Bearcats, who trailed 13-3, were back in it. That's because the 3s were falling. Burton had four, and Flint three as UC hit 7 of 20 in the first half. Inside the arc, the Bearcats hit l-of-12. DePaul built the early lead by clogging the lane. Fortson had more turnovers (Please see UC, Page B6) . w-ijJf Ivt) -ll'xt' BY JOHN FAY The Cincinnati Enquirer DePaul may have lost six straight games and nine in a row in the series with the University of Cincinnati, but give the Blue Demons credit. They came in with a perfect game plan Thursday night, and they didn't back down. As a result, fifth-ranked UC was lucky to get out of Shoemaker Center with a 71-61 victory in a Conference USA game. DePaul completely shut down UC's inside game for the first 35 minutes, forcing the Bearcats to move their offense behind the 3-point line. Darnell Burton and Da- mon Flint responded by hitting their 3s. Burton tied a career high with 24 points. Flint added 18. The Bearcats were 13-of-30 (43 percent) from 3-point range for the game. The single-game school record for 3-point-ers made is 14 (set three times). Danny Fortson didn't have a field goal in the first 32 minutes. But he finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. The Bearcats improved to 13-1, 4-1 in PREPS PLUS " Lj& y "! E '" ' " "" '"""mm" mwmmimumu ip u'Dimuy iwii""Miit " ff"'f 1 a 1 r- &..uu -"6-i0'--. 0i W' i i The Associated Press 'UC's Danny Fortson loses the ball as DePaul's Brian Currie closes in Thursday night. TIM SULLIVAN Cowboys put best face on feud TEMPE, Ariz. Troy Aikman should have shown up in shoulder pads. He should have pulled on his helmet and buckled his chinstrap and stiffened his upper lip. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback found himself under siege Thursday, confronted by inflammatory innuendo and thorny questions. A Texas columnist asserted that a former Cowboys Troy Aikman assistant coach once alleged Aikman more inclined to berate black teammates than his fellow Caucasians. Thus was the first bombshell of Super Bowl XXX formally detonated. The wonder was that it took so long. When you assemble 3,000 assorted media for a week of orchestrated overkill, the boundary between gossip and scandal is bound to get a little blurry. There is a story worth telling here, but it is only tangentially related to perceived racism. Mainly, it is about a couple of white guys who don't get along: Aikman and Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer. John Blake, who departed the Cowboys coaching staff last month to take charge of the football team at the University of Oklahoma, reportedly asked Switzer in midsea-son why the star quarterback seemed to vent his anger primarily at black players. The accusation angered Aikman, as did Switzer's apparent failure to defuse the flimsy and yet explosive charge. Switzer and Aikman have hardly spoken since midseason. "Our relationship is purely professional," Aikman said Thursday. "I respect him," Switzer said. "If he wants to respect me is not important ... We are committed to winning championships and doing what's necessary to make that happen, and that is all I care about with every player. That (the rela- (Please see SULLIVAN, Page B7) MJiMjimmMJiMJumi wmii'iuhjjiuhui l r : PAUL DAUGHERTY It hit me: Jerry Jones is nuts TEMPE, Ariz. When I was younger and knew everything (say, three months ago), I figured Jerry Jones had it all figured out. The Dallas Cowboys owner would eliminate revenue sharing for all but the lamest NFL teams, turn over all the league's marketing to the individual clubs and pat himself on the back as every team raked in additional millions. Jones would advance the league from its current cozy socialist state, to the brave, new, lucrative world of capitalism. As he said here Thursday, "That's healthy. That's America. America didn't come along as a commune." The harder you toil, the richer you get. Put these old-line owners to work. Jones' Cowboys account for 22 percent of all NFL merchandise sales. Why should he split any of that with the Cincinnati Bengals? Let each club pitch itself as hard as Jones has pitched the Cowboys since he bought them in 1989. Get on out there, Mike Brown. Sell yourself some Bengals T-shirts. What a great idea, I thought. I was mistaken. Just incredibly wrong. For the first time in, I think, my entire life. Upon further review Maybe it's the sunstroke I'm suffering here in the blistering, 50-degree Arizona heat. Maybe it's the Browns move from Cleveland that was created, in small part, by owner Art Modell's desperation to spend with the Cowboys. Maybe it's the two days I've sat listening to Jones (the only owner ever to attend every Super Bowl media session) as he said things such as, "I just won't have the audacity to take credit for what the Super Bowl is today." Thursday, Jones actually decided that limousines offered "a more practical way of transporting our players" to practice. "We don't want them driving around this area," he said. No, we wouldn't want that. Or maybe it was the Super Bowl ring the size of a 16-pound bowling ball Jones wears. The diamonds cover it like fresh paint. At some point, my simple, smalltime Midwestern sensibilities kicked in, and I said: "This guy is nuts." Keeping up with the Joneses is not a good development for the NFL in Cincinnati. Without the crutch of shared revenues from TV and merchandise, there wouldn't be a Cincinnati Bengals. Or a Green Bay Packers, for that matter. If Jerry Jones thinks the Bengals can compete with his Cowboys and their $40 million in signing bonuses simply by selling more sweatshirts, maybe he should stand on a corner in Covington or Blue Ash and give it a whirl. Jones believes Procter & Gamble is going to swoop in like some sudsy fairy godmother and provide for all the Bengals needs. What P&G can't do, Chiqui-ta will, or Cincinnati Milacron or Cintas or, who knows, Sorrento's Pizza in Norwood. Bengals are not Cowboys Jones thinks that in every NFL city sleep several corporate giants, just dying to wake up and spend multimillions on the local football squad. "Artful, resourceful marketing partnerships," he called them Thursday. "Every team that we've got in the NFL is a Notre Dame and up, in terms of its visibility and its ability to stand on its own two feet and market," Jones said. "Name me some of the big companies in Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a lot of great companies. If you look at the area of dominant interest there, it's a significant market." Jones said he has used "the aura of our team and my skills to promote partners in the mix." That's fine. But we're dealing with different auras here. The Cowboys aura has it all over the Bengals aura. It's an aura blowout of Super Bowl proportions. You could say the same for a dozen other teams in the league. How 'bout that Tampa Bay Buccaneers aura? Jones' plan would work for teams in large markets, or for consistently successful teams, or for teams that come with a built-in national appeal (i.e. the Oakland Raiders). The Cowboys happen to fit all of those niches. No wonder Jones likes his ideas. As for Cincinnati, it would mean 16 quiet Sundays. We need the welfare here. Paul Dougherty is an Enquirer Doug Cochran for The Cincinnati Enquirer At center ice during practice, Sycamore High School hockey coach Tom Robbins goes over strategy. In its second season, the program is challenging for the league championship. Breaking the Ice Inside Thursday's girls basketball highlights. A preview of this weekend's top basketball action. News and notes from every school in your area. Pages B4-5 Sycamore hopes to spur boom in prep hockey BY NEIL SCHMIDT Enquirer contributor Lee Crow won't eat crow. So the Sycamore senior hockey player isn't taking his best friend's calls. "Me and Roger (Pryor Jr.) don't talk much right now," Crow said, "because of this weekend." Pryor skates for Moeller, which meets Sycamore tonight. Friendship can wait "Once the game's over, we'll say hi and talk," Pryor said. "But not during the game." Such is the nature of the city's newest high school rivalry. Sycamore's second-year program, the only one besides Moeller in Hamilton County, is catching up quickly. "Moeller's had a program 12 years (actually 14), but I think we're very much on equal footing," Sycamore coach Tom Robbins said. The Aviators' argument won't fly with- LA- out an upset soon. So this 8 p.m. meeting at Icelands Sports & Entertainment Complex surely means more to Sycamore. "For a lot of our seniors, this is the only game that counts," Sycamore junior left winger Scott Thomas said. "They want to beat Moeller before they graduate." Sycamore went 0-for-3 against Moeller in its 13-12-1 inaugural season. This winter, the Aviators are 14-9-2 against a stiffer schedule, but its lone meeting with Moeller brought a 2-0 loss. "I think it's really a mental thing why we're not beating them," Thomas said. "Based on the teams we've both played, we should be able to." Of the"40 high school teams in Ohio, (Please see HOCKEY, Page B4) Doug Cochran for The Cincinnati Enquirer Scott Thomas is Sycamore's leading scorer, with 40 points (25 goals.) He's psyched about tonight's matchup against Moeller: "For a lot of our seniors, this is the only game that counts. Chang ousts Agassi to make Aussie final Blake up for 'ESPY' BY GEOFF HOBSON The Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals quarterback Jeff Blake has been nominated for sports' version of the Oscar. Blake is up for an ESPY, F Agassi left the tournament with the No. 1 ranking but without the prize he wanted most another Grand Slam title. "If you're No. 1 in the world, it doesn't mean that you're safe anymore," said the No. 5 Chang, who won his one and only Grand Slam title in 1989 at the French Open when he was 17. "Obviously you have to be out there playing your best tennis." Agassi obviously wasn't. He said he decided to "go for the miracle" in coming back from two sets down against Jim Courier in the quarters, but made little effort to do the same against Chang. Open coverage, B3. ESPN s annual awards, as Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Japanese pitching sensation Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers and Martin Brodeur of the Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils also are nominated. Blake, 25, led the AFC with 26 touchdown passes and earned a Pro Bowl berth The Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia Defending champion Andre Agassi finally ran out of miracles at the Australian Open Friday, and now Michael Chang is in position to win his first major since 1989. The top-ranked Agassi, who clawed from behind in four matches and won three five-setters earlier in the tournament, played indifferently as Chang beat him for the first time in a Grand Slam event, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1). Chang, unhampered by strained rib cartilage, served 13 aces against the best returner in tennis, and made only 22 errors to Agassi's uncharacteristic 60 on a wind-whipped afternoon. A-" L L u& in 1995, his first full season Jeff Blake as a starter. The ESPYs will be televised on ESPN Feb. 12 in an 8 p.m. ceremony at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell won the award last year. The Associated Press Anke Huber celebrates her Australian Open semifinal win over Amanda Coetzer on Thursday. Huber faces Monica Seles in the final Saturday.

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