The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on January 29, 1993 · Page 17
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 17

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Friday, January 29, 1993
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3 - 1 TREVOR JOBE ! Knights travel to Louisville I I Page4C C PORT Fitness 2C Colleges 4C Scoreboard 5C FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 1993 One ballpark, two teams: Xpress rolls into town By LARRY TAFT Sports Writer Southern League baseball rolled back into Nashville yesterday with the announcement that the Double-A Nashville Xpress will share Greer Stadium with the Class AAA Sounds. "To me, the big winner will be the city of Nashville and the economic impact as well as the baseball fans of Nashville and Middle Tennessee," said Nashville Sounds President Larry Schmittou, who will operate the team via a management agreement with Charlotte, N.C., businessman George Shinn. "We're taking a huge financial risk, but we believe in our fans. They loved the Southern League when they were in it, but we don't want to do anything to take away from the Nashville Sounds. They're going to be here for years and years." With the Xpress, a Minnesota Twins farm team, there will be 143 Greer Stadium open- Xpress CtaecAA Affiliate Twins. Sounds CtaMcAAA Affiliate White Sox. Quarterns and 3C. ings between April 8 and Sept 6 72 for the Sounds and 71 for the Xpress. The Sounds will open the season at Greer on April 8 against the Iowa Cubs while the Xpress is to open on the road on the same date at Orlando. The Xpress home-opener April 16 vs. Orlando. "This is a unique situation, something that hasn't been done in a long time," said Jim Rantz, director of minor leagues for the Twins. "Obviously, we were concerned about where we were going to play in '93. It was getting late. "On behalf of the Minnesota Twins we are happy Larry and his staff have taken on this challenge. We know that he can do it We're going to have a good ballclub here." Minnesota's Southern League team was displaced during the fall when the Chicago Cubs purchased Orlando. Originally, the Charlotte Knights Southern League club had been bought by New Orleans businessman Tom Benson, who had a signed a working agreement with Minnesota with designs on moving the Charlotte franchise to New Orleans. Benson's planned move was thwarted, however, when John Dikeou relocated his American Association Denver franchise to New Orleans. Benson failed to close on the sale, leav ing the team ownership with Shinn, who signed the one-season working agreement with Schmittou. Despite yesterday's announcement final approval of the relocation awaits the OK of Jimmie Lee Solomon, director of minor league relations for the commissioner's office, and the Southern League. Those approvals are considered formalities and may come by next week. Around the Southern League yesterday, Schmittou's risk-taking was lauded. "Larry has have undertaken a huge risk with this venture which helps the Southern League," said Memphis Chicks President David Herst "He has our support because he took a very difficult situation and made the best of it I think it will be good for baseball in Memphis. A lot of people who haven't been out to the park since the days of the Memphis-Nashville rivalry likely will come back." Warning signs begin to sprout around Houston By DAVID CLIMER Sports Writer With Tennessee's basketball team bottoming out the pressure is mounting on Wade Houston. While stressing there is no NCAA Tournament mandate or a specific number of victories required of Houston, UT Athletic Director Doug Dickey yesterday said the Vol basketball program "is being evaluated on a continuous basis." "There are no musts of any kind," Dickey said. "We just expect a certain level of competitiveness at the University of Tennessee. We haven't been at that level of performance in the last two home games and at a couple of times earlier in the season. "All coaches here understand the situation. They realize they must have their moments of excellence a bowl game in football, an NCAA Tournament berth in basketball, and so forth. We haven't had that yet with the basketball team." As for the long-term prospects of Houston, whose contract runs through the 1994-95 season. Dickey said: "I'm not going to do an assessment for the public or the press. We're very hopeful the coaches and A V t- HOUSTON Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys Sunday, 5 p.m, Channel 4 Talley denies fight PASADENA, Calif. - Bills linebacker Darryl Talley again denied he was involved in a fight with Magic Johnson's bodyguard. After several questions about the incident alleged to have happened Sunday night at a West Hollywood nightclub, he stood up at a media gathering yesterday and said, "Attention, everybody, NOTHING HAPPENED!" Quoting anonymous sources, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday that Jim Kelly also was involved in the incident and that Johnson's bodyguard punched Talley in the face. Johnson said a scuffle occurred. Coach Marv Levy questioned the authenticity of the report "Nice, but clumsy try. There was no incident at ail.' Update, 3C. players can figure out how to put this at the right competitive level. Let's hope as we progress through the next two or three games, we will show some kind of uplifting move by this team. I hope we can reach up to another level." The mood at Thompson-Boling Arena turned nasty in the Vols' losses to Florida and Vanderbilt this week. There was intermittent booing and three fans held up a sign that said "Wade Must Go" during UTs 82-65 loss to Vandy. "I've seen and heard some things. I'm not out of touch with the public," Dickey said. "We are monitoring the situation and are aware of what's going on out there in terms of morale." Houston, who replaced Don De-Voe in April 1989, acknowledged disappointment over UTs 9-8 start that Includes a 1-5 record in the Southeastern Conference. He said the dismissals of Carlus Groves and Steve Rivers before the season have left the Vols shorthanded in terms of experience. "If my kids were all seniors, if we had Steve and Carlus and sprinkle in a few underclassmen, we could play with anybody," he said. "Sure, I'm discouraged because we lost some games. I don't know what the timetable is to set goals on winning big. So many things have happened. "I knew it wouldn't be easy. If it was easy, Coach DeVoe would still be here. I wasn't looking for any gravy train." Finding your way at the big women's game All seats are general admission for tomorrow's sold-out women's basketball showdown between Vanderbilt and Tennessee at Memorial Gym, but VU doesn't expect major headaches with the capacity crowd. "Belmont and Lipscomb have played before large general admission crowds and there have been no particular problems," said Rod Williamson, VU director of marketing and promotion. "It was just logisti-cally impossible to put reserved seating into place for this game." The main floor on the north side will be held for Vanderbilt women's basketball season ticket holders only. The entire east end, plus south main floor Sections G and H will be held for Tennessee fans. Vanderbilt students will sit in Sections I-J-K. Signs outside Memorial Gym will help UT and Vandy fans find their respective cheering sections. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tipoff : 7. As for parking, the Stadium Club garage will be open for members only. Other university lots will be available at no charge. TSU soars over Tennessee Tech f BISteber Staff Tennessee State's Neil Jones drives over Tennessee Tech's Charley Dean. Tigers in OVC driver's seat By TOM WOOD Sports Writer COOKEVILLE, Tenn. Tennessee State coach Frankie Allen often talks about being able to steal a win on the road in the Ohio Valley Conference. But last night's 102-79 romp over Tennessee Tech was nothing less than grand larceny. "Anytime you go on the road in this league, you better be ready to play. I though our mental preparation was what we needed to be," Allen said after his Tigers improved to a league-leading 6-1 and 10-7 overall. "I think it's important that you win on the road and every road win gives you confidence that you can play on the road." Any lingering questions about TSU being able to play well on the OVC road were answered as the Tigers led by as many as 36 points in the second half. "We need to steal a couple of OVC games on the road and try to establish ourselves at the top of the OVC We want to remain up there and this is a big help," said sophomore guard Tim Horton, who paced TSU with 26 points and eight rebounds. "We're playing great team ball now, but we never go out wondering how much we're going to blow a team out by. They looked like they came out a little hesitant and we were a more focused team tonight," added 6-11 center Carlos Rogers, who had 21 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. TSU is 3-1 on the OVC road, the most away wins since joining the league in 1987. TSU was 2-30 on the OVC road before this season. The Tigers also have more wins this season than in the last two yean combined. The win sends TSU home to begin a four-game stand tomorrow (vs. Austin Peay) with seven wins in eight games. "We just want to stay focused and on an even keel," Allen said. "Sometimes you can get caught up in the winning and you have to keep it in perspective." Tech (8-7, 4-2) lost its second straight OVC and home game. "It was good, typical TSU effort that we didn't respond to," said Tech Coach Frank HarrelL "They're an outstanding team but we just did not compete." David Climer UT could use a little law, order In the burgeoning administrative office complex at University of Tennessee athletic department, there are five associate athletic directors and seven assistant athletic directors. Titles and job descriptions vary from Associate Athletic Director For Development And Marketing to Assistant Athletic Director For Student Life. If they can find room for another . office, UT should add one more po- sition Assistant Athletic Director For Damage Control. It would be the busiest job on the staff because this is an athletic program that searches for order amid chaos. Sometimes, it's sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack. Not even the most gifted spin doctor could put a happy face on some of the recent happenings at UT. The latest episode of Have Gun, Will Travel indicates that Willie Richards pulled a pistol on a woman at the team hotel during the Vols' trip to Tampa for the Hall of Fame Bowl. It must've been quite a bowl trip sex, guns, football. This development, from a police report in Tampa, comes less than two weeks after an incident on the UT campus where another player, Tim Frost, fired a weapon at a fraternity party. To his credit, Phillip Fulmer removed both Richards and Frost from the team. Richards was put on a bus after an Investigation of the incident and Frost got the boot shortly after word of his indescre-tion surfaced. Moreover, Fulmer buzzed back into Knoxville last Tuesday night and held a one-hour team meeting. The first order of business was to inform the players that Frost had, been kicked off the team. I That took about one minute. The other 59 minutes were spent somewhere between tantrum and tirade as Fulmer emphatically! drove home the point that further mistakes or errors in judgment' would be dealt with sternly. He lec-j tured loud and long about the re-i sponsibilities that go along with a UT scholarship, making it clear that he had a whip and he wasn't afraid to crack it j Those who know Fulmer say he: will run a tight ship. But the Inci-I dent at Tampa is an example that! any ship can spring a leak. Situations like these not only im-j pact recruiting but are painfully embarrassing to Tennessee fans who long for a break in this cycle of, crime and punishment They've weathered the difficult days of November and December, when the Johnny Majors saga played out to its ugly conclusion, and they were ready for a little peace and tranquility. Then came the gun shots. All this is happening at a time when the Vols' basketball program is going belly-up with some of the most aimless, uninspired play in memory. A few fans are booing and others are holding up signs calling for the ouster of Wade Houston, a situation that doesn't give you much of a homecourt advantage. And for the first time, murmers of discontent have moved from the radio call-in shows and taken up residence at the UT athletic department But at least the basketball situation is a bad newsgood news wash. The bad news is the Vols are losing; the good news is nobody has been arrested. No.lvs.Ko. 2 ISXSSTo TENNESSEE l ( gSSF" at VANDERBILT (wormn) b? v; Ji 34 7 un Memorial Gym f ? V-uWJImJi TV: Ch. 4 Aetata: SOU) OUt 1 1 SECTION EDITORS John Bibb, Sports Editor. 259-8005 Jimmy Davy, Deputy Sports Editor, days, 259-8022 Tad Power, Assistant Sports Editor, nights, 259-8014 To report sports newt: 259-8010 Sports fax machine 259-8828 r FOOTBALL Vanderbilt received commitments yesterday from linebacker Kurt Williams (6-0, 210) and running back Marcus Forest (5-11, 190) of Aurora, in., and linebacker Carlton Hall (6-1, 225) of Midwest City, Okla. HaS made 117 tackles last season and chose the Comrnodores over Colorado, Rice and Southern Cat Big deal: Edmonton and Toronto of the CFL made a trade involving 16 players yesterday. Key figures: Quarterbacks Tracy Ham (to Toronto) and Ricky Foggie. AROUND THE DIAL HBO is working on a Challenge of Champions track and field exhibition, which would feature a 100-meter dash pitting Carl Lewis against Otympic goW medalist Unford Christie of England and a long Jump competition between Lewis and world record holder Mike Powefl. It's to be televised live on May 29 from either Los Angeles or China. Listings, SC. OOO L

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