The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 3, 1997 · Page 54
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 54

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 3, 1997
Page 54
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I WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1997 I The Palm Beach Post SECTION C INSIDE FOOTBALL DeBartolo gives up control of 49ers Edward DeBartolo Jr., facing indictment on gambling fraud charges, resigns as CEO of ' the San Francisco 49ers. PAGE 1A High school wrestlers back at it The Post takes a look at the best wrestlers and teams in the area. PAGE 16 CLASSIFIED: PAGES 9-15C n . uraoi SPORTS I j& . . . - ji n Dolphins sign Phillips; now begins scrutiny of the bounty V 3E i "7 IV I v, ' Ik L 11 i --Hk ivV I , ,. I V -' . k , , ". v . , t w t ' ' 'r 1 1 1 ! j ' ' ir-i krV .- '"'z -i- . k 1 w-Tw,v j VI - i r-f , lj.'..1' --., , i, JT y " " " i m7 ' " J t " J tr - 'mmmmm. f''" ' JT . I . 4k. V ''" , 4, - - . ' 1 ' - It ' -. - ; 4 Is - " ' -v. ".:r ;r r, r- fjf , r rrrs ' r'----s'' ! "li , if ; f . X : P'www-' 'imj",1. ; 1 i ii - ,,., , , V , ' " ' - - ; , ; , , V ' ; . , v t - ' . , ' - ; ir , ik' , rif A-, ' ,f . - " '"'-; 'w '-' "-, 1 - - - - - - ' ' "' -' ' ' ' 1 By Ethan J. Skolnick Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DAVIE A fresh coat of paint was applied to the front of the Dolphins' practice facility Tues day. The Dolphins' daring coach, Jimmy Johnson, now has the task of applying one to a blemished talent named Lawrence Phillips. Johnson signed Phillips as expected Tuesday, to a two-year contract, financially, the Dolphins risk little. Phillips will play for the league minimum this season about $10,000 per game. Next season, he can earn in excess of $1.2 million, by meeting performance- based incentives. The deal was finalized in the morning, and Phillips after returning to St. Louis to gather his belongings arrived back in South Florida in the evening. He was not available for comment, but did release a statement. "I appreciate the opportunity that coach Johnson and the Miami Dolphins organization are giving me, and I want to contribute to this team in any way that I can," Phillips said. "I realize that I've made some mistakes, but with this fresh start I want to put the past behind me. I know what coach Johnson expects of me, and I will work as hard as possible to justify his decision to give me this chance." Johnson also issued a statement. "I believe that Lawrence can help make us a better football team in the long run," Johnson said. "He understands exactly vviiai is ucmg asiicu ui mm, uiu lie knows we have a disciplined program that provides very little margin of error for any player on our team. Under those conditions, I'm , hopeful that he can fulfill his po-:" tential and become a productive player for us." Steve Feldman, Phillips' agent, said Johnson made no assurances to his client about playing time. Feldman said the biggest reason Phillips signed with Miami was Johnson. "He shoots extremely straight, he is in complete control, and he can create a winner," Feldman said. "People are better winners than losers." Feldman concurred with the Please see PHILLIPS5C ! circumstances Never mind that he was the sixth player chosen in the draft two years ago. 1 Or that he led the St. Louis Rams in , , rushing last year and led the mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers to a national title -the year before. Never mind, too, that his selection by . the Rams prompted picketers to protest outside the stadium. Or that defending him caused Nebraska coach Tom Osborne to have his integrity questioned, a development that had once seemed impossible. Never mind that a player who 18 months ago commanded a multimillion-dollar contract was now being signed for , the NFL minimum. Just another 53rd player coming to town. Just another fallen star, starting over at the age of 22, hearing again that 1 this second chance will definitely, positively, without question be his last " Please see M0FFETT5C hAT VS. SIXERS TODAY: 7:30 p.m., at Miami Arena." TV: Sunshine. RADIO: WIOD-6 10AM. nounced, "Don't ask me about Sprewell. Don't ask me (expletive) about him. I don't want to talk about J Please see HEToC r" rfKj , 1' L00mmJ ( Lawrence Phillips, the Rams' leading rusher and an elusive runner as the Carolina Panthers learned three weeks ago, signed a THE ASSOCIATED PRESS two - year contract with the Dolphins on Tuesday. No pomp for DAVIE A grotesque carnival had assembled early in the day to welcome the player who would fill the 53rd spot on the Dolphins' roster. TV guys planted their cameras in front of the training camp headquarters, hoping that a sighting could be confirmed by the 6 p.m. telecast. Reporters called hotels and airlines to track his whereabouts. His plane has landed, someone said. Workers, meanwhile, were putting the finishing touches on repairs to the concrete sidewalk that leads to the Dolphins' front door. To keep pedestrians out of the wet cement, they strung yellow plastic police tape around the perimeter hardly the sensitive choice in decoration for the arrival of Lawrence Phillips. As night fell, a Dolphins' spokesman emerged with a stack of printed releases in his hand. Yes, the club had signed the notorious running back. But, there would this, under the Dan Moffett Sports editor be no ceremony to mark the occasion. "Coach's philosophy is that he is the 53rd player on the roster," the spokesman said. "He's not going to make more of this than it deserves." Jimmy Johnson, who has not been one to withdraw from the bright light of celebrity his position tends to attract, did so Tuesday. He elected to simultaneously give the much-troubled Phillips a chance but also put him in his place: "The 53rd player on the roster." ifiE"iin im m nnnpiiiimwwl Miami's vice The Dolphins have a penchant for picking up players with previous problems. Here's some of them: I B CLAYTON HOLMES: The NFL suspended Holmes for a minimum of four regular-season games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The former Dallas cornerback and kick returner missed all of 1996 after testing positive for cocaine. I EDDIE BLAKE: He was drafted as an offensive lineman and moved to defense in 1992, but didn't play because he dropped a weight on his left foot during the off-season and broke his foot. He failed a drug test after his final season at Auburn, and said some punch he drank at a party at Auburn was spiked and he wasn't aware of it. He was released in 1994. B CHUCK MUNCIE: Muncie never made it to the practice field. The same day he was introduced in 1993 to the South Florida media as a newly traded member of the team, lab results showed Muncie couldn't pass his drug test. The I next day stunned reporters stood in awe of Muncie's open-field moves as he dashed from behind the closed curtains of a training camp dorm room and into a rolling taxi. B BOBBY HUMPHREY: Humphrey hurt himself in a brief window of practice activity that followed a contract holdout. He missed all of 1993 training camp pouting over pay, just as he did at Denver in 1991. When Humphrey's agent demanded $2.8 million for a player who was arrested and shot in separate offseason incidents, the team looked at a chasm of $2.15 million between what Humphrey wanted and what it felt he was worth. B ERIC GREEN: Tight end Eric Green, the Pittsburgh Steelers' biggest and often most prolific weapon, was suspended in 1992 for six games after becoming the third Steeler in two seasons to violate the NFL's drug policy. An NFL spokesman said Green's suspension was not for using steroids. Staff report NHL throwbacks: Toronto finds itself again in East Hardaway not grabbing Sprewell subject by throat The New NHL Next season the league will begin the first of a three-year realignment plan, with one expansion team being added in 1999 and 2000. Here's how the NHL will look next season: Eastern Conference Atlantic Northeast Southeast Panthers Tampa Bay Carolina Washington Atlanta ('99) Boston Buffalo Montreal Ottawa Toronto New Jersey Islanders Rangers Philadelphia Pittsburgh Bettman said. "I gave them overnight to think about it, but it wasn't necessary." Bettman said each member of the board had been given a copy of the proposal last week. He credited Glenn Adamo, the NHL's vice president of broadcasting, for coming up with the plan, which involves only minor adjustments to the 1998-99 schedule. "It's just a way of phasing in a little bit faster Toronto's move to the East," Bettman said. "It's a sensible alternative, and the board was comfortable with it. Please see REAUGKMENT7C By Chuck Otterson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer I PALM BEACH Quicker than a 5n-3 power-play goal by Jaromir Jagr, the NHL approved a realignment plan Tuesday that sends the Toronto Maple Leafs to the league's Eastern Conference next season. t The realignment, originally scheduled for 2003, was adopted by the NHL Board of Governors on the first day of its annual meeting at The Breakers. It puts the Maple Leafs in the same division with two of their traditional rivals, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. t I "We discussed it for five or 10 minutes," NHL Commissioner Gary By Jorge Milian Palm Beach Post Staff Writer MIAMI Tim Hardaway may have an opinion on Latrell Sprewell's attack on Golden State coach PJ. Carlesimo, but the Miami Heat guard was in no mood to share it with the media on Tuesday. Sprewell was suspended for 10-games by the Warriors on Monday after allegedly choking and punching Carlesimo during a team practice. Hardaway had a running feud with Sprewell while the two were teammates with Golden State from the 1992-93 season to mid-1996. When approached by reporters on Tuesday following the Heat's morning workout, Hardaway quickly an- Western Conference Central Northwest . Pacific Chicago Calgary Anaheim Detroit Colorado Dallas Nashville Edmonton Los Angeles St. Louis Vancouver Phoenix Columbus ('00) Minnesota ('00) San Jose

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