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The Palm Beach Post s SECTION C INSIDE BASEBALL ) U.S. draws Germany in opener 1 The Americans also will face Iran and j Yugoslavia in the World Cup. PAGE 3C j Bengals roll behind Dillon's 246 yards 9 Corey Dillon sets rookie single-game rushing i record in 4 1 -1 4 rout of Oilers. PAGE 7C Marlins' Manuel named White Sox manager Jerry Manuel (left) becomes the second coach to leave Jim Leyland's staff for a major-league manager's job. PAGE 2C .FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1997 SPORTS 'A sports league does not have to accept or condone behavior that would not be tolerated in any other segment of society. 9 David Stern, NBA commissioner Lions' Mitchell tunes out critics m NBA suspends Sprewell for year QB talk show host has weathered storm of angry fans to lift Detroit back into playoff contention. By Ed Price Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Detroit Lions fans may not see it on Sundays, but Scott Mitchell shows his courage on Mondays. Mitchell, the former Dolphins backup quarterback now starting for the Lions, has a second career as talk-show host on a Detroit all-sports radio station. His show is broadcast live from establishments around the area, with fans critical fans in attendance. 4 (. Q I ('A "I take some tough calls," he said. "They try to screen them a little bit, but there have been some pretty good ones people saying I : vC f-i' i - ; ' ; ."fti.-v The basis for the suspension The Warriors informed Latrell Sprewell that they reserved the right to terminate his contract under Section 16 of the Uniform Player Contract. It says players must 'conform to standards of good citizenship and good moral character' and prohibits 'engaging in acts of moral turpitude.' Other NBA suspensions Sprewell's suspension is the harshest given to an NBA player. Other notable penalties include: KERMIT WASHINGTON: The league suspended the Lakers' forward for 60 days (26 games) in 1977 for punching and breaking the jaw of Rockets forward Rudy Tomjanovich. DENNIS RODMAN: The Bulls power forward was suspended 1 1 games in 1996-97 for kicking a cameraman in a game against Minnesota. ROY TARPLEY and RICHARD DUMAS: Tarpley, who played for Dallas, and Dumas, who played for Phoenix, received lifetime bans for violating the NBA's substance-abuse policy. Palm Beach Post Wire Services WASHINGTON One day after the balance of his $32 million contract with the Golden State Warriors was voided because he allegedly assaulted and threatened to kill his coach, Latrell Sprewell on Thursday was suspended from the NBA for a year the longest suspension in league history. That penalty, announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern, keeps the three-time All-Star guard from playing in the league until next December. Reports say Sprewell choked Golden State coach P J. Carlesimo during a practice on Monday and, after being thrown out of the gym, came back on the court 20 minutes later, threw a punch and threatened to kill the coach if he wasn't traded. "A sports league does not accept or condone behavior that would not be tolerated in any other segment of society," Stern said in a statement. "Accordingly, Latrell Sprewell is suspended from the NBA for one year." The NBA players union, which did not challenge the 10-game suspension that was initially handed down by the Warriors, said it would immediately file a grievance with the league. Had the league not taken any action Thursday, Sprewell, one of the NBA's most talented shooting guards, could have been signed by one of the league's 28 other teams. "To strip a player of his ability to pursue his livelihood for a full year based on one isolated incident is excessive and unreasonable punishment," said Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Association. "We previously stated that we would not contest a 10-game suspension even though it would cost Latrell a million dollars in salary. Now, it seems as if some other agenda is driving the Warriors and the NBA. A $25 million forfeiture of salary and one-year expulsion is staggering." Sprewell, 27, was scheduled to make $7.6 million this season, the second year of a four-year contract that totaled $32 million. After the Monday incident, the Warriors suspended Sprewell for at least 10 games, which would have cost him $940,000. On Wednesday, Sprewell apologized to fans and his friends but not to Carlesimo. Sprewell said he made a mistake, but was provoked by Carlesimo "after a lot of verbal abuse." Sprewell won't be eligible to play in Please see SPREWELL6C Photos by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Latrell Sprewe'll's alleged actions against his coach will cost him a $25 million forfeiture of salary, a shoe endorsement contract with Converse, and a year away from the NBA. Mitchell have no neart just something stupid. I just say, 'You have no life.' " The tough calls should be thinning out. In the Lions' three-game winning streak which has Detroit at 7-6 and in the NFC playoff chase Mitchell has a 99.8 quarterback rating. Earlier this season, Mitchell signed a new four-year, $21 million contract with the Lions after having joined Detroit in 1994 by signing an $11 million, three-year contract. And he can pinpoint the moment he made his biggest stride toward such riches. . In his first two years in the NFL (1990-91) Mitchell played in two games for Miami, as a holder on kicks. In the third game of the 1992 season, Dan Marino was injured with the Dolphins trailing 17- 12 and 6:35 left in a game at Seattle. Mitchell came in, threw an 18- yard pass to escape third-and-10, and Marino re-entered. Miami went on to win 19-17. ; ' "Until I actually played, I always wondered, 'Can I really do it can I play?,' " Mitchell said. "That one play, it all happened so fast, and it was over with almost before I could realize what happened. You just say, 'This is the moment I've prepared for and waited for all my life and I'm going to go for it and I'm ready for it.' Once I got out there I was like, 'This is just football, not some mystery.' " When Marino suffered a torn Please see MITCHELL7C PJP having post-season 'blast' so far By Steve Dorsey Palm Beach Post Staff Writer BOCA RATON Earlier this week, Pope John Paul football coach Terry Gough described the Eagles' surprising playoff run as ."quite a roller coaster ride." ! Most observers figure the ride will end tonight when the Eagles, the only team remaining in the state playoffs with a below-.500 record, travel to Avon Park for a Class 3A regional semifinal. But those observers probably thought the same thing two weeks ago before Pope John Paul (5-7) trounced Melbourne Central Catholic 44-14 in the first round. Then the Eagles beat Fort Lauderdale-Pine Crest 27-24 last week in thfc quarterfinals. "They're having a blast," Gough said of his underdog team. ; As well the Eagles should be. ' They made the playoffs for the first time despite a 3-7 regular-season record. One of those wins, however, was a turning point in Pope John Paul's season, Gough said. ; "The Newman game, that's when they lit it up," Gough said, referring to the Eagles' 21-0 victory against districtival Cardinal Please see EAGLES4C -n ?vi -a Tolerance, unlike Latrell, will return W - M I..... ,. ....liin ;i , ffj ,.,. llfl-ilM; ; " :. ; r .. J : ; : ' 'tj w "" " " ,. i? Greg Stoda Latrell Sprewell, a three-time NBA All-Star, is better at his job than Lawrence Phillips, a two-season NFL problem child, is at his. So, do you think the small matter of Sprewell having his $32 million contract terminated by the Golden State Warriors he attacked and threatened to kill coach PJ. Carlesimo is going to stop teams from lining up at his door to inquire about future employment? You gotta be kidding. And the NBA knows it, which is probably why it took a stunning step Thursday afternoon and suspended Sprewell for a year without pay. That's called making a pre- have to accept or condone that kind of behavior. But it usually does. Check the police records and compare them with rosters around the league of your choice. The Miami Dolphins provided the most recent example when they signed Phillips, who once grabbed an ex-girlfriend at the University of Nebraska by her hair and dragged her down a flight of stairs. Subsequently, he has demonstrated various forms of ' abusive and aberrant behavior. But no sooner did the St. Louis Rams release Phillips, giving up on the No. 6 pick in the 1996 Please see ST0DA6C emptive strike. Expect immediate appeals, of course. "A sports league does not have to accept or condone behavior that would not be tolerated in any other segment of society," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. No, a sports league doesn't Golden State coach P.J. Carlesimo was swamped with questions during the Warriors' practice session Thursday. He now has to oversee a team that has lost its leading scorer and won only once in 15 games this season. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING j -"- & -j 'If you're in a real life, you wouldn't get away with it. ' AD0NAL F0YLE Warriors rookie and Sprewell's former teammate 7'$ way too severe ' He deserves some type of penalty, but I think it's too hard to terminate and suspend him for a year from the league. ' JOHN STARKS New York Knicks 'He has run into more problems the longer he has been in the league, for whatever reason. ... It's a hard price to pay for what he did, but I think it's a fair price. ' DON NELSON former Warriors coach, new Mavericks coach r '