The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on February 2, 1986 · Page 25
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 25

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Sunday, February 2, 1986
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The Salina Journal Sunday, February 2,1986 Page 25 Brushes with law keep Skiles under public scrutiny EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Scott Skiles is the talk of the town. It's not because he's the nation's third-ranked scorer with 26.8 points per game and it's not because he's the Big Ten Conference leader, averaging 29 points. What dominates nearly every conversation about the 6-foot-l Michigan State senior guard, what riles opposing-team fans, is Skiles' criminal record. He's been arrested three times in the past two years. Last April, in his hometown of Plymouth, Ind., Skiles plea- bargained a cocaine-possession charge and pleaded guilty to marijuana possession, a misdemeanor. He was given a suspended one-year prison term, fined $100, placed on one-year probation and told to perform 120 hours of community work. In May, in nearby Mason, he was sentenced to a night in jail and fined $300 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of impaired driving. He also had his license suspended for 90 days. In November, in East Lansing, Skiles was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence. He was suspended for one game and later pleaded innocent to the charge. "Obviously, I wish I'd never gotten in any of this trouble," he said. "But I've learned that I can withstand anything that anyone is willing to Dial soars to indoor record in pole vault COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Joe Dial cleared 19 feet, 4% inches Saturday to set a world indoor best in the pole vault, breaking by one inch the mark of 19-3% established one week ago by Billy Olson in Albuquerque, N.M. Dial, 23, who is the U.S. world record holder in the outdoor pole vault, set the indoor standard in his second attempt. He was competing as an independent at a college track meet at the University of Missouri's Hearnes Center. "A world record! Man, oh, man," said Dial, a six-time Big Eight Conference champion in the indoor and outdoor pole vault at Oklahoma State and the NCAA's indoor and outdoor champion last year. "This is a" dream come true," said Dial, who did not attempt another leap after his new mark. "All my life I've wanted to break a world record." Dial jokingly asked reporters to withhold stories on his achievement so Olson, who was competing in an indoor meet Saturday night in Dallas, would not have added impetus to break the record. Dial, of Marlow, Okla., holds the U.S. outdoor pole record of 19-2V4. The world record of 19- 8V4 was set in Paris last July by Sergey Bubka. "I'm up there with all of them now," Dial said. "I knew I had a world record in me. I just knew that the good lord wouldn't have me working for this long if he didn't have something like this in store for me. "I definitely think 20 feet is possible. That's what I'm looking at," Dial said. "I think this record will be broken.'' "If I have to go to jail, I'm prepared to go. That's probably the worst thing that could happen to me." —Scott Skiles Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote (right) does what he can to protect Scott Skiles from undue pressure. dish out." He gets lots of practice. Since his troubles began, Skiles has been subjected to some mean- spirited abuse, especially when the Spartans hit the road. Iowa State fans brought packets of sugar to a Dec. 14 game, waved them in the air and chanted "coke, coke, coke" when Skiles appeared. "I've never seen anything quite like it at the college level," said Jack Ebling, a sports writer who covers Michigan State for the Lansing State Journal. Coach Jud Heathcote blames a lot of Skiles' torment on the media, saying reports of the arrests have been blown out of proportion because Skiles is an athlete. Since the latest charge was filed, Heathcote has assumed a bigger role in Skiles' affairs. Requests for interviews must first be cleared by the coach; most requests are turned down. "If reporters wanted to talk about basketball, Scott would talk all day," Heathcote said. "But few seem to want to talk to Scott about basketball these days." A hearing is scheduled Feb. 21 to determine whether his one-year probation should be revoked because of the latest charge. "If I have to go to jail, I'm prepared to go. There's no reason to be optimistic," Skiles told the State Journal last week. "That's probably the worst thing that could happen to me. "And if I can do anything to stay out of jail, I'll do it. But I'll cope with it one way or the other.'' But he worries that recent events may put a stigma on folks he cares about in Plymouth, a town of about 20 people, near South Bend. "My dad works for the city of Plymouth," Skiles said. "People don't say too much to my parents' faces, but it's a small town. I'm sure people talk behind their backs." He also has a nagging fear that the talk might continue long after he graduates. "I'd like to coach some day, but say I go somewhere and use my degree, then get back into basketball at age 25 or 26," Skiles said. "They'll print my name in the paper and say, 'Scott Skiles was hired as an assistant at such-and-such. He played four years at Michigan State, where he was arrested...' "I'm sure it'll go with me for quite awhile." He'd like to buy some time in the National Basketball Association, but he isn't certain he'll be drafted. Skiles scored 45 and 40 points in successive games against Minnesota and Michigan recently, and his 53-of- 69 shooting from the floor gives him an incredible 77 percentage. But he thinks some NBA clubs may be put off by his size and speed. "Compared with college basketball players today, I'm below average athletically," Skiles told the Detroit Free Press. "A coach needs a mixture of X amount of athletes and X amount of true, smart basketball players. You won't see me leap into the air and smother a rebound with one hand, but I can still get seven or eight rebounds a game." Marty Blake, the NBA's scouting director, tends to agree. "Skiles is a tough player," Blake said. "He can handle the ball, pass and shoot it. And he's a great, great competitor with a heart as big as a state. He can absolutely play in the NBA and he'll definitely be a first- rounder." If that happens, there won't be a happier player than Skiles, who vows his brushes with the law are over. ' 'I was just f oolish a couple of times and got caught," he said. "I'm not out drinking and driving every night, and I hope people believe that." WAL-MARJ AUTO CENTER Don't Miss Our Auto Service Specials Ad Each Sunday In Entertainment Section. Angry Zoeller leads AT&T event PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) Fuzzy Zoeller casually contrived a 66, took a three-stroke lead and then touched off a mild controversy Saturday in the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro- Am. "I am not happy with the PGA (Tour's) decision to lift, clean and place," Zoeller said after his 6-under- par effort at Pebble Beach produced a36-holetotalof!35. . "We played in the slop at Spyglass (in Thursday's first round), and now the guys playing there get to tee it up. That's a three or four-stroke advantage," Zoeller said. But Tom Watson was having none of it. "Then why am I three shots behind?" Watson asked after a 5-under- par 67 at Spyglass Hill, a course he described as "very, very squishy." He reached the tournament halfway point at 138. "I don't buy Fuzzy's argument," said Watson, a two-time winner of this title when it was called the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. After heavy rains washed out Friday's play, PGA Tour officials ruled that players could lift, clean and place balls in the fairways for the remainder of the tournament. Zoeller, a former U.S. Open and Masters champion, played difficult Spyglass in the rain Thursday before that ruling went into effect. Watson played Spyglass—"not my favorite," he said — under the lift, clean and place rule. "A big advantage," he admitted, but insisted the ruling was the proper one. "We've had a lot of complaints, particularly from the players who played Spyglass on Thursday," said Mike Shea, Tournament Supervisor for the PGA Tour. "They got a bad break," Shea said. "But we're trying to finish the golf tournament and we made the decision we felt necessary to do that." The tournament now is scheduled for a day-late finish with the final round oh Monday. Fuzzy Zoeller chips out of the rough onto the second green to set up a birdie. \ Mark Wiebe, who scored his first professional victory as a Tour sophomore last season, had a 69 in the mild, hazy weather at Pebble Beach and moved into third at 139, one stroke back of Watson. The group at 140 included Jim Thorpe, Bob Eastwood, Mark Pfeil and Tony Sills. Pfeil closed with a 67 at Cypress Point. Eastwood had a 70 at Pebble Beach. Thorpe shot 70 at Cypress Point. Sills, a runner-up last week, had a 70 at Cypress Point. Despite his displeasure with the official ruling, Zoeller said he "played good. I went out and beat a very good golf course. "The weather was perfect, the course was in good shape considering all the water it's had, the hole looked enormous, all my short putts were going in and that's what keeps a round together," he said. He scored five of his seven birdies after throwing his approaches within six feet of the pins, and opened a string of three consecutive birdies with a 15-f ooter on the second. Watson, who won the 1982 U.S. Open on the Pebble Beach course he will play the next two days, moved into contention with birdies on three of his last four holes. "A kind of revenge," Watson said. "I usually shoot about 74 on that course." Rookie sweeps aside field for PBA win Rangers sign Slaught ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas Rangers catcher Don Slaught has agreed to terms on a three-year contract extending through the 1988 season, team officials said Saturday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Slaught, 27, batted .280 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 1985, his first season with Texas since being acquired from Kansas City last January. He played in just one game from July 6 to Aug. 25 because of a pulled hamstring muscle. GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (AP) — Rookie Jon O'Drobinak went through a field that included three of the best players in the Professional Bowlers Association Tour to capture his first title in the $150,000 Quaker State Open Saturday afternoon. O'Drobinak, 20, of Hammond, Ind., knocked off top- seeded Mark Roth, 202-190, in the title game, to complete a four-game series where he eliminated three players who had won a combined 67 PBA titles. Roth has 32 wins, Marshall Holman has 19 and Wayne Webb has 16. The win was worth $27,000 and a trip to this year's Firestone Tournament of Champions in Akron, Ohio, in April. O'Drobinak, who had earned just $6,785 in three years as a PBA member coming into the event, opened the nationally televised finals with a 241-191 decision over another non-winner, Jim Harvey of Tucson, Ariz. In the second game, he stopped Webb, of Indianapolis, 218-177. His match against Holman was closer, but O'Drobinak eliminated Holman, 210-207, when Holman failed to get two strikes in the 10th frame. *<r RedWings #1155 $86.95 #1104 $78.95 99 $ 59 $4999 $4Q99 #404 $76.95 OPEN: SUN. 1-6 Okamoto holds onto lead in LPGA Arden Classic NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) Japan's Ayako Okamoto struggled through a 1-over-par 73 Saturday but managed to hang onto a one-stroke lead at the $200,000 Elizabeth Arden Classic. The Tokyo resident stands at 7- under 209 heading into today's final round at the Turnberry Isle Country Club. Beth Daniel is one stroke back at 210 after taking a bogey on the last hole when she nearly whiffed on a chip shot. Her third-round score of 71 included three birdies and two bogeys. Debbie Massey is another stroke back at 211 after firing a 71. She also hit her approach to the left on No. 18 and ended her round with a bogey. Muffin Spencer-Devlin and Hollis Stacy are at 212, with Lori Garbacz and Juli Inkster at 213. Okamoto, who led by three shots going into the third round, birdied the first hole to take a brief four-stroke lead over the field. But she suffered successive bogeys at No. 4 and No. 5 and dropped another stroke to par at the 12th hole to fall one stroke behind Massey. But Okamoto drilled a 30-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole to regain a share of the lead. While Massey bogeyed the 14th and 18th holes and Daniel dropped a shot on the final hole, Okamoto finished with six straight pars. Okamoto, who has been undergoing acupuncture treatment for a back problem, said her back didn't bother her Saturday. Her problems were psychological, she said. ' 'I felt the pressure today,'' said the soft-spoken Okamoto. "I haven't felt that kind of pressure for about a year and half. The pressure made my legs hurt." Okamoto has won five LPGA events, including three in 1984, but she played sparingly and not very well last year because of the back problems. Okamoto said she never felt in control of her long shots Saturday, even though she hit 13 greens in regulation compared to only seven in the first round and 12 the second. Daniel said she feels good about her position heading into the final round, but she would have felt better if not for her mistake on the final hole. "I had a real fluffy lie," she said. "It was sitting up real high and I swung the club right under the ball. I didn't expect it to come out like that." The ball travelled about five feet to the fringe of the green, and she two-putted from 25 feet for the bogey. GOOD/YEAR VECTOR RADIAL SALE! Ask About Our Road Hazard Warranty 90 Days SAME AS CASH WITH SILVER CARD $ 53 P155/80R13 Whitewall No Trade Needed SUNSET PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER LUBE, OIL CHANGE & FILTER $14.88 Prices Good Thru Feb. 8,1986 • | • Includes up to 5 qts. PENNZOIL 10/30oll • Ensures smooth performance, reduces the ( chance of water • Most American cars • CALL FOR AN APPT. CCORD 827-9662 423 S. Santa Fa 827-S Hours: Mon.-Frl. 7:30-5:00, Sat. 7:30-12:00

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