The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 27, 2001 · Page 19
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 19

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, April 27, 2001
Page 19
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL SPORTS FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2001 CB • SOCCER U.S. not content despite big lead Lead in standings a commanding five points following win By STEVE BRISENDINE The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bruce Arena cautions against losing focus after the United States' fast start in World Cup regional qualifying. "We're not going to relax," the U.S. coach promised. His players remind anyone who asks that seven of the 10 qualifying matches have yet to be played. "You don't knovf what's going to happen with other teams, with injuries, with who people will bring," said forward Clint Mathis, whose assist — on an uncalled handball — set up Josh Wolff's goal that beat Costa Rica 1-0 on Wednesday night. They smiled when they said those things, though, and who wouldn't smile in their situation? Their win over Costa Rica gave the Americans a 3-0 record, nine points in the standings and a commanding five-point lead over three teams — Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica — all with 1-1-1 records. "The coaches have it drilled into our heads that we can win games, that we have to win these games," midfielder and team captain Claudio Reyna said. "I think that leads to a certain level of confidence with the team." Mexico played a 1-1 tie Wednesday at Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica tied Honduras 1-1 at home. "The big picture is that we are still not qualified for the World Cup, but I don't think we could have laid out a better picture than the one we have, with nine points after three games," Arena said. The three second-place teams, along with Honduras, were all expected to provide tough competition for the region's three slots at World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea. The Americans already have defeated all but one of those four, opening regional qualifying with a 2-1 win over Mexico 2-0 on Feb. 28 and beating Honduras 2-1 on March 28. Their next qualifying match is June 16 in Jamaica. "We only have nine points, and we still need to have about 15 points to quality," Arena said. "We are not going to relax. We have at least two victories we have to get before we book our tickets to ' South Korea and Japan." But things should only get better for the Americans. Forwards Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore have missed the first three games with injuries. Defender Steve Cherundolo, back from a knee injury that kept him off the Olympic team, is already proving valuable at the right outside back's spot. Cherundolo, 22, played for the U.S. Under-23 team in Olympic qualifying last spring, then severely injured a knee while practicing with Hannover 96 in Germany He started Wednesday night and turned in a solid marking performance on Costa Rican forward Hernan Medford. "He's quick, dependable, everything you want in an outside back," U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. "I see him as in integral part of this team for a very long time." Keller — making his first appearance of the year with the national team — was another bright spots. He blended in seamlessly with the revamped defense and made his six-save shutout look effortless. Whether he can return to being the regular starter — ahead of Brad Friedel, who missed Wednesday night's game to play for his English team, Blackburn Rovers — remains to be seen. • COLLEGE ATHLETICS NCAA postpones decisions on athlete loans, limit of games By MICHAEL MAROT The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Board of Directors on Thursday postponed decisions on whether to allow athletes to take out bank loans based on future earnings and whether to eliminate the exemptions on certified basketball tournaments. The Board of Directors, a group of NCAA presidents, sent those proposals back to the NCAA management council for further study. "We decided at the January meeting that we would have a full discussion at our August meeting about the amateurism changes," said William Kirwan, chairman of the Board of Directors and president of Ohio State University. "We want to make very clear that the board is very interested in putting a limit on the number of games one school can play," he said. "But the board has significant concerns about the legislation." The NCAA management council passed the proposals on April 10, but it needs the board's approval to implement the changes. By postponing a decision, the Board of Directors has given the go-ahead for tournaments, such as those held in Hawaii and Alaska as well as the Preseason NIT and Coaches vs. Cancer, to continue under current rules that count each tournament as one game against an NCAA limit of 28. The management council's proposal would count each game of a tournament against 29-game limit. But the Board of Directors thought it needed more information before making a decision. "There werd points raised that we feel we need to look into," Kirwan said. "We need to find out what is the impact of teams not in major conferences to use these events to reach the NCAA tournament." At the same time, though, the board placed a moratorium on approving any additional certified tournaments or the expansion of any existing tournaments until August 2004. NCAA president Cedric Dempsey said six tournaments that applied before April 15 will be considered for certification. "We're not guaranteeing any waivers after 2004," Kirwan said. "We just don't feel some of the questions we have have been adequately addressed by the management council." Kirwan wants more information on the impact the tournaments have on missed class time, graduation rates and RPI ratings, which are used to determine NCAA tournament teams, He set a January 2004 deadline for the management council to report back to the board, Dempsey said he expected the report to take at least that long to determine the impact of the "two-and-four rule," which allows schools to compete in only two certified tournaments during a four-year period. That rule has been in effect for one year "I think the board looked at the need to have some of these issues studied," Dempsey said. "It is important to look at the two-and-four rule and the impact that it has. I think you'd want at least three years to study that." An NCAA counsel said pending litigation regarding the certified tournaments played no role in the delay The board did approve one change — allowing student-athletes to receive money for high- level performances in the Olympics through Operation Gold. The other parts of the amateurism proposal — obtaining a one-time $20,000 bank loan based on future earnings potential for projected high draft picks, having the NCAA pick up the cost of disability insurance and allowing student-athletes to receive money for private lessons in sports such as golf and tennis — were not addressed. "There was never really any intention to take action on those issues at this meeting because in January we decided to look at the amateurism proposal as an entire package," Kirwan said. "We will probably take action at our November meeting." The NCAA management council also is considering a proposal that would allow student-athletes to get drafted, even play professionally for up to one year, and still return to college with three years' eligibility remaining. TGOLF Simpson recaptures former form By The Associated Press GREENSBORO, N.C. — A lot has changed since Scott Simpson won 14 years ago at Forest Oaks Country Club. His jet black hair has turned gray, he's shaved his trademark mustache, he's put on a few pounds and the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic now has a $3.5 million purse. The 45-year-old Simpson is also attempting an unlikely comeback on the PGA Tour with seven screws and a plate in his right ankle foUovvlng a December 1999 skiing accident in Utah. Simpson shot a 6-under-par 66 Thursday in one of his best rounds since picking his clubs back up and grabbed a one- stroke lead over seven golfers after the first round, Aaron Baddeley, a 20-year-old rising star from Australia, Jerry Kelly, Dudley Hart, Robert Damron, Shaun Micheel, Spike McRoy and sectional qualifier Jeffrey Lankford were in the group at 67. "There is a picture of me in the locker room and everybody says, 'Who is that guy?'" Simpson said in reference to his different appearance since winning here in 1987 when first place was worth $108,000, This year's winner gets $630,000. Simpson has missed five of nine cuts after sitting out all of 2000 with his injury. He's playing this season on a major med­ ical exemption, but so far he's 171st in greens in regulation, 163rd in driving distance and 157th in scoring average. Full Security and Alarm Service. Midwest Securitu Systems, Inc. 1006 E. Iron / Salina, KS 785-825-8157 / 800-732-7863 T AUTO RACING: NASCAR Tragedy, triumph mark season ITS A SHOWROOM UNLIKE ANY OTHER By MICHAEL CARVELL Cox News Service Ever since the green flag waved at Daytona, it has been a surreal season — loaded with both tragedy (the death of Dale Earnhardt) and triumph (several first-time winners). I With the season one-fourth over, let's take time to pass out the first-quarter awards on NASCAR's 2001 season. I • Biggest story: The season will be remembered for the fa- !tal wreck of Dale Earnhardt Sr. pn the final lap of the Daytona 500. Earnhardt was NASCAR's biggest superstar, and his death sent shock waves across the country "The Intimidator" is honored during the third lap of each race with fans standing while holding three fingers. • Best driver: Dale Jarrett has won three of the nine races and has more victories than he posted during the 2000 season ^two). Jarrett, the 1999 Winston Cup champion, knows it takes a lot of talent and a little luck to win a title. The only negative is that Jarrett often has complained about Ford's "disadvantage" and irritated fans. • Best rookie: Richard Childress selected Kevin Harvick (above) to be the replacement driver with Earnhardt's team. Harvick has shown uncanny confidence, surprising tSIASCAR by winning at Atlanta jn his third career start. Har­ vick also won the Busch series Jani-King 300 at Texas Motor Speedway • Biggest surprise: Sunday's Talladega 500 victory was the biggest of Bobby Hamilton's career. Hamilton (above) is fourth in points, but most fans think he won't be near the top at the end of the season. It seems to be a strange year: Hamilton won Talladega in a Chevrolet that was once a show car • Biggest disappointments: Jeff Burton (at right) and Mike Skinner (left). Burton has drawn attention to his struggles because he was Las Vegas' pick to win this year's title. He finished third in the points standings last season. Burton got caught up in the 19- car wreck at Daytona, and things went downhill from there. But he might be close to turning it around after solid finishes at Martinsville and Talladega. If Burton can crack the top 5 by November, it will be a successful season.Skinner's nosedive (30th in points) follows two top-12 finishes in 1999 and 2000. • Best race finish: For the second consecutive year, the Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will claim this award after a photo finish. With many fans of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. crying and holding up three fingers, Harvick held off Jeff Gordon. It was similar to Earnhardt's victory against Bobby Labonte 12 months earlier. • Best race strategy: Crew chief Pat Tryon rolled the dice and told Elliot Sadler to stay out while others pitted near the end of the Bristol race. Sadler's tires remained fast, regardless of wear, and the legendary Wood brothers were back in victory lane for the first time since the 1996 Winston all-star exhibition. • Best sportsmanship: Jeff Burton has stood up to the criticism after his rough start. Some of NASCAR's biggest stars run and hide inside their luxury motorcoaches at the first sign of trouble. Burton has accepted the disappointment and has refused to blame others. • Worst sportsmanship: Jimmy Spencer exploded after finishing runner-up in the Talladega Busch race. He criticized anyone who crossed his path, including winner Mike McLaughlin, whom he called a "dirty driver." In post-race interviews. Spencer glared at third-place finisher Jeff Green and ripped Winston Cup teammate Todd Bodine for not working with him. • Best off-track news: Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns six Winston Cup tracks, announced that it is considering hiring a medical director to direct safety operations at all facilities. Stiles makes phone book cover By The Associated Press SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There's a new collectible for Jackie Stiles fans. Stiles is on the cover of Southwestern Bell's May 2001 Springfield/Branson Area phone book that was unveiled Thursday The woman from Claflincap- tured the hearts of fan, as well as the NCAA Division 1 women's career-scoring record, while on the Southwest Missouri State basketball team. She was selected by the Portland Fire as the fourth overall pick in the WNBA draft, More than 380,000 copies of the phone directory have been printed for distribution beginning next week to homes and businesses in Springfield and surrounding communities. PnOftaaiONAL BAaKETBAU Season Tickets Now On Sale! Tickets are available only at the Salina Bicentennial center. You may renew in person or by phone ll 826-7469 or toU free 1 -888-826-7469. 'ur new showroom is more than just beautiful. It's a DuPont Flooring Center'" showroom-the most innovative approach to a stress-free carpet buying experience. EASY TO SHOP Our DuPont STAINMASTER® display system allows you to quickly pinpoint the carpet features you need within the price range you want. ARRANGED BY STYLE AND COLOR Within each performance section, carpets are arranged by style and color. GREATEST SELECTION Our DuPont Flooring Center'" features one of the widest selections of STAINMASTER* in this area. THE UNBEATABLE STYLE AND PERFORMANCE OF DUPONT STAINMASTER* When it says DuPont STAINMASTER* you're assured of a carpet that lasts longer and looks good doing iti ^^^^ UTTy Experience the exduiive DuPont STAINMASTER* Ultra Life* carpet. Ol 'I 'ering beauty nnd real elegance you can sec and icel. Plui, the industry's moJt coniiprehensivc warranty package for complete peace of mind. STAINMASTER I 'III,I I. lie Lilt pel All-star Celebration of oor Salina Star Grand Opening! 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