The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 6, 1997 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 6, 1997
Page 9
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THE SALlf$&UOURNAL Sports CLASSIFIED / B5 ALMANAC / B7 FUN / B8 B T COMMENT T COLLEGE BASKETBALL BLAIR KERKHOFF The Kansas Citycitar LaFrentz, Pierce coining back Here's a new idea to spice up spring football Spring football in the Big 12 ^ wrapped up a two-month run Sat- iurday when Kansas State held its iscrimmage. Texas Tech got it start;ed on March 4. The period serves a purpose only coaches understand. ' "Evaluation," Texas coach John !Mackovic said. ; "A time for a team to come together," Colorado's Rick Neuheisel said. A suggestion: Allow schools the : opportunity to scrimmage each ;other to end spring practice. Struc- lure it like those controlled NFL practice/scrimmages before the exhibition season. The injury risk is low; the interest would be higher. Kansas at Missouri, Baylor at Texas, Nebraska at Iowa State. •Wherever the bus goes. Switch 'sites the next year, opponents the inext. Go indoors if it rains. Anything to spice up the spring. What ;other sport has no practice session •against another opponent? • Donnie Duncan, Big 12 director !of football operations, didn't toss ;the idea in the wastebasket. ; "College football is moving to •fewer numbers and more restrictions in the spring, but I see value iin it," Duncan said. "It's an opportunity to have a less pressurized ;practice with an opponent, and you •could turn it into an occasion 'where the players could do things '.in the community that day." ; Without the benefit of such entertainment, spring practice provided some answers. -„ Among quarterbacks, there's a problem at Oklahoma State, stiff competition at Kansas and Kansas State, an heir at Colorado, pressure at Nebraska and the league's best talent at Texas and Texas Tech. Missouri and Texas A&M are loaded at running back, while the Red Raiders are still searching to replace Byron Hanspard. At Iowa State, the new Davis — Troy's brother, Darren — may be better than the old. Not winning the national championship killed interest at Nebraska, where "only" 42,000 showed up for the spring game. That's about as many as the other schools combined. Dave Roberts and Terry Allen, the new head coaches at Baylor and Kansas, took it slower than usual but sounded like coaching veterans when stating effort was the most impressive product of the spring. Beyond that, more news was made off the field. , At Texas A&M, quarterback Branndon Stewart was granted an extra year of eligibility. He had transferred from Tennessee in January of his freshman season, which, under national-letter-of-in- terit rules, costs him a year. But — Kansas basketball fans concerned about LSU transfer Lester Earl take note — Stewart and the Aggies successfully petitioned the Collegiate Commissioners Association and got Stewart's year back. A key in all this was Tennessee's willingness not to challenge Stewart's decision to transfer. "I felt like my career had been cut short losing that extra year when I transferred," Stewart said after the mid-April ruling. "This gives me a chance to further my development." At Nebraska, practice activities competed for attention with the revelation that nearly $80,000 in booster money had gone to bonuses for athletic-department members. None of that violated NCAA rules, but some of the school's top boosters were offended and angry with athletic director Bill Byrne, who defended the practice as "using money to keep good people here and ensure success in our athletic programs." Not receiving as much attention was a scholarship endowed in the name of former quarterback Brook Berringer, who died in plane crash two days before last year's spring game. The $150,000 donation will come from the country music band Sawyer Brown, which will donate its receipts from an August concert at the Nebraska State Fair. The concert figures to be more entertaining than some of the Cornhuskers' home games. Spring football provides an opportunity to look at the early fall schedules, where you'll find more mutts than at a dog pound. Akron and Central Florida visit Lincoln in September. KU underclassmen pass up NBA draft for another chance at national championship By HAROLD BECHARD The Snlitm lournal University of Kansas basketball fans can now breathe easier. No, make that a lot easier. Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce, two Jay- hawks expected to be high first-round draft choices in the NBA draft next month, announced Monday night they will play college basketball one more season. Max Falkenstien of the Kansas Radio Network announced the players' decision in Allen Fieldhouse during a game featuring the Raef LaFrentz Size, class, home 6-11, 235, junior Monona, Iowa '96-97 stats 19.5ppg, 9.3 rpg Honors AP Ail-American; Big 12 Player of the Year Paul Pierce Size, class, home 6-7, 220, sophomore Los Angeles '96-97 stats 16.3ppg., 6.8 rpg. Honors Third team All-Big 12; MVP Big 12 tournament current KU seniors and a team of former Jay- hawks, which wrapped up the 1997 Barnstorming Tour by the seniors. The crowd of 6,300 gave the players a standing ovation. Neither player was immediately available Monday night. When Kansas point guard Jacque Vaughn announced his intention to stay for his senior season last year, he called a news conference. "We're not having a news conference," Kansas coach Roy Williams told the Associat- V HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL TOM DORSEY/The Salina Journal Ell-Saline's Nick Taylor (32) forces out Southeast's Scott Chrisman at second on a double-play attempt in the opener's fifth inning. Southeast splits with Ell-Saline ed Press. "Neither kid wanted a news conference." LaFrentz passed up certain big money, Williams said. "I think if Raef were to decide to go he'd be drafted anywhere from 3 to 7 in the first round," Williams said. "I personally think he'd be the third, fourth or fifth pick. If Paul were to decide to go, he'd be drafted anywhere from ninth or 10th to 15th in the first round. "I spoke with 11 different NBA teams, got those evaluations from general managers, personnel directors, head scouts, whatever. I- got all of their opinions and put it on paper for Paul and Raef both, and gave them copies of the salary scale for the next three years. See KU, Page B3 V MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Royals blank Boston i i Appier goes distance 3 for 10th career shutou^ Bell drives in KG runs? By The Associated Press £_ BOSTON — Kevin Appier continued his strong start and extended his success at Fenway Park. Appier pitched his third cotfi- plete game of the season and J$y Bell drove in both runs with-a homer and sacrifice fly as tfie Kansas City Royals beat tfie Boston Red Sox 2-0 Monday night. Appier (4-1) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven for his 10th career shutout and sixth straight win at Fenway. "The whole story was Appier," said Royals manager Bob Boone. fully good pOI| ti«'.«'?JW-" j -'--' j; again. He's re- fgl R °y a " 2 ally learning, ftjpw. R*dSox o how to pitch ,,.;;„». v much better than he has in the past." Appier is off to his best start Trojans continue Jekyll-and-Hyde style with a win then a loss By The Journal Staff GYPSUM — Southeast of Saline chipped and chipped away at Ell-Saline before finally putting the Cardinals away in the opening game of a doubleheader Monday. Ell-Saline threw its knockout punch early to guarantee a split in the twinbill at Southeast Field. The Trojans scored in five of six innings, including four runs in the bottom of the sixth, to win the opener 10-0. Ell-Saline responded with 10 runs in the top of the first on its way to a 15-6 victory in game two. "We just can't seem to play two games in a row," said Southeast coach Dee Kolzow, whose team has split five of seven doubleheaders this season. "We played great the first game, but we can't seem to get out of the first inning of the second game. "It was the same way last Friday when we beat Concordia in •ASUALL the firS ] • w game and Ell-Saline o 15 t h ey scored SE-Saiine 10 6 eight runs in the first inning of the second game." "We've been inconsistent and I really feel that comes from not having a facility at the school to practice on," said Ell-Saline coach Chris Barkley. "A lot of times our only choice is the gymnasium, or when we use the facility in Salina (Bondy Field), we lose 45 minutes in travel time. "Once we get into playing we're usually OK, but not being about to get out and practice a lot of baseball situations hurts us." Southeast's Jimmy White limited the Cardinals (4-4) to four hits over six innings and hit his first homer of the season to help his own cause. After the first game was called by the 10-run rule, Ell-Saline sent 15 men to the plate in the first inning and scored a quick 10 runs before Southeast ever came to bat in the second contest. "The first game I thought we hit the ball, but we just couldn't get a break when we did hit it," Barkley said. "The big thing is confidence, and when we had a couple of guys start hitting in the second game, then a couple of more got started. That's baseball. Some days you've got it and some days you don't." "We fell down 10-0 but we got some chances to score in the first few innings," Kolzow said. "If we take advantage and score some runs early, it might be a different ballgame." Southeast twice avoided the 10-run rule, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth, and three in the sixth to assure the game would go the complete seven innings. "I am disappointed in the way we came out in the second game," Kolzow said. "But we did battle back and didn't quit when we were down." Ell-Saline's Richie Benninghoven got the win in game two, holding Southeast scoreless until the fourth. Thane Douglas hit his fourth home run of the season — a two-run shot — for the Trojans. since going 11-2 in 1995. "It's how you use your stuff," Appier said. "We talked about using the fastball more in spring training—just having more confidence in it and I think it's paid off." The Red Sox threatened only once. Boston had runners on first and third with two outs in the third inning before Appier retired Bill Haselman on a bunt. Mo Vaughn and Darren Bragg had leadoff singles for Boston in the fourth and sixth, but were both quickly erased on double plays. Chris Hammond (1-1), who pitched his third consecutive strong game since joining the rotation after Tim Wakefield's elbow injury, was the tough-luck loser. He allowed seven hits and two runs over eight innings. Hammond, who entered the rotation April 24, has allowed just three runs in 19 innings as a starter. "Well pitched and well played," Boston manager Jimy Williams said of the 2-hour, 38-minute contest. "Chris Hammond pitched an outstanding game, but he was up against Appier." T BASKETBALL: COACHING CHANGES Pitino reportedly near signing deal with Celtics By The Associated Press BOSTON — Rick Pitino appears ready to take over the Boston Celtics, a job he called "the greatest opportunity ever afforded a coach." Pitino, holding an impromptu news conference Monday after a book signing in Atlanta, said he will announce today whether he'll leave Kentucky for the Celtics and a reported $7 ° mUlion "Whoever gets the Boston Celtics job is getting a great honor, Pitino said after promoting his motivational book, "Success is a Choice." Pitino planned to meet this morning with Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton before re- Brown signs big contract with Philadelphia 76ers By The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Larry Brown, a basketball vagabond who has won wherever he's gone, has a new address and a salary to top that of any NBA coach. Brown was hired Monday as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, his sixth NBA team, with full control of personnel decisions. He is now the NBA's highest salaried coach and can thank Rick Pitino from the bottom of his bank account. Brown, who on Wednesday resigned as coach of the Indiana Pacers, signed a contract that sources familiar with the negotiations said was worth close to $5 million annually over five years. BROWN Pitino's flirtation with several NBA coaching vacancies has bumped up the market price. But the 76ers — who finished 2260 this season and have not been to the playoffs in six years — were ready to pay. "I've been overpaid my whole life," said Brown, 56, joking that he got $7,000 in his first year as an assistant coach at North Carolina in 1965. "I'm doing something I love. I haven't gone to work one day of my life." vealing his decision. WBZ-TV in Boston reported he already agreed to coach the Celtics for the first six years of a 10-year deal before becoming director of basketball operations for the final four. And a Boston TV station re- ported the agreement could make him the highest-paid coach in sports history. There were other signs indicating Pitino would leave Kentucky, where he has three years left on his contract. If he takes over the Celtics, he would run a team with an NBA record 16 titles but coming off the worst of its 51 seasons. He pulled out of alumni functions in Kentucky today and Wednesday and called off a book- 4 Harrick back in game / Page B2 * Rockets beat Sonics / Page B3 signing in Henderson, Ky., scheduled for Wednesday. Pitino repeatedly said he likes New England, where he played basketball at Massachusetts and got his first head coaching job at Boston University. But Celtics owner Paul Gaston, who hasn't commented throughout the search for a successor to M.L. Carr, didn't shed any light on the process. "I will let you know if we have something to announce," he said Monday. At the Chapter 11 bookstore in an Atlanta mall Monday, he said, "For me, it's a matter of whether I want to be a professional basketball coach or impact lives like I've done in the past eight years." jBagjjUSaSiiSiliaSiJSBiSB^^ SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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