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USFL Gives Instant Replays a Try

February 22, 1985

The United States Football League will make instant replay video pictures available to officials working the New Jersey-Birmingham game Sunday, should coaches wish to appeal an official's decision.

USFL Commissioner Harry Usher said Thursday: "After meeting with our football operations people, I decided that instant replay was an idea whose time had come. We will expand the usage where appropriate and on a considered basis."

Said a spokesman from ABC, which will televise the game: "The USFL will not receive anything from us other than the picture as it is being broadcast, and the USFL will tape that picture on its own. We have stated before--and we still feel that way--that it is inappropriate for ABC to be involved in the officiating of a game."

To appeal a play, the head coach must notify the referee before the next snap or kick. The referee will then drop a red flag, call time out and signal the official in the press box, who will review the play and make a decision.

Under the instant-replay rule, a team may have one appeal per half in three situations:

-- A fumble or no-fumble situation.

-- Whether a pass is complete, incomplete or intercepted.

-- Whether the ball has penetrated the goal line.

The team appealing risks using a timeout if the appeal is overruled.

An arbitrator ruled that the Montreal Expos must pay outfielder Tim Raines $1.2 million in 1985, the largest contract ever awarded in a baseball arbitration case. The previous high was Fernando Valenzuela's $1 million, granted in 1983.

The Expos wanted to pay Raines $1 million.

Raines, 25, led the National League in steals last season with 75 and in doubles with 38. He hit .309 in 160 games, had eight home runs and 60 runs batted in.

In another arbitration ruling, outfielder Tom Brunansky of the Minnesota Twins lost his case. He wanted $600,000 from the Twins, who had offered $425,000. Brunansky, 24, hit 32 home runs, drove in 85 runs and hit .254 last season.

The Cincinnati Bengals signed All-Pro wide receiver Cris Collinsworth to a multiyear contract. He was released from his USFL contract with Tampa Bay earlier this week.

Basketball Coach Jim Valvano of North Carolina State said that 6-11 Chris Washburn will not be permitted to play anymore this season. He said that the freshman recruit needs a full year to concentrate on school work and court-ordered community service.

Washburn was arrested in December for stealing an $800 stereo and was later sentenced to three days in jail and 320 hours of community service.

Claudell Washington's agent, Bill Kadersha, said that the Atlanta Braves' outfielder maintains he is innocent of drug charges connected with his arrest Monday in Walnut Creek, Calif. Arresting officers said they discovered cocaine and marijuana in Washington's car after stopping him for erratic driving.

Washington had undergone treatment for cocaine dependency after the 1983 season.

Said Kadersha: "Claudell told me that to this minute he doesn't know that anything was in the car, that he doesn't know if the police indeed found anything. They told him only that he was being arrested but not what he was being arrested for."

The Major League Baseball Players Assn. proposed raising the minimum salary from $40,000 to $70,000 and tying future increases to the rise in average salaries for all players. The suggestions drew immediate adverse reaction from Lee MacPhail, the owners' chief negotiator.

In addition, the players' association presented a written proposal to the owners that would modify the free-agent re-entry draft and rating system, and the two sides in baseball's labor talks continued their discussions on expansion, with no conclusions being reached.

The California Horse Racing Board has given Golden Gate Fields permission to transmit its races into Nevada for betting purposes. Approved were the track's plans to telecast its races to Reno, Las Vegas and Laughlin.

Names in the News

Former middleweight boxer Tony Janiro, whose 96-bout career included fights with Jake LaMotta and Rocky Graziano, died of complications following a heart attack in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 59.

Ray Williams, a free-agent guard, was signed to an offer sheet by the Boston Celtics. The New York Knicks must match it in 15 days or lose him without compensation.

Hector Camacho's fight against Darryl Tyson at Las Vegas March 3 was canceled when Camacho, the former World Boxing Council junior-lightweight champion, said he twisted an ankle doing roadwork.

Luis Roberto Clemente, 18, became the second of Roberto Clemente's sons to sign a pro baseball contract. He signed with Pittsburgh, his late father's team, and will play for Bradenton in the Gulf Coast Rookie League this year. His brother, Roberto Jr., 19, played in Philadelphia's farm system last season.

The home of Karl-Heinz Radschinsky, West Germany's 1984 Olympic middleweight weightlifting gold medalist, was raided in Nuremberg by officers, who seized anabolic steroids. Radschinsky was said to be selling the steroids in tablet and injection form.

Lou Guida, who put together a record $19.2-million syndicate to buy Nihilator, the 1984 champion 2-year-old pacing colt, said he has bought a 25% interest in Dragon's Lair, the only horse to beat Nihilator.

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