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COLLEGE BASKETBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NATION

Wright State Coach Is Fired

November 16, 1996|Associated Press

Wright State fired basketball Coach Ralph Underhill on Friday, four days after he was charged with shoplifting.

"I have terminated Mr. Underhill's contract with the university," Athletic Director Michael Cusak said at a news conference.

Underhill, 55, who coached the Raiders for 18 years, was accused of shoplifting vitamins from a store near the campus in suburban Dayton, Ohio.

Police said Underhill selected six bottles of vitamins at the store on Monday but paid for only one, concealing the other five as he tried to leave.

Underhill has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of petty theft, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He had a 356-162 record and .687 winning percentage at Wright State. He led the Raiders to 16 winning seasons, including an NCAA Division II championship in 1983 and a berth in the NCAA Division I tournament in 1993.

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Tony Cerkvenik, a former Arizona State star who still holds most of the school's rebounding records, died Thursday of injuries from a car accident in Phoenix. He was 56.

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