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NFL Instant Replay Is Reportedly Closer

March 01, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

The NFL's competition committee approved a plan that would reinstate instant-replay review of officials' decisions for the 1997 season, ESPN radio reported Friday.

The proposal will join two others on instant replay that league owners will consider at their meetings in Palm Springs, March 9-13, according to the report. Any proposal will need at least 23 positive votes from the 30 owners.

"This doesn't mean that replay is coming back," said Greg Aiello, the league's director of communications. "[Instant replay] is on the agenda."

ESPN said the committee's proposal would include four types of calls that could be reviewed: scoring plays, sideline plays, number of players on the field, fumbles and interceptions. Each team would be entitled to two challenges to a referee's call each half, with teams being charged a timeout if a decision isn't reversed.

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In a money-saving move, the Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of Pro Bowl safety Eric Turner. Turner's contract had a clause saying that if his name was still on the roster as of today, he would receive a $1.3-million bonus. He is free to negotiate with the Ravens and other teams. . . . Indianapolis reportedly has signed unrestricted free-agent cornerback Carlton Gray, who had been with the Seattle Seahawks, to a four-year, $9.7-million contract. . . . Free-agent defensive tackle Keith Traylor agreed to contract terms with the Denver Broncos.

Tennis

Top-ranked Pete Sampras beat one qualifier in the quarterfinals and faces another today in the Advanta Championships at Philadelphia.

Sampras overwhelmed 129th-ranked Doug Flach, 6-4, 6-2, to set up a match with No. 88 Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, who defeated Jonathan Stark, 6-2, 6-4.

In the other semifinal, Grant Stafford will face Patrick Rafter of Australia.

Defending champion Goran Ivanisevic fought back from a 4-1 third-set deficit against unheralded Czech Daniel Vacek to earn a semifinal berth at the Italian Indoors at Milan.

The big-serving Croat, the only seeded player left in the tournament, had to overcome inconsistency and nervousness in his 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 victory.

Upset by tax investigators raiding his home Dec. 19, three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker plans to leave Germany for good, possibly as soon as next week, the Bild newspaper reported in Frankfurt.

Golf

Karrie Webb charged into contention in the Australian Ladies Masters at Gold Coast with a six-under-par 66 that put her one stroke behind leader Gail Graham of Canada after two rounds. Graham had a 36-hole total of 134.

Jose Maria Olazabal made the cut, another Spaniard, Domingo Hospital, led the field and Seve Ballesteros shot an 84 in the Dubai Desert Classic tournament at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Olazabal, in his first appearance after battling a crippling foot condition for 18 months, shot a two-over 74 in the second round for a 36-hole total of 143, three under the cut. Hospital was at 133 after a 68.

Miscellany

A steady rain washed out the first round of qualifying for Sunday's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway, leaving NASCAR drivers with only today's round to make the Winston Cup field.

The second race of the women's World Cup downhill skiing competition at the Happoone Olympic Course at Hakuba, Japan, was called off because of rain and rescheduled for Sunday.

Hakuba, in the central Japan Alps, is the site for most of the Alpine events in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. In Friday's downhill, Warwara Zelenskaja of Russia outpaced world champion Hilary Lindh of Juneau, Alaska, in winning her second consecutive World Cup race.

One more gold medal for Bjorn Dahlie, and he will stand alone in the history of Nordic ski racing. Already the winningest cross-country racer, the Norwegian can become the first man to win four gold medals at the same World Nordic Ski Championships on Sunday at Trondheim, Norway.

Dahlie got his third when he led Norway to a lopsided victory in the 40-kilometer mixed-style relay. Norway's foursome won by a margin of 2 minutes 11.2 seconds over Finland.

Rintje Ritsma of the Netherlands clinched the World Cup speedskating long distance title at Inzell, Germany, by winning a 5,000-meter race in a course-record 6 minutes 45.70 seconds.

Stacy Dragila, the women's national record holder in the pole vault, won her second consecutive title in the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships at Atlanta, and qualified for the American team that will compete in next weekend's World Championships at Paris. She went 13-1 1/2.

The U.S. women's soccer team, winner of the Olympic gold medal at Atlanta, defeated Australia, 4-0, at Melbourne.

Cindy Parlow put the Americans ahead with a 12th-minute header.

Fifty-three teams gathered in Anchorage for today's start of the 25th Iditarod Trail sled-dog race over more than 1,100 miles of unforgiving terrain. The trail crosses the heart of the state and ends in Nome.

Vanessa Atler, 15, of Canyon Country, won the beam and the vault during preliminaries of the American Cup gymnastics competition at Fort Worth.

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