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Arson Claimed Home of Pacers' Miller

July 15, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

A fire that destroyed a $2.9-million house owned by Indiana Pacer guard Reggie Miller in an Indianapolis suburb was arson, investigators said Monday. Authorities said they were searching for a vehicle that left the neighborhood at a high rate of speed the morning of May 15, when the home northeast of Indianapolis was burned.

The ruins were searched by specially trained dogs, and debris collected over several days was tested by a private laboratory. The results confirmed the fire was set.

Miller and his wife, Marita, had been moving into the six-bedroom house, which was undergoing renovation. They were not home when the fire broke out. Miller offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction, adding to $7,000 already offered.

Track and Field

Michael Johnson, unable to qualify at the United States championships because of a strained thigh, received a wild-card entry to the world championships in Greece in August along with other current champions. Others invited include Dan O'Brien, the Olympic decathlon gold medalist who missed the nationals because of a stress fracture, and injured sprinters Gwen Torrance (100 meters) and Gail Devers (100-meter hurdles).

Lameck Aguta, the Kenyan who won the Boston Marathon in April, regained consciousness after a weekend car accident in which he was traveling to a friend's funeral in Nakuru, Kenya.

Craig Masback, 42, a former athlete who stayed in track and field as an administrator and TV commentator, will succeed Ollan Cassell as executive director of USA Track & Field. The appointment ends a seven-month search.

World record-holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba jumped 7 feet 8 inches, despite heavy winds, to win the Grand Prix on the field in Salamanca, Spain, that bears his name.

Pro Football

Prosecutors said they will not file assault charges against Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin over an incident at a San Francisco nightclub last month. Assistant Dist. Atty. Chuck Haines said the case came down to Irvin's word against the complainant, Aaron Waller, 31, who told police the all-pro receiver punched him and held him captive in a club basement after a dispute over a cellular phone.

Charles Haley and Jay Novacek, two of the Cowboys' biggest stars and both victims of bad backs, are expected to retire today in an unusual joint news conference at Texas Stadium. . . . The Chicago Bears got all their players under contract by signing tight end John Allred of USC and running back Darnell Autry of Northwestern. . . . Carolina center Curtis Whitley, suspended for four games last season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, was released.

Quarterback Jake Plummer agreed to a three-year, $1.6-million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. . . . Tight end Tony Johnson signed a one-year, no-option contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Hockey

The Mighty Ducks face a midnight deadline tonight to sign Espen Knutsen, a flashy center from Norway who could bolster their scoring depth. The Ducks and Knutsen's agent are haggling over terms of the contract.

Unrestricted free-agent defenseman Luke Richardson signed a five-year, $12.6-million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. . . . The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent Grant Ledyard to a two-year contract.

Miscellany

Dennis Scott, who threatened during a rambling speech at a Virginia summer camp to sit out next season, told the Orlando Magic he wants to honor the final year of a $9-million contract.

With rap music blaring from the back of a sports utility vehicle, Scott told a group of bewildered children that he could retire if the Magic "don't start treating me right."

"Don't ask me for my autograph, because 28 years ago, I was broke. You ask for my autograph now because I've got millions of dollars. Do not ask me for my autograph. Ask me to explain the rage that exists inside of me," Scott said in a scene caught on videotape.

Dan Garcia, a Mexican-American reporter for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. who was called "a Mexican idiot" by New Jersey Nets Coach John Calipari on March 20, has filed a lawsuit against Calipari and the NBA team seeking damages for the "extreme humiliation and emotional distress." The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount in damages for the incident.

Harry Toscano, a senior pro golfer, filed a $9-million antitrust lawsuit in Sacramento against the PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour directors and the corporations--such as American Express, Chrysler and Wendy's--that sponsor senior tour events. The lawsuit claims the PGA Tour, the directors and the companies have conspired to limit the playing field to certain players, thus excluding Toscano and others.

As expected, the Angels, Mighty Ducks and KRLA (1110) announced a five-year agreement to broadcast the teams' games. The agreement begins with the Ducks in September and runs through the 2001-2002 season. The Angels, whose contract also runs through 2002, will debut on KRLA in 1998.

Purdue agreed to pay former women's basketball coach Lin Dunn $100,000 to settle a grievance she filed over her 1996 dismissal.

Dan Gable, 48, the wrestling coach at Iowa, said he is exhausted and will take a year off.

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