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Frieder Resigns Amid Point-Fixing Investigation

September 11, 1997| From Staff and Wire Reports

Bill Frieder, who only last week denied with characteristic vigor that he was going anywhere, took a $350,000 buyout and stepped down Wednesday as Arizona State's basketball coach.

Arizona State was 10-20 last season and has been under the cloud of a federal point-fixing investigation.

"If something happens on that FBI thing then I would be the victim in that case," said Frieder, who was in line for about $1 million in salary and benefits through the last three years of the contract. "And if something happens in that case I hope all of them go to prison."

Frieder, 55, said the accusation last week of minor theft in a dormitory against two of his players was the final straw.

Frieder was 132-108 in eight seasons at Arizona State and 323-195 in 17 seasons overall. His first nine years as a head coach were at Michigan, which he left in 1989 before the Wolverines won the NCAA title.

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Lamar Odom, the heavily recruited high school basketball forward who had originally signed with Nevada Las Vegas, has decided to attend Rhode Island.

Motor Sports

Qualifications for the 1998 Indianapolis 500 will be cut from the traditional four days to two, and drivers will get one week of practice time instead of two, Indianapolis television stations reported.

Emerson Fittipaldi will have an "almost 100%" chance to walk again after the champion driver has surgery to repair a spinal fracture stemming from a plane crash, his doctors said in Miami.

Craig Breedlove's attempt to regain the world land-speed record has been delayed at least until Saturday while the Spirit of America crew replaces the engine that failed Monday. Meanwhile, the British team headed by record-holder Richard Noble cranked off runs of 428 mph and 517 mph at Gerlach, Nev.

Jurisprudence

Wesley Spears, the lawyer accused of trying to blackmail former Massachusetts All-American Marcus Camby into signing him as an agent, has reached a plea agreement and will appear today in West Hartford Superior Court.

Provided he stays out of trouble for one year, New York Knick forward John Wallace won't be prosecuted for allegedly punching and choking the mother of his two sons, a judge ruled in Greece, N.Y.

Boxing promoter Don King, accused of defrauding an insurance company, had his federal retrial postponed in New York. The U.S. Attorney's office said a new date for the trial, which was to have started today with jury selection, has not been set. No reason was given for the postponement.

Dallas businessman John Spano Jr., whose failed bid to buy the New York Islanders prompted a criminal investigation, agreed to plead guilty in Dallas to charges that he defrauded two lenders of at least $5.1 million, according to court records and federal prosecutors. Spano also faces unrelated fraud charges in New York.

Eighteen players and a coach were jailed for up to 2 1/2 years for throwing games in a scandal that has shaken professional baseball in Taiwan.

Soccer

Argentina, Colombia, Bulgaria and Paraguay qualified for the 1998 World Cup with victories. Thirteen teams have qualified for the 32-team event. . . . The Argentine Football Assn. was ordered not to ban Diego Maradona from playing while charges of drug use were being investigated.

Names in the News

Golfer Larry Gilbert, winner of this year's Senior Players Championship, has lung cancer and will be out of action indefinitely. . . . World Boxing Council super-welterweight champion Terry Norris improved to 47-6 by knocking out Andres Arellano of Mexico in the second round of their scheduled 10-round middleweight fight in Las Vegas. . . . Steffi Graf intends to return to competitive tennis this fall, with one of her first appearances Nov. 25 in Baltimore, five months after knee surgery. . . . Liu Ben of China beat Troy Dumais of Ventura, 391.20 points to 385.77, for the gold medal in the 1-meter springboard of the FINA World Cup in Mexico City. Jing Zhang of China was the women's 1-meter winner. . . . The Miami Heat signed veteran guard Eric Murdock.

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