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Lipinski Gives Up Games By Going Professional

April 08, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Gold medal-winning Tara Lipinski captivated the Olympics, but the Winter Games no longer figure in her future and her rivalry with Michelle Kwan is in her past.

Lipinski, 15, said Tuesday she is turning professional because she wants to train less so she can spend more time with her family.

"I think now, I'm going to go pro," Lipinski said on NBC's "Today." "I would love to go to the 2002 Olympics and try to win another gold." But, she said, she would feel "almost a little greedy in doing that, especially to my parents, who have given up so much."

Some experts in the field estimated her earning power at $13 million to $15 million.

Unlike in other sports, professionals may not compete in Olympic figure skating. An amateur reinstatement window that allowed former professionals such as Brian Boitano, Viktor Petrenko and Katarina Witt to compete in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer no longer exists.

Basketball

Washington Coach Bob Bender has emerged as the front-runner for the coaching job at Texas, according to a university source. Bender, 40, met with Texas officials in Dallas on his way back from vacationing in Florida.

Rob Evans, who rebuilt the Mississippi program and led the Rebels to consecutive NCAA tournament berths, was named coach at Arizona State. . . . Ron Selleaze, who led Brigham Young in scoring last season, is appealing a possible yearlong drug suspension that would end his career at Provo, Utah. . . . Duquesne fired Coach Scott Edgar and named assistant coach Darelle Porter as interim coach. . . . The Women's NBA has signed 1996 Olympians Susanna Bonfiglio of Italy; Sandy Brondello of Australia and Maria Stepanova of Russia. . . . The American Basketball League is expanding to Chicago.

Tennis

Michael Chang, a three-time winner of the Salem Open and the defending champion, was defeated in the opening round of the tournament by Christian Vinck of Germany, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, at Hong Kong. . . . Defending champion Lindsay Davenport defeated Alexia Dechaume Balleret of France, 6-0, 6-2, and Russian teenager Anna Kournikova overwhelmed Wiltrud Probst of Germany, 6-1, 6-2, in the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla. . . . Hoping to avenge a first-round loss to the Netherlands in the Fed Cup last year, U.S. Captain Billie Jean King selected Monica Seles, Mary Joe Fernandez and Lisa Raymond to join Davenport on this year's team.

Jurisprudence

A judge dismissed charges against three protesters who burned an effigy of the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo outside a World Series game last fall.

Ryan Tucker, a St. Louis Ram lineman, was given a five-year deferred sentence, fined $5,000 and also ordered to pay $9,677 in restitution for assaulting another student during a 1996 fight in a Fort Worth bar.

A district court at Ulm, Germany, said it saw no grounds for freeing Steffi Graf's father, Peter Graf, who was sentenced to three years, nine months in January 1997 for evading taxes on $6.55 million of his daughter's earnings.

In the biggest tax case ever against a Swedish sports star, skier Pernilla Wiberg has been charged with owing nearly $750,000 in back taxes.

Thirteen baseball players who claim they were sexually harassed by a San Francisco Giants' scout in the Dominican Republic sued the Giants, saying the team knew or should have known of the harassment by Luis Rosa and failed to stop it.

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was arrested for drunk driving early Tuesday morning in Philadelphia after being pulled over for driving erratically.

Miscellany

USC receiver R. Jay Soward and safety Darnell Lacy will be held out of the remainder of spring practice to concentrate on academics, Coach Paul Hackett announced.

The Arizona Cardinals acquired running back Adrian Murrell and a 1998 seventh-round pick from the New York Jets for a third-round choice in this month's draft.

British shotputter Paul Edwards, who tested positive for drugs three times in three years, was banned from the sport for life by a disciplinary panel in Birmingham, England.

Cuban baseball defector Jorge Luis Toca, held for more than two weeks in a detention center in the Bahamas, was on his way to Japan after accepting an offer of asylum.

Rolly Schwartz, 84, coach and manager of the 1976 U.S. Olympic boxing team, died in Dayton, Ohio. The 1976 team included gold medalists Sugar Ray Leonard, brothers Michael and Leon Spinks, Howard Davis and Leo Randolph.

Galaxy midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos practiced for the first time since back spasms forced him to sit out two games, but Coach Octavio Zambrano is uncertain if Cienfuegos will play Saturday against New York/New Jersey.

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