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Arizona's Bibby Decides Time Is Now for the NBA

April 10, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

Sophomore guard Mike Bibby moved toward millionaire status Thursday, announcing he's leaving the University of Arizona to make himself available for the NBA draft.

"It's just been a dream of mine since I was a little boy, and now that that chance is here, I don't want to let it pass me up," Bibby said at a campus news conference at Tucson.

Some NBA officials say Bibby, 19, will be the first point guard taken in the draft.

"Mike is very ready to play in the NBA," said Wildcat Coach Lute Olson, who was told by Bibby of his decision to turn pro last weekend.

Laker General Manager Jerry West said Bibby's style of play reminds him of Oscar Robertson's.

"He plays an old-fashioned game, which I think a lot of people like," West said. "He's a prospect, that's for sure."


Roderick Barnes, 32, became the youngest head coach in the Southeastern Conference when he was appointed to succeed Rob Evans at Mississippi. . . . North Carolina Charlotte assistant Bobby Lutz was chosen to succeed Melvin Watkins as the 49ers' head coach. Lutz accepted a five-year contract that will pay him more than $300,000 annually.. . . Bob Bender, once considered a front-runner to succeed Tom Penders at Texas, said he'll stay at Washington. Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson also has withdrawn his name. . . . Rich Herrin reportedly is leaving Southern Illinois after 13 years.


The NCAA put the Southeast Missouri men's program on three years' probation, citing several violations under former coach Ron Shumate.


Natalie Williams and Lisa Leslie scored 18 points each as the U.S. women's team cruised to a 84-43 exhibition victory over Argentina at Knoxville, Tenn. . . . Lin Dunn will return next season as coach of the ABL's Portland Power.

Pro Football

Green Bay Packer Coach Mike Holmgren now has the right to decide his own future.

A new clause written into Holmgren's contract allows him to leave after the 1998 season if he's offered a job that combines his current coaching job with the post of general manager.

Running back Curtis Martin's contract with the New York Jets, one clause of which was in dispute, was upheld by the NFL Management Council, avoiding the need for a special master to rule on the matter.

Cornerback Darryl Pounds signed a two-year, $2.5-million contract including a $600,000 signing bonus, with the Washington Redskins. . . . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Atlanta transitional free agent Bert Emanuel to an offer sheet. Emanuel led the Falcons with 65 catches for 991 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns in 1997. . . . The Arizona Cardinals bolstered their secondary by signing free agent Van Malone, who started 19 games at free safety for the Detroit Lions the last two seasons. . . . The New York Jets re-signed cornerback Otis Smith, giving the free agent a three-year contract.


Tenth-seeded Lisa Raymond upset third-seeded Monica Seles, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, in the third round of the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla.

Steffi Graf won't be able to play for Germany in Fed Cup matches next week because of a strained left hamstring. Germany plays Spain in the international women's team competition.

Boris Becker was eliminated in the third round of the Gold Flake Open at Madras, India, losing to unseeded Gerard Solves of France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Top-seeded Patrick Rafter overwhelmed Switzerland's Ivo Heuberger, 6-2, 6-4. . . . Top-seeded Spaniard Felix Mantilla advanced to the quarterfinals at the $625,000 Estoril Open at Oeiras, Portugal, beating Italian Andrea Gaudenzi, 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2). . . . Sixth-seeded Martin Damm was ousted from the Salem Open at Hong Kong, losing, 6-4, 6-4, to Spain's Oscar Burrieza.


Former Notre Dame kicker Kevin Pendergast pleaded guilty to sports bribery charges in Chicago and agreed to testify against others charged in a point-shaving scheme at Northwestern.

Pendergast admitted conspiring to fix three Big Ten basketball games in the winter of 1995 by bribing players. He also admitted recruiting gamblers to bet on the fixed games and said the amount he and others bet on the three games exceeded $40,000. No sentencing date was set.

Dextor Clinkscale, a former strong safety with the Dallas Cowboys, turned himself in to authorities in Greenville, S.C., one day after he was charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man.

Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges at Auburn, Ala., and suspended from the team.

Names in the News

John Tate, who held the World Boxing Assn. heavyweight title briefly from 1979-80, died when his pickup truck struck a telephone pole at Knoxville, Tenn.

Florida State quarterback Dan Kendra had a two-hour operation to rebuild a torn ligament in his right knee.

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