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THE INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

Viking Coach Might Have to Seek Greener Pastures

July 05, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Dennis Green, who has been threatening to leave as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, may get a push from the team's new management.

Green will meet Tuesday with Red McCombs, who purchased the team last Thursday, and his aides to discuss the future of the team. Green's future is also expected to be discussed.

"I'm sure our meeting with him will deal with the fact that his future will depend on the coming season," Gary Woods, McCombs' top aide, said of Green, who has made the playoffs in five of his six seasons but has often been controversial.

Green, whose contract expires after this season, was not immediately available for comment.

Green's 54 regular-season victories are the second most in team history to Bud Grant's 161. But his tenure has been clouded by his playoff failures--he is 1-5 in the postseason--and off-field controversy.

He faced allegations of sexual harassment after the 1994 season, and last year wrote in the final chapter of his autobiography about a plan to sue some of the Viking owners for control of the team.

Green has often suggested that he might leave the Vikings. A year ago, he considered taking the Oakland Raider job that was eventually given to Joe Bugel.

Boxing

Evander Holyfield rejected a $20-million offer to fight Lennox Lewis for a unified world heavyweight title because he's afraid of losing, Lewis' manager said.

The HBO cable television network made the offer to the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Assn. heavyweight champion on Wednesday, but Holyfield said he wanted $25 million for the fight.

Lewis' manager, Frank Maloney, said from London that Holyfield did not want to fight the World Boxing Council champion because he was not confident in his own ability.

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A dislocated shoulder knocked James "Bonecrusher" Smith out of a heavyweight fight with Joe Bugner at Gold Coast, Australia.

The two fighters totaled 93 years and 540 pounds.

Smith, 45, started the fight with a flurry of punches as he kept Bugner near the ropes. But the exertion proved too much and he dislocated his right shoulder and quit before the start of Round 2.

When it was announced Smith had withdrawn, the crowd at the Carrara Stadium booed Smith and several scuffles broke out in the stands.

Pro Basketball

Christy Smith scored her only two points on a driving shot with 20 seconds left to give the Charlotte Sting a 68-66 WNBA victory over the Phoenix Mercury at Charlotte before 8,210.

The Eastern Conference-leading Sting (8-2) looked as if it would be blown out early as the Mercury took an 18-7 lead.

Andrea Stinson scored 19 points, and Tracy Reid and Sharon Manning each had 14 for the Sting. Jennifer Gillom had 21 points for the Mercury.

Miscellany

World champion Jamie Koven, rowing for Brown University Alumni, won his semifinal in diamond sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta at Henley On Thames, England.

Koven defeated Ireland's Albert Maher to reach the final against defending champion Greg Searle of England.

In the ladies plate, Harvard's crew won by 2 3/4 lengths over the University of Pennsylvania and will face a combined crew from Cambridge and the Star Club in today's final.

Khalid Khannouchi of Morocco and Hellen Kimaiyo-Kipkoskei of Kenya were winners in the 10-kilometer Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.

Khannouchi was timed in 27 minutes 47 seconds, beating Kenya's Simon Rono by 10 seconds in the men's division.

Kimaiyo-Kipkoskei had a closer race in winning for the third year in a row and was timed in 31:52. She defeated Lornah Kiplagat, who also represented Kenya, by four seconds.

Yugoslavia defeated the United States, 7-5, in a men's semifinal match at the Hanover Cup water polo tournament at Hanover, Germany.

Yugoslavia lost to the American team in the final of a tournament at Newport Beach last month.

The Orange County Badminton Club in Orange is hosting the U.S. Junior National Tournament, which begins Thursday.

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J.A. Adande has the day off.

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