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Warfield, Hill Enter Picture for New Browns Franchise

June 25, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

Former NFL players Paul Warfield and Calvin Hill received the backing of five Cleveland business leaders Wednesday in a bid to buy the new Browns franchise, which begins play in 1999.

The group held a news conference partly aimed at calming fears that the man bankrolling the bid, Howard Milstein, is an out-of-towner. Milstein is a New York developer who recently became 45% owner of the NHL's New York Islanders.

Milstein would own roughly 75% of the Browns with the seven other men sharing the rest. Most estimates put the purchase price of the team between $300 million and $350 million.

Warfield and Hill, both former Browns, would be largely responsible for finding a general manager and organizing the new team.

The NFL has said it has about six serious candidates for Browns ownership.

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Glen Taylor confirmed that he will make a bid for the Minnesota Vikings next week, making him the first potential buyer to confirm interest in the NFL team.

Taylor, who paid $88.5 million for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994, said he has done all the preparation work necessary to submit an offer for the Vikings, including reviewing the team's finances and calling as many as 20 state and local officials to inform them of his plans.

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The Vikings offered receiver Cris Carter a $22-million, four-year contract extension, which would make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. . . . As expected, Vinny Testaverde is in and Neil O'Donnell is out in a quarterback shake-up that will save the New York Jets $2.75 million against the salary cap and probably assure that Glenn Foley will be the starter.

Soccer

Roman Kosecki had two goals and an assist as the Chicago Fire won its ninth game in a row, beating the Kansas City Wizards, 4-1, in a Major League Soccer game before 13,396 at Chicago.

The Fire tied the Galaxy for the league's longest winning streak of the season.

Rookie defender Mike Petke snapped a 3-3 tie with the first goal of his professional career in the 69th minute at East Rutherford, N.J., as the New York-New Jersey MetroStars beat New England, 5-3, the Revolution's seventh consecutive loss. The game was played before 10,310 at Giants Stadium.

Jurisprudence

NBA referee Joe Crawford was charged with tax fraud, the eighth NBA official named in an airline ticket scheme.

Crawford, 46, offered his resignation to the league and will plead guilty, his lawyers said in a statement.

Crawford failed to report $82,500 in taxable income from 1991 to 1993, authorities said.

Orlando Magic assistant coach Wayne "Tree" Rollins was given three years of probation and 150 hours of community service at Orlando, Fla., after pleading no contest to a charge of wiretapping his estranged wife's home.

Rollins, who became a coach after ending his 18-year NBA playing career in 1995, was charged in September with wiretapping the home of Kathy Rollins, whom he has since divorced, and forging her name on an application for a home equity loan.

A youth hockey coach who punched one of his son's teenage opponents after a game in March has been banned from coaching for a year and ordered to perform community service at Enfield, Conn.

Karl Eckoff, 48, of Wilbraham, Mass., was accused of punching a 15-year-old player in the nose after a game at the Enfield Twin Rinks on March 15.

Miscellany

Expressing concern about his program's image, Kentucky basketball Coach Tubby Smith said he will discipline center Jamaal Magloire for riding in a vehicle with two men who were arrested on drug possession charges.

The U.S. Naval Academy allowed quarterback Chris McCoy to graduate after he broke the school's rule governing sex between midshipmen at Annapolis, Md., while three others who broke the same rule were dealt with more harshly, the Baltimore Sun reported.

According to the paper, McCoy had sex with Felicia Harris, a violation of the rule forbidding dating between seniors and freshmen. Harris, a freshman, was expelled pending a review.

The England Monarchs were dropped from the NFL European League and will be replaced by a new franchise in Berlin.

* Randy Harvey has the day off.

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